Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra).
Pune’s real estate sector has many growth locations, but few today are as prominently on the radar of developers and property buyers as Baner.
This area began its climb to fame as one of the city’s last outposts of scenic environs. It went on to become one of Pune’s most coveted residential destination by the city’s software and IT-enabled services professionals.
By this yardstick and by all measures, Baner is an oustanding real estate success story. This article by Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra), outlines how it got there.
Baner is located in the north-west quadrant of Pune, which also encompasses Aundh and Balewadi. Today, it is known as a high-growth location in terms of real estate development with demand for housing coming primarily form the IT/ITES industry.
However, while Baner has been on the Pune real estate scanner for quite a while, it was first known mostly for its natural splendour. Its backdrop of gently undulating hills and verdant greenery were sufficient to embellish it with the name ‘Queen of the suburbs’.
Today, it has become known as one of the most desirable to Pune’s residential real estate locations.
Baner Real Estate’s ‘System Upgrade’
Baner has come into force mainly because of the rapid evolution of the Knowledge corridor concept. The Government of Maharashtra, not slow in recognizing Pune’s unique potential, developed this innovative infrastructure concept in order to catalyse the synergetic economic relationship between Pune and Mumbai.
Among other things, the Knowledge Corridor initiative gave rise to the six-lane, dual-carriage Mumbai-Pune expressway, which was the first of its kind in India. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway was fortified with optic fibre cable links along its entire expanse and thereby linked the major IT parks of these two cities.
Thanks to its proximity to the Hinjewadi IT Park, Baner immediately benefited from this and became the most definitive location in Pune for IT infrastructure, housing, transport and power provision. Additionally, it is connected to Bangalore – India’s Silicon Valley – by the Pune-Bangalore Highway.
Aundh, which was one of the first areas to come up in terms of residential property demand because of the Hinjewadi IT Park, soon reached saturation point in terms of development potential. Baner, which has now become the penultimate residential destination for Pune’s IT/ITES-centric home buyers, began to see rapid development in terms of overall lifestyle quotient.
Thanks to its proximity to some of the city’s best education institutes, shopping and recreation outlets and healthcare facilities at Aundh, Pune University and Balewadi, this location is a natural choice for employees of the Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park at Hinjewadi. This massive information technology nexus, currently spread across approximately 1500 acres, is being developed in four phases and has emerged as one of Pune’s primary white-collar employment generators ever since its launch.
In fact, this IT Park is a success story in its own right and has single-handedly boosted Pune’s profile on the national and global business map. The first phase, covering 198 acres, enjoys 100% occupancy, with companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Persistent, Cognizant, Tata Technology, Geometrics, KPIT and the Blueridge Township / SEZ in place.
Phase 2 covers 470 acres and stands at 80% occupancy with names like Infosys, Wipro, the DLF SEZ, the Embassy SEZ and the International Biotech Park on the credits roll. Phase 3 is a 985-acre spread which stands at 60% occupancy with companies like Tech Mahindra, Microsoft, Hexaware, KPIT and the Acendas SEZ.
The upcoming 1100-acre phase 4 is poised to be a comparable chapter of commercial real estate triumph. The effect it has had on the type of demand for residential spaces in the adjoining areas – in terms of configurations, amenities and facilities – is a text-book case of an avant-garde industry and its accompanying culture dictating the shape and form of a market.
An Evolved Homebuyer Profile
Proximity to such giants would in spell success in any location, but Baner is itself now home to a number of important InfoTech companies, ensuring that the IT employment market there has come into even sharper focus. Because of the IT-orientation and the often significant salary packages attached to it, Baner is also home to some of Pune’s most selective home buyers.
For this reason, the residential projects that work best at Baner are those that feature excellent construction incorporating sustainable features and smart-home facilities. The software generation is directly wired into the latest global housing trends, and awareness about the benefits of green construction is generally high.
Short on time and high on tech-savvy, home buyers from this segment also prefer properties that incorporate smart security and lifestyle features. They prefer two and three bedroom apartment configurations which must often include sufficient parking for two cars. This definitely sets them apart from the norm, and residential projects in Baner must necessarily cater to this evolved demand.