Landscaping times

Landscaping times

Landscaping times

The extent of green space within an apartment complex is the deciding factor for most  home buyers, writes Prashanth G N

Most new apartment complexes in the city promise a green sector within the complexes to make up for the green spaces that may be the privilege of individual houses alone.

But now, so much greenery is offered in the plans that people don’t have to worry about asking developers whether there’s adequate space for the same.

The going space ratio is 80-20 — 80 per cent greenery and landscaping and 20 per cent housing. This ratio may vary with many developers going in for a 70-30 ratio if the demand for housing is high. Most developers say that consumers ask for space to walk, exercise, relax and breathe in good air apart from a good apartment itself. 

For instance, the Shapoorji-Pallonji project in West Bangalore is offering 80 percent greenery and landscape in the Binny Mills area in a 40 acre parcel. Projects in Hebbal, Kanakapura, Whitefield and Sarjapur too offer a high amount of landscaping. Projects by Mantri developers, Brigade, Purvankara and many other realty houses have this feature.

Green cover

Residents experience a surge of relief when the landscaping is high. Not only is it pleasant to look at, there is also clean air circulation compared to the lobbies and spaces between apartments, which can get suffocating. Residents look at the plan for greenery and are satisfied only when they see adequate provision made for it.

They also understand that the project will be of high value so as to be re-saleable in future. Buyers would look for a classy exterior in apartment projects because they can be showcased to other buyers if it comes to selling the apartment.

Developers who travel abroad have a good sense and taste for flowers in particular and look for such varieties in Bangalore, or at least flowers that are similar to the ones abroad. A flower line would dramatically alter the visual appeal of the housing block, connecting instantly with consumers. 

A similar connect is established even in the kind of lamps chosen for landscaping. An optimum amount of light on the lawns lends a green sheen and infuses a meditative feeling. The lamps from old London are very popular in projects in Mumbai and Bangalore, being pieces of artwork themselves.

The choices made for the aesthetic appeal of a housing complex would be by an expert in architecture who would conceptualise the green spaces. The developer takes a decision on the landscaping based on consumer inputs. Differences between the architect and the developer are ironed-out before the final plan is decided on the extent of land to be given out for greenery.

Most landscaping can happen only in projects where the land parcel is high. It is very difficult now to get parcels of 40, 50 and 60 acres within the city though there are developers who have managed to get the same. Once these spaces are developed, huge land parcels won’t be available within the city boundaries. 

Bangalore has a number of properties at city limits, especially areas like Kanakapura and Sarjapur in Bangalore South. In West Bangalore, the Brigade Group has executed one of the largest office, commercial and residential projects — the World Trade Centre and the mega residential space right next to the WTC and the Orion mall, one of the biggest malls in the city. 

A large parcel of land was going a waste, but the Brigade Group with permission from the government converted the open land into a mini stadium, having tracks to run and walk, tennis and badminton courts and a lot of open space to relax.

Such a public space is unimaginable in the current land scene in Bangalore, because all developers look to have concrete structures on them. But this particular move in the Malleswaram-Yeshwantpur junction gives the picture of life in the West, where people are obsessed with green and open spaces.

A costly affair

Projects that have less space typically focus on car parking and a drive-way because there is no extra space for constructing the green cover. These would have the drive-way for cars to come out of the apartment complexes and a wall all around for security.

This model of apartment blocks is widespread taking care of the housing needs of the middle class, while a higher income-endowed section of people go in for the high-end models.

Providing greenery is one thing, maintaining it is another. Maintenance means higher cost year after year, and so the expenses incurred on this would be reflected in the monthly maintenance fee the residents have to pay.

The maintenance fee varies in the context of apartments from Rs 1,500-2,000 a month to about Rs 20,000 a month and more. The more the maintenance fee you can pay, the better the apartment and the green, open spaces.

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