R.Y. Narayanan

Coimbatore, Feb 1

TO the people of Coimbatore, still in the process of getting used to living in apartments, it should come as a pleasant surprise that an apartment in the posh Race Course area could cost so much. But it is also a confirmation that the city, long touted as one of the most liveable cities in the country, has finally arrived and will sport an apartment complex that would rival the best in any big metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai in terms of features and amenities.

Presidium Constructions Coimbatore (P) Ltd (PCCL) is coming up with a 44-apartment complex in Race Course ranging in size from 2,400 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft on about 1.4 acres with the entire complex oozing luxury and with every conceivable convenience.

At Rs 3,500-4,000 per sq foot, the apartments would be priced between Rs 95 lakh and Rs 1.5 crore, making the project probably the most expensive in Coimbatore.

Speaking to

Business Line

, Mr Hari Khemchand, Director of PCCL, said that the price of Rs 2,000-2,200 per sq foot for an apartment might have looked to be costly.

But in the past one year, the cost of inputs like sand, steel, and bricks has substantially gone up and land prices have doubled or even trebled in the last one year in the city.

The builders were not making any great money by pricing the apartments high, he added.

It was the spiralling cost of land and the materials that has pushed up the cost of apartments in Coimbatore.

According to him, the Race Course project comes loaded with facilities like swimming pool with a fully covered top, air-conditioned multi-purpose auditorium, lounge, and lobby, separate lifts for servants and drivers, etc.

The apartments have been designed in such a way that there is ample sunlight and air. There would also be a full-fledged air-conditioned gym.

Asked whether there would be any takers for apartments at such a stiff price even with rich features, he said that he has sought to cater to the needs of the well-heeled whose families are expanding.

He said that Race Course provided the most sought after address in Coimbatore and he was confident of selling his project quickly.

The project is being launched on February 2 and is expected to be completed in 18 months. Once agreed, there would be no escalation in cost.

Asked whether his group conducted any market survey before venturing into the Race Course project, he said that no such survey was done. But the unwritten rule is that any good residential project on Race Course road would be a success.

He said that there is a client base for high-end apartment projects in the city; he expects 90 per cent of the buyers of this project to be second home buyers, many of them already residing in the same area. After Race Course, Avanashi Road could be a place for building high-end apartments, he added.

Referring to the increase in land prices, Mr Khemchand said that in Race Course area land is being quoted at Rs 15 lakh a cent from Rs 7 lakh last year. On Avanashi Road, beyond Bharathi colony, the cost has gone up from Rs 3-3.5 lakh a cent to Rs 8 lakh.

In Saibaba Colony, the land price has moved up from Rs 3.75 lakh a cent a year back to Rs 6.50 lakh now. In R.S. Puram, land is quoted at Rs 9 lakh a cent.

Mr Rajesh B. Lund, Partner, Srivari Property Developers, said that his group also had come up with high-end projects but the focus was on providing a large built-up area with good amenities.

His group has started construction for an apartment complex in Race Course area in the price range of Rs 55-65 lakh.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 2, 2006)
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