HYDERABAD: Around 270 km east of Hyderabad, the city of Vijayawada on July 31 witnessed an immediate ripple effect of Congress’ ‘Jai Telangana’ call. Owners of commercial spaces in the ‘land of victory’ were found quoting as much as Rs 50 per square feet (sft) for properties which, until a few days ago, were up for grabs at a meagre Rs 15 per sft. Reason? The intense speculation about the city emerging as the largest business hub, if not capital, of the new Andhra Pradesh state.
Residential projects, which are currently hovering around Rs 4,500-Rs 5,000 per sft, are also likely to increase in the next few weeks, market insiders said. The expectation, they said, was rooted in the hope that corporate houses with operations only in Hyderabad would now look at suitable destinations in AP as well to expand their network.
“Considering that Vijayawada is centrally located and can provide infrastructural support to such projects, it only makes sense for them to set shop here,” said Rajling Gadde, chairman of Greater Vijayawada Builders’ Association. He even argued that the city, by virtue of its geographical location, was sure to edge out other contenders like Visakhapatnam, Ongole and Tirupati in the race for the capital city status.
Developers across the Andhra region agree that the Vijayawada-Guntur belt has the potential to grow as the next ‘hot’ real estate destination after Hyderabad.
This, as the area is not only well-connected to other areas but also has a thick presence of educational institutions, three major power stations and expansive automobile and tobacco manufacturing units. “We had anyway withdrawn our operations from Hyderabad over the last six months owing to a severe slump in the local market. Now we are gearing up to focus on the Vijayawada-Guntur stretch along with sites in and around Vizag,” said P Venkata Ramana, proprietor of Vizag-based PVR Builders.
Meanwhile, even as Vijayawada seems to be leading the race, market analysts in Hyderabad feel that the final results will be out only when divided AP formally decides on a capital city. “It is true that the new capital will see real estate players trooping in large numbers. But if that’s going to be Vijayawada or not will be known only after an official decision on the issue,” said city realtor D Sreedhar Reddy., adding: “I personally would put my money on Vizag as it has the advantage of a port and a thriving industrial setup.” Reddy, however, agreed that the city may lose out to its fellow ‘contestants’ because of its disadvantageous location.