Quintessential English village to city’s IT hub

Admin June 09, 2015, 02:43 PM Whitefield
the original ‘village green' with the village pond The Past

Whitefield's history goes back to 1882, when David Emmanuel Starkenburgh White decided to set up a self sufficient Anglo-Indian village. White, himself an Anglo-Indian was founder and first president of the Anglo-Indian Association of Madras and instrumental in setting up the Coorg and Mysore branch. This branch petitioned the Government on behalf of the Association for Land, and was granted nearly 4,000 acres of it by the Maharaja of Mysore. White's vision was that the settlers would take to agriculture and gradually develop into a community of self-sustaining farmers.

As of 1889 the settlement had 25 families of which 6 were non-resident, numbered 115 people in total. There were 12 cottages built on the village site and 14 farmhouses built on the surrounding lands. It also mentions a Roman Catholic Chapel and parsonage, a Protestant Church and parsonage under construction, a school with 31 pupils with residence for the Head-master and wife.

The central area of Whitefield was the original ‘village green' with the village pond to one side which later was filled up in the early 2000's and replaced with a concrete ornamental fountain. Between Kaolin Hill – which still survives as part of the Roman Catholic Church property housing the Stations of the Cross and Hamilton Hill- that has been levelled now, was previously home for Joy Factory and now, to Prestige White Meadows, ITPB*(known as ITPL formerly) route was non-existent, petrol cost - only 60 paise. In a little more than one hundred years, a self-sufficient village of Whitefield has transformed into an up-market suburb of Bangalore.

The Pickup

Development is inevitable especially in a locality like Whitefield with its present day desirable tag, but Whitefield in 1973 was semi-rural. In the transition state from village to IT hub, Whitefield went to be the home for various industries like Joy Icecream Factory, CONCOR – a large inland container depot, Graphite India among others. Later, ITPB* was conceptualized in 1992 as a government-to-government bilateral initiative by erstwhile Prime Ministers of Singapore and India, Mr. Goh Chok Tong and Mr. PV Narasimha Rao, respectively.

OOpened in 1998, it was the first IT Park in India and was developed in Joint Venture with State Government’s wing called KIADB*. ITPB played a pioneering role in the growth of IT Parks in India, and the development of Whitefield as a leading Information Technology hub of India.

Today, ITPB* is virtually a self-contained city spread over a sprawling 28-hectare estate. The Park integrates office, retail, residential, hospitality and recreational facilities. Further, the development of the ITPB* catalyzed IT development in this micro-market. Set amidst a refreshing and aesthetically appealing lush landscape, EPIP* provided the initial thrust to this location. EPIP was another key driver for the area’s growth. In 1994, KIADB acquired 500 acres of land to promote export related industries. This initiative was catalyzed economic development in the region.

Due to availability of ample good quality office space at relatively lower rentals companies preferred to set up base in Whitefield. On contrary, ITPB* was still on the high-end rental side, reason being, ITPB was the first International standardized Grade-A infrastructure facility that was started in India. As a result, the social infrastructure also developed simultaneously and the residential segment took off thereafter.

The Acceleration

Whitefield suburb is in a rectangular area with Varthur Road, ITPL road, Chennai rail line and NH-207 forming the four sides. In early 2000’s there were only two roads that connect Whitefield with Bangalore. Besides Airport-Varthur Road, it was K R Puram-ITPL Road, and they were about 7-8 km apart. These two links did not suffice as there were close-to-completion residential and business complexes coming to life one after another. There are two railway stations nearby, KR Puram and Whitefield, but neither was good enough back then to make trips to the City railway station.

When the 2007 ‘IT’ fever started in Bangalore, Marathahalli Bridge came into being. To add on to the easy accessibility to this location, the ORR* from Silk Board to Hebbal has made the commute between the north and the east quick, smooth and seamless. The widening and up-gradation of the road from Marathahalli right up to Whitefield has helped commuters travel towards Whitefield easily. Infrastructure development on Old Madras Road and flyover over the railway crossing has made it easy for commuters heading towards Kolar. The Metro line up to Byappanahalli enables easy access to the CBD*.

Whitefield hosts a number of malls as an aid towards the recreational facility which not only attracts customers from within the immediate catchment and the nearby areas but also from central and south Bangalore. In addition to the malls it also hosts reputed International schools, F&B and hospitals. The presence of good social infrastructure helps in rapid development of physical infrastructure and top-quality educational institutions in the vicinity, making Whitefield a highly desirable location in all aspects for both property investors and end-users. All-in-all Whitefield residents have a self-sufficient suburbia for themselves. Unlike the old days, we need not commute all the way back to the city to enjoy a good meal or a drink. In fact, with exceeding good quality F&B sprouting in Whitefield, people from other parts of Bangalore are visiting often.

The Residential Spread

TThe magnetic power of this location has attracted major developers to enter this region and provide the market with quality housing across all verticals. This region is dominated by Apartment, followed by Villa, Plotted and Row house developments respectively in terms of number of units.

