Powai – Today’s Upmarket Residential Neighbourhood

Whenever we think about Powai, all comes to our mind now-a-days is big open spaces, greener areas, good quality of life, best architectural point of view, awesome night-life, exotic shopping experience and so on. But if we look into history powai was not the one we are looking today, the name powai was derived by the word Poumw, a corrupted form of Pauma, which means Padma in Sanskrit. This is because the Padmavati Devi temple, situated at the bank of Powai lake which is now inside IIT Bombay, dates back to 10th century AD according to the archaeological survey of India. Powai lake is the man-made lake built by the British government in order to supply water to Mumbai region. But it came to light that the water in powai lake is polluted and unfit for drinking. Thus the water supply shifted to Vihar lake which suited the more viable option at that time.

Powai - Real Estate hub of Markets

In 1943 Powai was comprised of five villages: Saki, Kopri, Tirandaz, Powai and Paspauli. In late 1950’s a portion of Powai was given to government of India to set up IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Bombay. It is said that the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, himself visited the owner of this property to motivate him to give this land on lease free of cost for this purpose. Simultaneously, a young engineer from Denmark, Søren Kristian Toubro had obtained a major contract in Mumbai. As a result, vast tracts of land were leased to him to set up what would become Larsen & Toubro. Powai’s modernisation started with a construction business in 1975 under the flagship of GHP Corporation. Prashant Apartment was the first modern building to come up in Powai, followed by the 13-floor Bhawani Tower. After 1985, the Hiranandani builders obtained permission from the government to convert this agricultural land to residential complex. They went on to purchase vast tracts of land between the Vikhroli hill & Powai lake and set up the present day township. Today, the prevalence of amenities such as shopping malls, hospitals, schools and educational institutions like the IIT and NITIE, entertainment hubs, banks and other financial institutions have all contributed to Powai.

Thus, Powai is an upmarket residential neighbourhood located in the north-east Mumbai. It is situated on the banks of Powai Lake, and is bound by the hills of Vikhroli Parksite to the south-east, Chandivali to the south-west, the L.B.S. Marg (old Mumbai-Agra road) to the north-east and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park to the north beyond the lake. The Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares linking the western and eastern suburbs, passes through Powai. Powai is served by Mumbai’s only airport, located 5 km away; and by the Vikhroli and Kanjur Marg railway stations on the Central line.The Sakinaka Metro station is 2.5 km away.

Powai has grown prolifically and exponentially in recent years to become one of Mumbai’s most upmarket commercial and residential hubs.

One of the hallmarks of Mumbai’s real-estate market is the way it keeps growing, enveloping areas further and further away as its fringes continue to expand.
And while most vibrant new markets are scores of kilometres away, some are also right here in its older suburbs.

They’re called micro-markets and they’re typically places that had been bypassed by realty development until growing demand, lack of space and new infrastructure combined to make them hot property for residential projects, commercial projects or both.

Micro markets range from broader areas like neighbourhoods to smaller sections of the city. Subdivisions, areas taken from the grey areas between neighbourhoods, and localized slices of a city or region’s overall housing market with their own defining features.Even though each city or region can be called a “market” with its own distinct trends and viability.

Trends & Effects

Trends in micro markets affect the macro market as a whole. But events in the economy of the city affect micro markets even more. A growing neighbourhood could lose hundreds of jobs with layoffs at a large employer. In the same way, the city’s work to gain a big company can lift home prices in neighbourhoods that had been stagnant.Property values can rise – or fall – based on the selling price of homes in the area. Business closures, school ratings, and increased access to major roads all affect micro markets and those who live in them.
For example:
A good realtor, whether they’re working for the buyer or seller, can do wonders to use micro markets to your advantage. Here’s how that would work

If you’re selling your home or an office space, your agent should be able to accurately price it. They won’t just look at overall trends. They’ll go in-depth to understand your home’s or office space’s context within a narrowly-focused area of just a few blocks. That leads to buyers who understand your home’s value or office space’s value– right where it is. And they’re more likely to make an offer that’s favourable to you.

Buyers benefit from agents who understand micro markets in much the same way. When the right realtor is helping you buy a home or an office space, they’ll help you steer clear of homes and office spaces that are overpriced. On the other hand, if a home or office space is under-priced, they can tell you – and find out the reason. And they’ll be much more qualified to help you find the area of town that’s best suited for you.

In Mumbai, the past years have seen such micro-markets boom in Powai.
Powai has steadily transformed into one of the largest real estate hubs in Mumbai and has witnessed skyrocketing development over the years.

