With the development potential of Mumbai’s western suburbs almost fully exploited, there is now an increased momentum in new developments in the eastern suburbs where land parcels are still available and prices more affordable. As a result, the 16.8 kilometre-long Eastern Freeway that connects P D’Mello Road in south Mumbai to the Eastern Express Highway at Ghatkopar has now sprung into sharp focus with developers.
The implications in terms of demand, supply and price are considerable. There is a steady increase in inquiries for residential and commercial spaces close to the Eastern Freeway’s entrance and exit ramps, and developers have begun marketing their projects with an emphasis on their proximity to this key arterial route.
In Chembur, property prices have risen by as much as 25 per cent over the past two years primarily because of this area’s advantageous juxtaposition to the Eastern Freeway. Also, markets such as Kanjurmarg, Kurla, Powai and Ghatkopar saw residential prices rise by 32 per cent, 29 per cent, 27 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in 2012.
This year-on-year increase is also attributable to reasons such as the increase in superior quality projects with innovative concepts in these areas. LBS Marg has seen the arrival of luxury hotels such as Radisson Blu by Rajesh Builders and Novotel by Nirmal Group.
In fact, the property market in the central business district (CBD) — currently on a decline — will also get a fillip because of the drastically reduced inward-bound commuting time. Improved road connectivity between Thane-Navi Mumbai with the CBD will result in an increase of residential project launches for the same reason. The completion of the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road will cause more traffic coming in from the north side of the secondary business district of Bandra Kurla Complex. This will trigger a fresh spate of developments in the catchment areas surrounding the alternate route to the CBD.
With the improved connectivity of the eastern suburbs, these areas will gradually attract commercial space requirements previously aimed at other micro-markets as long as the rates remain favourable. Such a relocation trend has already been witnessed in the secondary business district from other markets. This trend will become even more visible once the current leases expire.
There will also be further eastward movement of real estate development into locations like Sewree. However, it is the areas closest to the Eastern Freeway’s entry and exit ramps — specifically, Orange Gate,