OMR, The Growth Corridor

Up until the turn of the century, the stretch of Old Mahabalipuram Road was an unending concrete jungle that held huge commercial promise but not many ventured to call that area home. Starting 2000 onwards, the city saw an increase in urban software professionals employed with some leading companies that are housed in the IT corridor or OMR. They saw value in the green surroundings close to their respective offices and started to invest there. They were happy then as homes close to work meant a shorter commute. They are happier now as their property values have appreciated manifold thanks to the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to further invest in the IT corridor along the OMR stretch.


“One might still hear enterprising locals boast about how he bought an acre at OMR for a few lakhs just over a decade ago and today the same plots are valued at about Rs 3­4 crore an acre,” according to Santhosh Patangay of global real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield. The average property prices at OMR have also shown steady appreciation rising 26% from Rs 3,000 per square foot in 2009 to Rs 6,000 per sq ft in 2015.


New sports hub

“Back in 2000, there was nothing here,” said Suresh Kumar, who owns a high end cycle store on OMR. “Then the IT corridor was announced in 2003 or 2004 and since then this area has seen phenomenal growth.” Kumar opened his store in 2009 and is now looking for a plot of land in OMR to build a bigger showroom. After all the government has planned a cycling corridor on which the Tamilnadu Cycling Club is advising the government in an informal capacity. That’s not all. A 1,500­acre sports hub stretching from OMR all the way to ECR was also announced in September 2014. “The sports city aims to be a leading development project with a distinct focus on sport and sporting excellence that will attract local, regional and international participants. An all­ compassing lifestyle of luxury, recreation, leisure, dynamism and enterprise, it will be a ‘vibrant township' under the empowering banner of sport,” the project proposal envisions.


Satellite Power

OMR’s surrounding areas such as Velachery and Thiruvanmiyur have developed into busy areas with several world­ class malls, restaurants, healthcare, residential projects, supermarkets and luxury hotels. “The prices in Velachery and Thiruvanmiyur, for both residential and commercial properties are pretty high today. In 2011, you could have picked up a flat in a high­ end project for Rs 4,000 per square foot. Today, thanks to the new malls and luxury projects, the sq ft prices are hovering around the Rs 10,000­mark,” said Patangay.



Along the OMR, from Thiruvanmiyur till the first check­post, the land as well as property prices are pretty high as several high profile builders have launched world class projects keeping in mind the several top IT companies that have their offices in the IT corridor. From Siruseri onwards the prices are more affordable but that won’t be the case for long as the Indian IT sector is growing pretty steadily at 12% per annum which means their workforce also keeps growing and more people will come to Chennai looking for houses in OMR. Even as the second phase of the IT corridor along Siruseri gets operational, the government has announced a Bus Rapid Transport System to be built along the OMR running through the IT corridor connecting the residential areas. Already several international hotel chains and local food giants have started operations here.



Transforming into a residential hotbed

With demand for a workforce in Chennai’s IT and financial hub set to grow manifold over the next 10 years, several builders have announced new residential projects. The announcement of residential projects has outnumbered commercial launches for the first time in a long while in the OMR area. Add to this the announcement of world class international schools and reputable local schools setting up branches in the area are making the area more and more family friendly.


Growth projected

According to a CRISIL report, capital values in Chennai’s real estate sector are estimated to grow at a compounded growth rate of 4%, from the beginning of 2015 until 2018, with the Sriperumbudur and OMR micro-markets leading the recovery. The estimated growth in value in the two micro-markets has been pegged at 7% and 5%, respectively, in the next three years.



The writer is an independent real estate consultant based in Chennai. He can be contacted at 

Tags : OMG, Growth Corridor, Radiance Realty

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