When Rakindo Developers, a joint venture between Rakeen, a company promoted by the Government of Ras-Al-Khaimah and the Trimex Group in India announced the launch of ‘Orchids', a gated-community, affordable housing project in Kovaipudur last January, the promoters got only a ‘lukewarm' response to their proposition.
Now, 18 months later, Rakindo's Chief Executive, Dr Prashant Koneru, says the company is ready to launch the second phase of Orchids.
“Initially, the selling proposition was tough. The project promoter was new and the visitors to the site perceived that it was quite far away from the city. This is history now. Today, with the first phase of the project nearing completion, we have people asking us if we have more such gated community residential blocks on the cards,” says Rakindo's Manager (Sales), Mr S. Syed Jamaludeen.
Located at a distance of around 13 km from the Coimbatore Railway Station with the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats towering in the background, and with the golf-themed integrated township – Kovai Hills, coming up on the other side of the road, the demand for housing in that area appears to have shot up.
The area earmarked for Orchids (Phase I and II) is 18.45 acres. The promoters floated 260 apartments and 75 row houses under the first phase of the project.
“Our launch price (Phase I) was Rs 1,600 per sq feet. But in the last 18 months, with the steep rise in the cost of steel, cement, sand and labour, we have also upped our price to Rs 2,000 per sq ft. This appreciation is applicable only for those investing in the houses left unsold, which is about 25 apartments and 29 row houses,” Dr Koneru said
Phase II though is expected to be costlier than Phase I, with the promoters mulling to price it between Rs 2,300 and Rs 2,450 per sq feet. ‘We opened the booking last month. Our plan is to go ahead with the construction of two and three bedroom apartments ranging from 951 sq feet to 1,236 sq feet and numbering 240 and 95 row houses in the second phase.
Row houses will have 1,600 sq ft of living space, a small patch of green at the front and approximately 400 sq ft of open space in the backyard of every home.
“We plan to introduce smart card security system and amenities such as a 12,000 sq ft club house including a swimming pool, gym, indoor games, banquet hall, crèche and convenient store. An outdoor basket ball court and tennis court are also in the offing,” Mr V. Suresh, Assistant Vice President (Sales and Marketing), said.
The developer has already commenced construction of 64 apartments under the second phase of Orchids. According to Dr Koneru, Rakindo would start handing over the apartments and row houses (under phase I) to the respective investors in the next couple of months.
On labour, he said ‘this has been our biggest challenge, with costs equalling Delhi labour at Rs 270-280/day. Even at this rate, getting reasonably skilled workmen has not been easy.”