Type of Powai markets

Residential market
The Hiranandani Gardens residential township has been a landmark development for this zone and several other realty biggies are following suit. Premium projects here include L&T Emerald Isles Phase IIand many others.
Big-ticket projects like Kalpataru Woods Ville, SPRE Vicinia, Hiranandani Developers Zen and Hiranandani Developers Castle Rock. Hiranandani is owning in total 47 projects, Nahar group is owning 7 and L & T realty is owning 6 projects.
Commercial market
Powai has witnessed rapid growth over the last few years towards becoming one of the largest IT and ITeS hubs in Mumbai.
The offices of several commercial institutions, such as Sanofi, Amazon, FIS, TCS, Credit Suisse, Prudential plc, Jardine Loyd Thompson, JP Morgan, Nomura, CRISIL, Deloitte, and Bayer are the major commercial places. Larsen & Toubro, one of India’s oldest multinational conglomerates, has a manufacturing plant at Powai.
Employment is provided by all these companies and some have offices set up, some of them are as follows:
• Deloitte
• Crisil
• Bayer
• Larsen and Toubro (L&T) India
Educational market
Powai provides its residents with all kinds of social amenities to live a happy and peaceful life. Various schools in Powai include Gopal Sharma Memorial School, Chandrabhan Sharma Junior College, Pawar Public School and many others.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, established in 1958 and currently the second oldest campus of the Indian Institutes of Technology as well as the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, established in 1963 are both located here,as is a campus of the Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai. Powai is also home to residential complexes of the Income Tax department, Customs and NTPC, as well as those of ex-servicemen. Powai houses schools and colleges, some of which are S M Shetty School and college, Gopal Sharma School and college. Chandivali has SinhgadCollege of management. The Japanese School of Mumbai is located in the neighbourhood.
Start-up market in Powai
Powai is also Mumbai’s start-up hub, with young entrepreneurs starting off from incubation cells set up by institutes like IIT Bombayfrom the tech industry, and other sectors setting their bases here, causing the area to be referred to as India’s Powai Valley.Some of the start-ups in Powai Valley include JustRide, Housing, Tiny Owl, Toppr, HolaChef, Bewakoof, Logic Roots, Care24, Fly robe, Near fox, Belita, CredR, Mirchi and Mime, and Crispy Games.
Some of the start-ups are just running fine while some are not able to survive due to multiple reasons.

Bollywood market in Powai
The place has a vibrant night-life, and shoots for several Bollywood as well as Hollywood movies, such as Kalyug, Ghajini, Slumdog Millionaire, Mardaani, and HaseenaMaanJaayegi have taken place there. The Hiranandani Gardens are also known for their neo classical architecturalstyle, and the area has some of the tallest residential buildings in suburban Mumbai.
Luxury hotels and restaurants
There are around 153 restaurants, a movie theatre, and 11 bars.
The following are some major good restaurants:
• Mirchi and Mime
• Hitchki
• #Hashtag by H & A
• Love &Cheezecake
• Olive Achaar
• Madeira & Mime
• SodaBottleOpenerWala
• The Finch
• The Fatty Bao
• Breeze

The following are the few of Luxury hotels:
• Meluha-The Fern
• Ramada Powai hotel
• Rodas-An Ecotel Hotel
• The Beatle

Open spaces
Powai is well known for its open spaced architecture. It serves as a key aspect to add grace to Powai rather than city’s congested places.
• Forest parks
• M.C.G.M Nirvana park
• Heritage garden
• Hiranandani garden park
Shopping hubs in Powai& Mega stores
The few of the Shopping malls are as follows:
• Heera panna shopping centre
• Powai plaza
• Hyko
• Galleria mall
Social Amenities& Hospitals
The major hospitals in Powai include Ramani Health Care Centre, Wellness Forever, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Care & Cure Maternity & Nursing Home and Ageless Medica. Apart from these, it also provides recreational amenities and proximity to various banks and ATMs.
The locality also provides its residents with many luxurious shopping centres such as D-Mart, Galleria and R-City Mall.

Rental Market in Powai
Powai in Mumbai recorded a 6.3 per cent QoQ(Quarter on Quarter) surge in rentals. Occupiers from diverse sectors, such as engineering, manufacturing, logistics and flexible workspace operators, were active in taking up space in 2018. Due to limited availability in existing stock, as suggested by the three per cent vacancy at the end of Q2 2018, rental values in this micro-market are witnessing an increasing trend.
Office space leasing has risen 12.6 million sq. ft. on the back of rising demand, a 10 percentage sequential rise in the second quarter ending June 2018. Rising demand coupled with shrinking vacancies in Grade A and premium Grade A office spaces led to a 2.8-11 percent quarter on quarter rental rise in micro markets in Powai.
As a result office rental values have recorded an increase in most of the preferred micro markets across cities, Powai being the main micro market.
Demand from technology and finance sectors is expected to remain consistent while flexible workspaces is likely to gain prominence across cities.
It is expected 3 percent to 5 percent year on year increase in average rents over the next three years. Additionally, premium buildings in strategic locations should contribute to the bulk of these rent increases.

