That good old road

That good old road
Quite predictably, after the shift of the airport to Devanahalli, the Airport Road has now been rechristened Old Airport Road. The stretch begins a little past Trinity Circle and Victoria Road and goes up to the HAL Airport. With time and the proliferation of realty spaces in the area, the stretch beginning at the airport and going up to the Marathahalli Outer Ring Road has become a popular residential area.

Considering the extent of development in the region, it would not be surprising to assume that Old Airport Road is highly saturated. However, Vikas Malpani, co-founder, CommonFloor.com and head, CF Groups, begs to differ. “We can term the area a ‘mature’ market. Among several localities falling along this important road, some have upcoming projects while others are important from resale or rental perspective.

Whatever may be the case, localities along this stretch are actively transacted and properties here are fetching healthy returns. Many old residences are being constructed into huge apartments or small apartment projects. Due to lack of land parcels, projects with lesser number of units are being launched,” he says.

Suresh Hari, secretary of CREDAI, Bengaluru, believes that there’s a lot going for the area. “This area has developed into a well-connected one with all essential infrastructure in place. Going further, the scope will be more of residential and compact commercial spaces. The availability of essential infrastructure like hospitals, schools, shopping centres, offices, recreational centres and eateries is great. Access and proximity to the IT belt of Whitefield works to the area’s benefit,” he explains.

Throwing light on some of the current realty prices in Old Airport Road, Suresh says that a two-BHK mid-range apartment can cost anywhere between Rs 12,000-14,000 per sq ft, while a two-BHK mid-range apartment for rent can cost you Rs 15,000-20,000 per month. The approximate per sq ft rental space for a commercial establishment is Rs 30-50 per sq ft.

Om Ahuja, CEO, residential, Brigade Enterprises Ltd, adds, “Commercial leasing activity being at its height for the City this year, Bengaluru will set records and overtake Mumbai and Delhi in commercial leasing space. More commercial leasing activity means more jobs and that further fuels demand for housing. This makes the zone very attractive for capital
appreciation.”

Om also feels that Bengaluru may witness capital values doubling in the next five to seven years and says that this zone has highest probability for doubling capital values in three to five years.Old Airport Road has diverse units when it comes to commercial establishments. Some of the hospitals it houses are Manipal Hospital and HAL Hospital. Educational institutions within easy access include HAL Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, New Horizon Public School and Sri M Visvesvaraya First Grade College.

The area is also home to some of the well-known star hotels like The Leela, Royal Orchid, The Paul and Novotel. For shopping lovers, too, there are plenty of options in the vicinity - Kemp Fort Mall, Lido Shopping Mall and so on.Popular reasonsVikas lays down the reasons for the popularity of Old Airport Road:

Good connectivity is the foremost reason for the area’s popularity. Old Airport Road connects Central Bengaluru to the urban fringes outside the Outer Ring Road (ORR) joining with Varthur Road and major IT hubs such as Whitefield, ITPL, Brookefield along with residential zones such as Varthur and Kundalahalli. Further, intersecting 100 ft. Road at Indira Nagar, it facilitates connectivity to Indiranagar and Koramangala.

Public transportation is not a problem here. One can easily commute from Old Airport to other parts of the city by regular BMTC buses or even the AC ones, with the availability of multiple bus stops along the stretch. Further, autos also ply in this area continuously.

A mention needs to be made of the robust social and physical infrastructure – from schools and hospitals to shopping centres and fine dining places, everything is just a stone’s throw away - something which has helped it score positive on the realty graph of Bengaluru.

It also enjoys proximity to several central government offices such as ISRO, NAL, HAL, among others, along with many IT and e-commerce companies at EGL, Diamond District, to name a few.“The connectivity is great from several directions, be it Old Madras Road, both ends of the ORR as well as to Whitefield and the CBD area. Being dominated by a
military presence, there are several green pockets that continue to thrive here as well,” says Mythili G Nirvan, an entrepreneur, who has been living in the area since 1995.
She says that the area has always had great realty potential and even today makes for a good investment. That explains why she has made investments in both, residential and commercial space in the area.

The flip side

With the extent of development in the area, Old Airport Road has earned for itself the distinction of being among the worst stretches in Bengaluru as far as traffic is concerned. There is hope that the metro connectivity when completed, will reduce the pressure on the streets here.
Also, since the area is densely populated, there is dearth of walking spaces. Crossing the road is a herculean task due to lack of footpaths and overbridges. Improper garbage dumping at various points is another issue, which has led to many breeding grounds for insects and poses a threat to the health of the residents.”

With a concerted effort by the civic authorities and residents alike, these are all issues that can be resolved.

Some upcoming residential projects

Pavani Ishta - Pavani Group
Sobha Concordia - Sobha Limited
Prestige Leela Residences - Prestige Group 
Citadil Sharath Paradise - Citadil Construction
Club Nest Lake View - Club Nest
Skanda Raaga - Skanda Buildtech Pvt. Ltd.
Indira Emotive - Indira Developers

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