result of saturation of the main cities, where there is a scarcity of housing. In addition to this, the prices in the main cities are out of reach for the middle class. As a result, real estate developers have started creating integrated townships in the periphery/outskirts of the main city with all basic amenities, infrastructure and public utilities that a family needs. This is definitely a good substitute till the government takes a mass initiative to urbanise undeveloped areas.”
Shravan Kumar Govil, CEO-RFA (real estate specialist and financial advisor) at REPL, a project management consultancy firm, which specialises in urban planning and architecture, feels such a shift offers developers the scope of providing a wide product range to potential clients along with a complete range of facilities and infrastructure. “Townships offer a complete package to clients, including recreational facilities and large green areas, which adds to the value of homes and creates better living spaces,” he says.
Most prominent developers with a long-term view of the market are currently building townships, some are 50 km from the nearest city, but close to an industrial park or adjoining a highway. Townships by their nature are self-sufficient in all respects and those located near a highway provide access for those who work in the city. In most cases, like OneHub Chennai, they offer a walk-to-work option, thanks to industrial park zones that are next to the townships. The other advantage, especially for buyers, is that there are a range of residential offerings to suit every pocket, from apartments to townhouses and villas. The size also allows the inclusion of recreational facilities like golf courses, which require large, open spaces. In most cases, the homes are designed by a well-known architect who ties up with the developer for a series of projects.
Building townships is also a huge step up for developers in terms of scale, size and ambition, be it a commercial area or a range of residential offerings, from flats to exclusive luxury spaces, as well as building schools, hospitals and retail outlets. Says Ashish Jerath, vice-president, sales (Delhi and NCR), Emaar MGF: “Given the scale and size of such developments, townships add value to every development for a company.”
Large corporates are also shifting their focus to consider townships in such cities, which are rated high on maintenance, planning and features. Corporates can also buy or rent residential areas for use by their