Velachery is growing at break-neck speed but it still manages to retain its old world charm. Take a walk down the Taramani Link Road and the by-pass road and you can see a huge crowd of hip, 20-something girls and boys hanging out at the local eateries or busy shoppers making a beeline to high-end branded showrooms that dot the main road.
Walk a little further and you are greeted by skyscrapers and large residential complexes. Amidst traffic snarls and a new landscape, this sleepy neighbourhood has etched its own metamorphosis. The new Velachery is vibrant, and is a work in progress.
“Velachery is one of the older localities with good social infrastructure. However, land is scarce as most of it has already been developed. But it is in the throes of development as builders are keen on setting up projects here,” says R Williams, a senior citizen and a resident of the area for the past 38 years.
“In the last five to six years, the locality has undergone a sea change. A lot of old buildings, particularly large bungalows, have been razed and very high-end commercial and residential buildings have come up. These have changed the very face of Velachery,” explains Stanton Morrais, Director, Vindhya Homes. “Velachery has developed into a residential hub today providing quality residential developments, commercial offices and glitzy malls with good retail options. One of the main reasons why Velachery is witnessing a huge facelift as compared to other older localities of the city, like Adyar, is its proximity to OMR. Another reason for the development in the area is its huge contribution to the IT industry. Nearly 30 to 40% of IT employees are from this neighborhood. Their exposure to modern developments abroad and demand for quality residential space has pushed up the real estate development in this area,” he adds. However, residents in the locality still like the area for its innate old world charm. “Despite the change it is witnessing, Velachery retains the flavor of good old Chennai,” adds Stanton.
N Ravichandran of True Value Homes (TVH) says, “The government lacks clarity in promoting infrastructural developments here. This locality has the potential to be a very huge separate township by itself. People of all income groups are nested here and witness the growth of the locality everyday. However, frequent powercuts and long-pending road widening projects are impediments to its growth.” Water supply lines, better sewerage system, development of link roads and stormwater disposal systems are expected to be completed soon. Besides these, a number of other projects are being implemented in the area. A number of projects – Monorail, satellite bus terminus, lake beautification, Phoenix Mall, Grande Mall, etc, have been planned in this area.
Once all the proposed retail malls, commercial buildings, hotels and commodity markets are operational in the next couple of years, there will be a surge in economic activities in the area. This will also lead to demand for real estate, both residential and commercial, in the area. “This locality has good connectivity and it will improve further in the coming years. I wanted to purchase an apartment here when I came back from the US in 2005 and I’m glad that my investment in here has proved to be a wise decision,” says Srikanth Menon, an employee of Cognizant Technology Solutions.
“Residential apartments in the locality command a very good price, particularly projects that offer the latest amenities. Prices for residential built-up areas range from 5,500 to 8,000 per sq ft, depending on the type of construction. With the opening of the Pallavaram Highway which leads to the International Airport at Meenambakkam, Velachery is the new gateway to South Chennai and is fast emerging as one of the most sought-after hotspots of the city,” says G Ramanarayanan, a real estate consultant in the locality.
Source: Times Property in The Times of India, Chennai