The suburb of Chembur, in Mumbai, has witnessed a sea change over several years. There are many under-construction and ready projects in the area, from reputed builders. Many sick industrial units have also given way to luxurious residential homes, making it a preferred choice for end-users as well investors.
Kala Suresh, a career consultant and resident of Chembur for the past 20 years, recalls the lush greenery of the area, which was known for the famous RK Studio. In the last ten years, the area has developed into a hub for commercial activity, as well, she says.
“The number of high-rises, has tripled in the last decade. Old chawls near the station are being redeveloped and bungalows are gradually disappearing from the area,” Suresh explains.
What makes Chembur a good choice?
This residential area is now witnessing an increase in population, owing to the development of transport infrastructure such as the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR), the Eastern Freeway, the monorail from Chembur to Wadala and the proposed elevated road from Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to Sion.
Sundeep Jagasia, managing director of Shree Krishna Developers, feels that “Major infrastructure projects and the Sion-Panvel highway, which connects the area to Navi Mumbai and the new proposed airport, have been the major drivers for making it a sought after location for flat buyers,” Jagasia elaborates.
A proposed 1.6-km flyover, from BKC to Chunabhatti, could reduce the time taken to commute between Chembur and BKC by almost 20 minutes. With all these projects, one can reach south Mumbai, BKC, the western suburbs or Vashi within 20-30 minutes.
Diipesh Bhagtani, executive director of Jaycee Homes, points out that location plays an important role in influencing a home buying decision. “Owing to budget restrictions, many buyers have moved out of the island city, to the eastern and western suburbs. Working professionals prefer to buy homes, in places that enjoy proximity to business districts and airports,” he says.
Many information technology companies have also set up their offices in Chembur, pushing the demand for residential and commercial projects. Property consultant Sanjiv Masand, is of the view that this location is one of the best places in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to invest in. From an industrial area to a residential zone, this suburb has seen a lot of transformation since the real estate market started picking up pace, he adds.
The social infrastructure is well-developed, with malls, restaurants, a golf course, hospitals, schools, etc. The Bombay Presidency Golf Club, Chembur Gymkhana, Acres Club and K-Star mall are located in the area. “Chembur, today, is one of the fastest growing residential micro-markets in Mumbai. The area is bestowed with good infrastructure and excellent connectivity,” points out Ashish Shah, COO of Radius Developers.
Due to Chembur’s proximity to the dumping ground at Deonar and the presence of many industrial units, the area has earned the tag of a ‘gas chamber’.
HK Clubwalla, a civic activist and resident of the area for 50 years, cautions that “The area falls under the category of a disaster-prone region. Despite this, the civic authorities continue to increase the FSI for the area and permit more construction.”
Old areas, where redevelopment is taking place, are likely to face parking issues as the roads are narrow. Drainage and water issues could also worsen, as the space that was formerly occupied by one bungalow with ten occupants, is being replaced by high-rises having more than 100 people.
Pricing and ROI
Chembur resident Sanjay Jain, booked his flat at a rate of Rs 8,000 per sq ft. “In three years, it has shot up to Rs 18,000 per sq ft and all flats in the complex, near the golf course, have been booked,” he says.
Prices for under-construction properties in the area, range from Rs 12,000 to 30,000 per sq ft.
Nevertheless, experts maintain that properties in Chembur offer one of the best returns on investment because of its central location and the relative ease with which one can travel to any part of Mumbai.