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Wadala: The New BKC

ET Spotlight|
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2019, 01.41 PM IST
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Wadala village lay on one of the seven islands of Bombay that together form the contemporary Mumbai. It was formulated in order to alleviate the congestion in Mumbai with 85,000 people housing this area. Over the years, the micro-market of Wadala has undergone a significant transformation.

Earlier it was home to Mumbai’s industrial belt with several factories and mills. It was planned to be an inter-state bus and truck terminus. But with its strategic location, plans for well-developed social infrastructure and enhanced connectivity, the locality has started to grab maximum eyeballs.

Is Wadala the latest business hub in Mumbai?
Wadala is located between South Mumbai and the suburbs. It is MMRDA’s (Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority) answer to the saturation levels of the city’s existing commercial districts like Andheri, Nariman Point, Ballard Estate and BKC.

Wadala is quickly developing as a commercial hub due to its proximity to the eastern freeway, eastern express highway, the monorail, and the upcoming metro-4 corridor. Another feather in Wadala’s infrastructural boom is MMRDA’s plan to transform its monorail depot into Mumbai’s first walk-to-work hub, as part of its transit-oriented development plan. It is a planning strategy that endeavours to concentrate jobs, housing, and services around public transport stations.

Wadala’s proximity to BKC has spurred several infrastructural developments and plans. For instance, the BKC-Sion connector provides motorists direct access to BKC via the Eastern Express Highway, which cuts down the travel time to less than 10 minutes, from the earlier 30 minutes.

Talking about the key benefits of this project from the corporate aspect, Mr Gautam Saraf, Managing Director, Mumbai Cushman & Wakefield, said, “The opening of Bandra Kurla Complex Flyover will improve connectivity and reduce commute time for many, who come to BKC for work. This will surely give a big boost to office and residential markets in the region. Mumbai’s growing work force is mostly living in Wadala, Chembur, Sewri, which will connect well with the BKC-EEH Bridge. It will also connect BKC to South Mumbai. This corridor provides a great expansion option to BKC office, now that BKC office building are running short on new supply and no further land plots area available for new developments. Large and ready developments such as Lodha Excelus will certainly see a rise in demand – especially as they have been blessed by large money investments from Tata and international partners.”

What does Wadala’s enhancing connectivity mean for the real estate market?
Infrastructure projects have spelt positive implications for Mumbai’s housing market. In the last 10 years, Wadala has risen as a residential market. Its urbanization has been balanced with green spaces like Five Gardens, Mancherji Joshi, Karve Garden and Bhakti Park Garden to establish a sense of community. Further adding to this growing community is the rise of recreational and entertainment spaces that close the loop. It is also home to the world’s former largest dome theatre.

Wadala found acceptance with work-goers. But the newest entrants to this bustling district are corporate leaders. Lodha’s New Cuffe Parade development allows them to finally reside in the centre of the city. The properties are strategically located to be well-connected to corporate offices, with easy access to everything from the top class schools and colleges, to parks and playgrounds. The homes spell an evolved standard of living. They are experienced and go beyond the conventional residential way of life.

Getting around Mumbai in the nick of time- The biggest benefit!
The most important attraction, for most corporates running the 24x7 jobs, has to the time management. New Cuffe Parade, not only allows you to chop the commute time to business hubs like BKC, Nariman Point, etc significantly, but is also close to the newest corporate attractions in Wadala. The close proximity to various business attractions, combined with the world-class interiors and designs not only aids the leaders to stay on top of their corporate game but significantly helps them to finally find the work-life balance they deserve.

Mr Karan Singh Sodi, Regional Managing Director Mumbai, JLL, spoke about the opportunities for residential buildings that have been opened, and said, “BKC can now draw a bigger workforce from the Eastern suburbs, along the EEH and the Eastern Freeway - especially Wadala, Chembur and Sewri, which are in the near vicinity. BKC is now just 10-20 minutes away by road from these localities. The residential developments on this corridor are modern, good quality and relatively affordable, and hence have been attracting middle and upper middle white collared talent. Going forward, we also expect the ready supply in this area to move up in pricing, post the opening of the BKC-Sion connector.”

Wadala is no longer a place that gets the big up only because of its proximity to civic amenities. It has offered a lifestyle shift to the city’s aspiring home-buyers with premium high-rise properties that feature all the amenities one could ever wish for. MMRDA’s infrastructural initiatives have certainly given a new lease of life to this area, which was once only looked upon as just some part of Central Bombay. But now it is poised to be a smart futuristic business district of Mumbai, in toe with BKC.

(This article is generated and published by ET Spotlight team. You can get in touch with them on etspotlight@timesinternet.in)
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