28 February 2020

Realty Biz

Pune’s infrastructure is not in line with the housing demand


Rohit Gera is the Managing Director of Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd. Gera, a double major in Building Construction and Project Management and Economics from the University of Massachusetts, has over a decade’s experience in real estate development and is focused on the long term growth initiatives of the company. He is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the various departments of the company as well as for the planning and execution of new projects. Gera is a member of the Managing Committee of Promoters and Builders Association of Poona (PBAP) since 1999. The Pune based developer responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries.

Which is the segment of the market your firm is targeting?


Gera Developments largely caters to the value luxury segment with great emphasis on design and innovations. Whether it is commercial or residential, our projects stand for thoughtful design and high quality and thus we command a premium over the average market.


Could you tell us about some of the residential and commercial projects launched in 2013 - and what are the new geographies you are looking to tap?


During 2013 Gera Developments launched 2 projects – one each in Pune and Goa. The first was Gera’s Isle Royale which is a high rise apartment cum super luxury villas project. Close to all that Pune has to offer, yet away from the grind of daily life, Gera’s Isle Royale is a world unto its own with lush green forests surrounding the property and serene hills that create a picture perfect setting. The property has an 8500 sq ft pool that is enclosed between the villas. We have incorporated top of the line technology into the project’s offerings – all the homes are WiFi enabled and most of the essential features there are controlled with an iPad. Other world class features include private elevators, fully air conditioned residences, top end security features like guard monitoring systems, intrusion sensors with hooters and drinking water in all taps in the house to name a few. 


The other was a commercial project in Goa called Gera’s Imperium Green - a next generation green building of Goa located in Mala, in Panjim. This is Goa’s first commercial property that is powered by Greentelligence and utilises numerous green parameters of an eco-friendly building. Gera’s Imperium Green will be equipped with its own separate water and sewage treatment plant as well as use fixtures that will reduce its water requirement from Panjim city by up to 75 per cent.The parking norms of the city require the building to have 64 parking spaces.  As against this, the building will provide 128 per cent of the requirement with 82 spaces. The objective is to ensure that the occupants use the 64 basement spaces, while visitors have adequate off street parking, thereby reducing congestion on the streets.


Gera’s Imperium Green will be a successor to the existing Imperium I and II located at Patto Plaza and will have 58 office spaces, exclusively designed for customers looking at sophisticated and streamlined work environments for their office or business. The building’s elegant facade, its strategic location with street facing shop spaces, coupled with the excellent civic infrastructure and great connectivity makes it the perfect business and professional destination in Goa.


As far as new geographies are concerned we have plans to foray into the Bangalore real estate market in the near future.


How do you envision the city’s growth as a realty market in the future?


The Pune real estate market has shown tremendous resilience in the face of headwinds from both supply and demand. On the supply side, the first six months saw an increase in the total market supply by nearly 21 per cent. 2013 saw the largest increase in supply and an inherent demand was also demonstrated. While the launches of new projects have continued unabated over the course of the year, the demand has seen a slight drop on account of the negative sentiments, inflation and economic slowdown. The outcome of supply being up and demand showing a marginal decline has led to a multiplier effect to the sales numbers of the developer community. However, despite this, the prices across most micro markets have been trending upward through the year. This indicates that there is clearly a demand and developers are overall comfortable with their inventory thereby, being able to retain pricing with an upward bias. In spite of poor sentiments and comparison to Mumbai, Pune real estate customers continued to buy homes. Though the numbers were less it was not reduced to an extent which caused price correction. In my view 2014 will see a continuation in the demand for housing.


What are the main challenges facing the industry?


The real estate sector like most other sectors is plagued by red tapism, bureaucratic interferences and delayed approvals all of which mean increased costs and delayed time lines. I believe that the next 12 months have more risks than the last few years on account of the impending national elections as well as the macro-economic situation. Further, the current macro-economic situation does not seem to leave any room for policies leading to a reduction in the interest rates. I also expect the cost structure for developers to be negatively impacted on account of the Real Estate Regulation Bill that has been recently tabled in the Rajya Sabha. The bill will lead to a price rise – this is the fallout of the populist move by the Government to regulate developers, and the effect of price rises for the home buyer can be considered collateral damage. At a more local level, the infrastructure in Pune is not in line with the housing demand. The local development bodies should invest more in creating the infrastructure that is required to support the housing stock being generated. We need to ensure a balanced development in the city which will help reduce the pressure on civic infrastructure. A major loss for just not the local but national market has been the lack of implementation and application of the various laws and reforms like the Real Estate Bill and EWS Plan. u




Gera Developments, one of the pioneers of the real estate business in Pune are recognised as the creators of premium residential and commercial projects. Gera Developments ventured into the Goa real estate business in 2004 with its first commercial building in downtown Panjim. Some of Gera Developments’ landmark projects in Pune are Gera’s GreensVille, SkyVillas, Gera’s Emerald City, Gera’s Astoria and Gera’s Imperium amongst others. Gera Developments prides itself on providing long term enjoyment to customers and innovation being a hallmark of the company’s projects. There are many ‘firsts’ that stand to Gera Developments’ credit such as a 5-year warranty on real estate consisting of Preventive Maintenance and Repairs; First time in India, India’s first ChildCentricTM project; insurance of buildings for 3 years (prepaid); Pune’s first intelligent building, Gera Legend; separate guest suite facility within the project, Gera Riverside; and the first shopping mall in Pune, Gera Plaza.

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