Locational advantage
It is time to look at tourism-themed real estate development
In the Indian scenario, how does one create a tourism themed real estate development, which is also ‘integrated’?
Real estate development, as the adage goes, is all about location, location and location. So, if the location is a tourist attraction, how does one successfully create an integrated township in such a place?
Creating real estate marvels in the form of integrated townships is something that the Hiranandani Group Companies have been successfully doing over the past couple of decades.
The latest challenge is to take this winning real estate development model, and successfully implement it in regions that are known for their tourism potential.
The challenge is that we are not looking at creating just holiday homes or plain resorts, but creating real estate development, which is complete in all respects and yet, retains the special flavour of a tourism destination.
If one talks about the integrated township projects done so far, Hiranandani Gardens in Powai is recognised as a real estate development, which offers recreation, entertainment, F&B options, as also convention and hospitality options.
It overlooks the Powai Lake, is situated close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park limits, all this while being a real estate development situated within a garden in itself.
But that is precisely what makes the challenge even more interesting: we have already created some aspects of what a tourism zone development would be all about in Powai; how do we make it differently in a tourism spot?
Real estate development at locations, which are tourism zones, largely ends up being a resort-themed or tourism-themed development with residential real estate options, which offers proximity to some tourist hot spot.
Near Mumbai, sea-based tourism in Alibaug, as also hill station-based tourism in Khandala, offer Mumbaikars options of a ‘holiday home’ real estate development with both mountains and the sea as its defining features.
So, let me take both the locations as apt examples and look at what can be created on such locations, which have a strong tourism theme – and yet, what would be created is an integrated township.
Let us begin with the basics: such development would need to be planned so that it is in sync with nature, as also with the ecology of the region.
In Chennai, we have a project, Hiranandani Parks. During the heavy monsoon deluge a couple of years ago, when a major part of Chennai was under rainwater, the project had no water logging and all essential services functioned as usual. This was because we had, at the initial stage itself, planned underground water drainage systems, which ensured that excess rainwater was drained off.
Similarly, a tourism-themed integrated township needs to factor in such features, so that the community that will avail of the development, does not suffer from any such problem.
Then, there’s the aspect of architecture spelling out the project’s theme, which has to be in sync with tourism. The central theme will also be the economic driving force for the project’s community - which has to be tourism.
(The writer is CMD-Hiranandani Communities)