Reasons for investing in Powai

A well-developed locality of Mumbai, Powai is bordered by LBS Marg (which is the old Mumbai-Agra Road) in the north-east, Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the North, hills of Vikhroli Park site in the south-east and Chandivali in the south-west. It houses some of the major companies’ offices. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is located in Powai. Renowned builders like Nahar Group, Rajesh Life Spaces, Ekta Group, Shrisyhi Group and Hiranandani Group, have been investing in this locality for years now.
The locality is well linked to various developed areas of Maharashtra and a number of hotels, schools, banks and hospitals via an excellent network of railways and roadways. The locality is witnessing an increase in population in recent years, owing to its proximity to various employment hubs.
Considering the increase in property prices in Powai and the obvious rise in demand, the locality is sure to be a good investment in the future. The presence of business offices in and around the locality, is making Powai a coveted working, as well as residential destination of Mumbai.
Over the last decade, Powai has largely become self-contained, and residents who work here say they seldom travel to other parts of the city. Most of the neighbourhood is clutter-free and presents a pretty picture with Greco-Roman buildings, clean boulevards, a lakefront and hills in the background. A number of cafes and pubs have opened up, including Singapore-based Harry’s, the first for the chain in Mumbai. The presence of well-known developers like Hiranandani, Raheja and Godrej and schools, including Bombay Scottish, is encouraging for young professionals looking to move in with families.The steady growth of social infrastructure and the strategic location make Powai one of the biggest residential hotspots in Mumbai at present. The area’s predominance as a startup and technology hub and the beautiful Powai Lake have been drawing professionals and families in large numbers over the years. Powai offers immense potential for future appreciation on account of its skyrocketing commercial growth.
There are, however, some challenges which Powai faces in its bid to become this successful start-up hub. Nagging traffic jams add a lot of travel time in the peak hours. Also, the lack of its own local railway station and the distance to other important junctions of the city, mean that accessibility to and fro remains a concern. Some of these problems are expected to be solved now that the metro train system is completed. Another issue is that rents are steadily climbing and could slip out of the reach of younger professionals soon. It could become difficult to retain employees, who have to pay rickshaws for travelling from the railway station to Powai daily unless there are more affordable housing options locally.
The winds of change have started blowing in small ways, though. Sand Hill Counsel, which is the legal advisor for many start-ups in the region, recently shifted from Worli to Chandivali near Powai, to be closer to clients. Mumbai is the financial capital, but it has been losing ground to other cities because it’s not affordable. Powai provides entrepreneurs a viable option to stay put. Powai has comprised of mixed community people. There can be seen people belonging to all communities living harmoniously. This communal harmony had made the people of powai to enjoy all the festivals enthusiastically and with whole heartedness. The kids in Powai which are the future are well learning the meaning of unity in diversity.

Key points about Powai

• The Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road passes through this locality and thereby connects it with the western and eastern suburbs
• The micro market is located in close proximity to the Eastern Express Highway and Lal Bahadur Marg which connects major suburbs like Mulund, Kurla, Ghatkopar, and Chembur
• Small roads and lanes like Chandivali Farm Road, Saki Vihar Road, Veer Savarkar Marg, Pipe Line Road and Turbhe Road provide good intra connectivity
• The micro market is surrounded by important localities like Bhandup West, Andheri East, Goregaon East, Mulund West, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli East
• The locality is connected by BEST bus service, auto rickshaws, taxis and share autos
• Powai is served by trains from the nearest railway stations like Kanjur Marg station and Vikhroli station
• Mumbai International Airport is just 7.5 km from the locality and it can be accessed in less than 20 minutes using the Saki Vihar Road
• Alpha and Saki Naka metro stations on Ghatkopar-Versova line are the nearest metro stations and are 4 km and 5 km away from the area respectively
• The locality has reputed educational institutions like Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, and Bombay Scottish School.
• The locality has a rich hospitality sector with star hotels, serviced apartments and restaurants
• The locality has a good nightlife with the presence of a number of pubs, lounges and bars
• The area has a number of theatres, multiplexes, and parks. Places for activities like go karting, paintball, zorbing, and bowling are also available.
• The locality has good healthcare facilities. The famous Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital is located here
• The micro market is a posh residential locality and is one of the attractive real estate hubs with demand coming in from upper middle class and high net worth individuals (HNIs)
• The micro market has seen launches only in the luxury segment
• The locality is one of the best rental destinations in Mumbai
• Business and commercial establishments are present in and around the area
• The micro market is facing heavy traffic during peak hours
• The Powai Lake which was once supplying drinking water is highly polluted with industrial sewage. The BMC has proposed to clean the lake and rejuvenate it
• Kanjurmarg has been recommended for setting up a car depot. There are possibilities for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro corridor now getting extended right up to Kanjurmarg with stations in between, including one at IIT, Powai.

Powai could possibly become the next silicon valley.

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