BANGALORE: If someone who has lived here a long time were to tread beyond the boundaries of ‘his city’ as it was in the early 90s, he would actually end up discovering an entirely new Bangalore. Localities which he had never heard of or known existed would be just a Metro ride away or at the end of an expressway.
North Bangalore came into focus with the international airport. This was accompanied by upgraded connectivity to facilitate quick transit to an airport which had moved from the confines of the city to almost 33-km away. The Hebbal-Yelahanka elevated expressway is part of the 22-km highway improvement project taken up by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Greater connectivity has led to announcements of industrial and commercial development, leading to residential catchments emerging in this region.
Hebbal-Yelahanka elevated expressway
The northern parts of Bangalore came into prominence with the establishment of the Bangalore International Airport (BIA) in Devanahalli in 2008. This led to the anticipation of opportunities in the region and the focus of real estate development turned towards north Bangalore.
Dr Samantak Das, Chief Economist, Director – Research and Advisory Services, Knight Frank India, elaborates on how connectivity will transform the landscape of the north. “The upcoming six-lane Hebbal-Yelahanka elevated expressway is expected to cut the time taken to reach the airport considerably. While at present the estimated time between Hebbal and the airport is around 45 minutes, after the completion of the elevated expressway, it will be reduced to 20 minutes.
As a result, the region will witness more commercial and residential real estate developments owing to the reduction in commuting time and access-controlled traffic. Hebbal, in particular, has gained much importance as a residential destination. Of late, it has come to be recognised as an upmarket residential market.”
Shrinivas Rao, CEO – Asia Pacific, Vestian Global Workplace Services, seconds this view. “This ambitious project is still under construction. The full impact of this development is still to be seen. The future of north Bangalore surely looks promising after 2014, when connectivity will no longer be an issue. This project will seamlessly connect Hebbal and Yelahanka to the airport and reduce travel time. Towards the end of 2014, Hebbal will grow to become one of the most vital junctions supporting an 18-lane highway till the airport, therein connecting all parts of the city.”
Knight Frank’s study highlights Sahakaranagar, Amruthahalli, Jakkur, Yelahanka, Kogilu Cross, Bagalur Cross as well as the tangential Doddaballapur Road as some of the residential locations that will benefit from this project.
Shrinivas Rao states, “With improved connectivity comes residential development. Till now, the most vibrant residential micro markets were located in the southeastern quadrant. But now, micro markets in the north-eastern quadrant are set to witness high residential activity too. Initial largescale projects have been launched in key neighbourhoods of Yelahanka, Hebbal and Devanahalli, since these are the nodal points. But over time, the intermediate areas will host spacious housing options such as villaments, villas, duplex apartments etc in the budget as well as luxury categories.”
Moreover, with the Government promoting this region aggressively by announcing the establishment of the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR), Aerospace SEZ, and Hardware Park, this area is poised to become Bangalore’s next economic epicentre. Efforts to improve the overall social infrastructure with suitable entertainment, hospitality and easily accessible healthcare options will attract buyers to invest in this region.
Regarding benefits accruing to the region, Dr Das says, “There are numerous infrastructure projects being planned by the government such as High Speed Rail Link (HSRL), Metro, monorail and the Peripheral Ring Road. On completion, these projects will further enhance the connectivity from the city center with the airport. Also, a commuter rail system has been planned to connect Devanahalli with Yeshwantpur via Yelahanka. Additionally, widening of the NH-7 up to the airport from the existing six lanes to eight lanes is under process. This will sustain higher traffic due to the airport’s expansion and expected real estate developments along the way.”
Potential for appreciation
The key advantage for residential catchments as a result of this and other infrastructure projects lies in enhanced connectivity. Also, investors can be assured of achieving better price appreciation within a shorter period of time.
Knight Frank’s research indicates the capital appreciation envisaged in the region is about 15-18 percent per annum. “Capital appreciation potential for this region is high. The rental returns will improve when economic activity develops in terms of office spaces, industries etc.,” Shrinivas Rao adds.