The taste of home buyers is evolving gradually; no wonder developers all over India are finding it difficult to meet the rising expectations of the ambitious home buyers. However, many developers have found an answer to these growing demands and woes of buyers by offering them theme based homes. Typically, theme based homes are a value addition as well as a style statement and hence, are considered by the uber-wealthy in the urban settings.
In today's scenario, developers are engaging with highly informed and evolved consumers, who are not only willing to pay for the extra benefit of convenience, but are also open to experimentation in their living spaces. In such times, innovation is the key to remain ahead in the race and the realtors know it too well. An idea can very well pave the path for an entire project and become its USP. Themed project is one such idea that is doing the rounds in the realty sector.With increased exposure to international concepts and designs, the consumers are looking for an extra factor in their living spaces. As mindsets change, home-buyers are no longer impressed simply by facilities such as club-houses, swimming pools or health clubs; their lifestyle aspirations now go far beyond. Buyers often want homes with an international look and feel; residences that help them unwind at the end of long stressful days, and which have that extra edge in the project that provides a little lift to the status.
Sports cities townships conceived and executed on a sports-centric theme and lifestyle concept are a unique emerging real estate trend in the country. This model has yet to generate a national hold, however. Though there are a few sports cities planned in Kolkata and Pune, the trend in general seems to be catching up mostly on the Delhi NCR real estate market.
Homestead India, which builds only sports-based branded homes, has a Michael Schumacher World Towerunder construction and a Ballet by Maria Sharapova which is in early stages of development. Ballet by Maria Sharapova is a luxurious 5 acre 42-storied tower which will have a signature tennis academy and couture boutique which will bring world class tennis infrastructure to our country. Michael Schumacher World Tower has 110 limited edition lifestyle suites. The engineering is conceptualized by the London based international practice Upton Hansen Architects (UHA) and being developed by Shapoorji Pallonji. The tower has an observatory deck that offers panoramic view of the skyline of Gurgaon and a museum featuring an exclusive collection of Schumacher's memorabilia, so as to let the residents take a walk down the memory lane and explore the journey of the legend. Manoj Srivastava, COO, Homestead, said: "We are now in talks with an international golfer for a 5-acre project with a vertical golf course with 18 holes revolving around the tower. For this, the company is looking for land in Gurgaon or Bangalore." Indications are that the golfer could be Tiger Woods.
Gaursons India, have created an 18-acre multi-sports complex and have tied up with Saina Nehwal (badminton player), Madan Lal (cricketer), and Yuki Bhambri (tennis player), apart from roping in foreign coaches for football. Supertech is setting up a boxing academy with an over 1 lakh sq ft built-up area in consultation with Olympic medalist Mary Kom. It will be completed by the year-end. The company is also working on a township, called Sports Republik, in Greater Noida. In these sectors, the more notable projects based on the sports city theme would include Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida and the 200 acre township by Logix in Noida.
With end-users looking for value for their money and displaying an increasing tendency to evaluate various parameters like price, project location, developer track record, available amenities, etc before investing, it remains to be seen whether sports cities will prove to have an edge over other residential formats in the near-to-medium term.