A slice of colonial, green Bengaluru

Last Updated 27 August 2015, 18:34 IST

A curious mix of the old and the new, Frazer Town is colonial and modern at the same time. Given its healthy real estate growth and proximity to the City centre, the demand is expected to grow in time, writes Bindu Gopal Rao

Characterised by its rich colonial heritage, visible in many of its bungalows and ancestral homes, Frazer Town was established in the pre-independence era. Also known as Pulikeshinagar by the BBMP, Frazer Town is located just four km away from the Central Business District (CBD) and has witnessed most of its real estate activity in traditional retail and residential developments.

However, as Bengaluru grew and expanded as a city, Frazer Town’s residential market saw the development of many independent houses. “By the wake of the new millennium, it began to see the arrival of a few apartment projects. However, the limited availability of land for development in this location restricts large volume of new real estate development activity. That said, the prospects for real estate activity in few new projects and secondary sales in old projects will continue to be healthy, given Frazer Town’s proximity to the CBD. Commercial real estate activity, especially retail, will also continue strong,” explains Trivita Roy, associate director, research and real estate intelligence service, JLL India.

What works

With sprawling greenery and ancestral structures adorning its skylines, Frazer Town is predominantly residential in character, interspersed with commercial and retail spaces. “Its central location makes it well-connected to other parts of City, with the MG Road metro station and Bengaluru East railway station located in a five-km radius of the area. Prominent retail main streets like Brigade Road and Commercial Street are also easily accessible,” avers Naveen Nandwani, executive director, Cushman and Wakefield. One can also see many independent homes being redeveloped into multi-storied apartments. If one is looking to purchase a two or three BHK apartment, the price can range from Rs 85 lakh to a couple of crores. “The capital values in the locality have been more or less stable over the last one year with a maximum of three per cent appreciation,” he adds.

According to Reddy Sreedhar Thanikonda, team lead, CloverMark Finance and Analytics, Frazer Town’s accessibility to the airport also works in its favour. “It is well connected to the airport via Hennur Main Road from Mosque Road. Also, on an average a return of 10 to 14 per cent year-on-year is expected in this area, with the resale value of a home starting at Rs 5,500 per sq ft,’ he says.

As it is located near the City centre, Frazer Town has easy access to major schools and medical facilities too.

The flipside

Scarcity of land for development, non-availability of large plots and narrow roads make the area congested. “As most of the ancestral homes are still owned by their families, land pockets are not easily available for development. However, with the growing demand, we expect the area to warm up for more real estate activities and see some projects in the future,” says Pratik Mehta, MD, Unishire group of Companies.

As Frazer Town is an old locality, its roads are not wide enough for high-rise buildings to come up. As a result, many of the buildings that are being constructed are restricted to medium-rise structures. Also, many of the roads here are one-way. As a result, navigating through the locality becomes difficult. This is augmented by the limited availability of parking spaces, making the area really congested.

“Due to limited space availability, landscaping and amenities like plush clubhouse, swimming pools, jogging tracks are not possible. Hence, development that will take place will be limited to structural buildings,” agrees Pratik.

As far as the prices are concerned, the rates in Frazer Town range between Rs 6,500 to Rs 8,500 per sq ft for mid-segment properties, while projects in the high-end segments may range anywhere from Rs 14,000 per sq ft onwards, reveals Naveen.

Dhruv Agarwala, CEO, PropTiger.com believes that Frazer Town’s realty prospects aren’t all that good. “The project launches have reduced by 70 per cent in the last two years. The total sales have come down by 37 per cent that has subsequently led to appreciated property prices,” elaborates Dhruv.

Despite all these problems that Frazer Town faces, it still holds a charm and personality that’s hard to find in any of the new realty hotspots with its plush surroundings and wide roads. Ask any of the old-timers in the area and you’ll realise why they simply won’t budge from this place they call home.

(Published 27 August 2015, 16:35 IST)

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