Micro Markets – Options in its size ranges and ticket sizes

WWhitefield as a region has 58.19 Mn sq. ft. of total apartment development in the beginning of 2015. Considering the total supply of Apartment, Villa development is just following it with a total supply of 2.06 Mn sq. ft. Whitefield region has a total supply of 1.5 Mn sq. ft. of Plots and 8.6 Mn sq. ft. of Row Houses as of 2015.

The most famous localities of Whitefield where most of the apartment development has taken place are:

  • Gunjur
  • EPIP Zone
  • Hoodi
  • Kadugodi
  • Kannamangala
  • Hopefarm
  • Borewell Road
  • Brookefield
  • Varthur Road

Gunjur offers largest expanse of residential development in Whitefield. It holds total supply of 82,44,345 sq. ft.. This sub-locality of Whitefield has options ranging from 1 BHK homes which costs as low as INR 19.2 lakhs to the larger 4 BHK homes costing a minimum of INR 74.3 lakhs. In-demand units in the area are 2 & 3 BHK homes costing a minimum of INR 20 lakhs and INR 37.7 lakhs respectively.

EPIP Zone has an inventory of 46,70,430 sq. ft.. as of Jan 2015. Ticket price for 2, 3 & 4 BHK are INR 44 lakhs, INR 102 lakhs and INR 203 lakhs respectively.

Hoodi offers apartments ranging from 1 to 4 BHK. The Ticket price to own a 1 BHK apartment here is INR 25 lakhs, whereas to own bigger homes of 2, 3 & 4 BHK here costs INR 38 lakhs, INR 50.3 lakhs and INR 120.5 lakhs respectively.

Kadugodi offers apartments ranging from 2 to 4 BHK and has an total inventory of 36,18,374 sq. ft.. Ticket price for 2, 3 & 4 BHK are INR 33lakhs, INR 44 lakhs and INR 95 lakhs respectively.

Kannamangala holds inventory level of 33,48,745 sq. ft.; whereas ticket prices for 2 and 3 BHK are INR 45 lakhs and INR 62 lakhs respectively.

Hopefarm has inventory of 30,62,232 sq. ft.. Ticket price for 2, 3 & 4 BHK is INR 43 lakhs, INR 54 lakhs and INR 142 lakhs respectively.

Borewell Road has a total inventory of 22,08,358 sq. ft.. The ticket price to own 2 & 3 BHK is INR 30 lakhs and INR 31 lakhs respectively.

Brookfield holds inventory of 20,57,027 sq. ft.. Ticket price for 2, 3 & 4 BHK is INR 39 lakhs, INR 82 lakhs and INR 137 lakhs respectively.

Varthur Road has an inventory of 23,40,631 sq. ft.. as of Jan 2015. The ticket prices to own 2, 3, 4 and 5 BHK is INR 47 lakhs, INR 57 lakhs, INR 113 lakhs and INR 127 lakhs respectively.

TThe smallest average sizes of 1 to 4 BHK homes are found in the Gunjur area which is 608 sq. ft. to 2,350 sq. ft. respectively. As per the supply in the Whitefield region, the 2 and 3 BHK homes are dominating over the other sizes. The most economical sub-locality in the Whitefield region is the Hagadur Main Road which sells 2 BHK at a minimum ticket price of INR 19.3 lakhs for a size of 1,140 sq. ft. and 3 BHK at a minimum rate of INR 24.6 lakhs for a size of 1,450 sq. ft..

Siddapura has the largest size range of residential development ranging from a minimum of 1,130 sq. ft. to a maximum of 4,200 sq. ft.. Siddapura not only offers the largest size of residential development in this region but is also one of the highest priced localities selling at an average price of INR 7,000 per sq. ft.. A 2 BHK costs INR 74 lakhs and INR 97.7 lakhs for 3 BHK. A 4 BHK apartment here costs nothing less than INR 275 lakhs.

An observable increase in the average price per sq. ft. has been noticed from the year 2012-2014 which was the period of highest appreciation in the value. Due to various factors hindering the real estate sector, a fall in the average price has been noticed in the year 2015 to strike a balance between demand and supply. Currently the average capital value in this region stands at INR 3,885 per sq. ft..

The Milestone

With 700 industries, IT parks, malls, international schools and residential spaces jostling for space in this corridor, increased pollution and rush-hour traffic are areas for concern. However, the 8-lane PRR* linking Hosur road with Tumkur road via KR Puram, Bellary road, Old Madras road and Sarjapur road will be instrumental in easing the situation considerably. Further extension of the Metro up to Whitefield in Phase II will give a boost to development in this region and lead to the advent of new residential areas.

This region is progressively developing into a stand-alone entity with adequate social infrastructure and more coming up rapidly. Whitefield being one of the most desirable Real Estate destination alters the potentialities of its branches to grow and bloom for now and the future to come. In the meantime, the relentless rush for properties in Whitefield continues unabated, ensuring its viability as one of Bangalore's hottest real estate investment destinations for some time to come.

Acronyms

  • EPIP: Export Promotion Industrial Park
  • KIADB: Karnataka Industrial & Areas Development Board
  • CBD: Central Business District
  • ITPB: International Technology Park, Bangalore
  • ORR: Outer Ring Road
  • PRR: Planned Peripheral Ring Road


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