Sunday, August 29, 2010

Home Front, 2010

Saturday newspapers shouted from the roof-top, about Home Front 2010, at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Previously known for concerts like Hope 86, and shooting of the Big B blockbuster Yaarana. 

CREDAI - Bengal the West Bengal chapter of the apex body of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India  arrange a real estate road show once a year, every year.

A property fair such as this gives an ideal platform to the buyers, realtors, the marketing companies, and the home loan financiers to mingle. The admittance is reasonably priced at just Rs. 20.  Once inside the stadium arena you will witness the who's who of the real estate players. It was moderately crowded for a Saturday afternoon.

WTF ? Excuse my French.

The above signage with the fountain as the backdrop, was strategically placed at the entrance, suggested an antithesis of  sorts. Our respected Mayor, his highness Sovan Chatterjee was entrusted with the job of cutting the ribbon at this prestigious event. I hope to God the Mayor had Didi's blessing and approval to do this. The poor man has a new job and has a family to feed ;-) After all this was a showcase event for any and all real estate development in and around Kolkata. Including Rajarhat, New Town where Didi and her Didigiri enjoys a stronghold, and has been very successful in delaying if not complete stoppage of infrastructural development. Can this be construed as a softening of her stance or will Rajarhat continue to be her 'Bête Noire' ? Your guess is as good as mine. Moving on then.

Fair Overview

Kid Friendly Fair
A happy family turnstile @ the Urbana booth
Urbana's vision of tomorrow, too good to be true and unreal !
Touch Screen, Self Help Kiosks for Customers @ Pioneer's booth

If I were to guess, there were probably close to a 100 booths/stalls. Most of them were busy pitching their product to the visitors. The young and vibrant marketing executives were busy explaining how their product was the best on the market. They were selling dreams. Different modes of advertisement were at work from LCD displays looping through a/v presentations, to touch-screen, self help kiosks, to free Nano, to immediate discounts for spot booking. I can only imagine how the marketing wheels must have worked feverishly to come up with a plan for oneupmanship over the past few days to get that USP (Unique Selling Point), to be visible in a crowd.

Picture taken on 26th August, 2010

It is noteworthy to add that I chatted  up with a young exec named Nitin from the Pioneer booth. He was looking after Rajarhat/New Town projects being marketed by Pioneer. I almost grilled him, asking him some uncomfortable questions regarding projects such as Rosedale, which was very aggressively marketed by this firm back in 2006. His response was stereotypical apropos political situation, infrastructural road blocks. I did not mention this blog, but I did drop a hint that I follow New Town close enough to know what goes around in town. I was fishing for any more information over and above what we already know.  I told him during my recent visits to Rosedale NRI project, I was quite disappointed to see that there did not seem to be much activity going on, at the site. A project that is over 6-9 months delayed, should seem busy to say the least. On the contrary the scene at the construction site looks abysmally slow and the progress is lethargic. To this Nitin replied that work was surely underway and they are looking at handing over the ready units within about a year's time. I contradicted Nitin and argued that at this rate, even two year looks far fetched, leave alone a year. I certainly hope I am wrong and they deliver in a year from now. He also added that all projects in that zone including Uniworld City are hit badly due to the stiff opposition in laying sewer lines and erecting electric poles.

Where are you Didi, are you listening ? Your man Friday, your appointee Mr. 'Jol' Sovan Chatterjee is cutting ribbons, while you are busy cutting/shredding people's dreams into pieces !

I did mention to him that in my humble opinion, it does seem that the builders are using the infrastructural row to their advantage, and taking it easy on delivering a finish product. The interior finishing of the building has nothing to do with the infrastructural issues that are hurting New Town.

Hi-Land / Calcutta Riverside
Free Nano - Yeah Right !
 Now I am going to talk a little about two different projects that caught my attention and sounded somewhat interesting amidst the maze of high rises. A concept of second home is a novel one, for people who can afford to own more than one property.

One such project is called - আমার বাড়ি (My House). It is being developed by Bengal Greenfield Housing Development Co. Ltd. The same people behind Greenfield Heights, Greenfield  Ambition both in New Town. 

A Village Villa

What draws me to the this project: a. Heritage location - Santiniketan b. Own Bungalow c. Village styled villa d. Affordable pricing, starting at Rs. 11 Lacs, and going upto 21 Lacs. It will be difficult getting an apartment these days in the City of Joy at that price.

There are about 151 bungalows in all, and I think the customer executive from MMG (the company marketing this project) said that they have about 60 odd bungalows still available, which will be released in 2 subsequent phases. I don't have the money for this now, unless a wealthy reader of this blog is willing to make me a Pujo/Diwali or Christmas gift :)) I would still however be visiting Santiniketan and this project in short order. I am looking forward to it.

Next, this one is closer to the city and uses a term that I have heard for the first time in real estate retail. They call is plug and play apartments, that's an innovative adjective for a fully furnished apartment. Once again it this project is trying to cash in a growing segment of second home buyers. This one is called - Nirvana - studio apartments(552 sq. ft  studio/ 977 sq. ft. duplex apartments); supposedly 40 mins. from Alipore in a settlement called আমতলা - a town that sits on the Diamond Harbor Road, about 25 kms from Esplanade - the city center of Kolkata. So were now in the age of Plug-
and-Play Nirvana, huh ?

Enough said. It was an afternoon well spent and hopefully, some information in here could be useful to readers of this space.

Thanks and Cheers !

Good night and Good luck !

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