Great Living Engineered
Until 5-7 years ago, if you were driving down to Pune via Pune-Nagar Road, you may or may not have registered passing Wagholi, a small village on the outskirts of Pune, only known for its Shiva temple and bustling market on either side of the road. How times change! Take the same road today and you just can’t miss being spellbound by the place.
The temple and market are still around, but they are not what catch your attention. Giant billboards on either side of the road scream about high rise residential towers, international schools and multispecialty hospitals. You see numerous roads and lanes leading to complexes by reputed developers. Wagholi has now become an extension of Pune city. What has brought about this rapid change? In this article, we try to answer this intriguing question.
The IT and industrial revolution
The city of Pune and the Information Technology (IT) industry share a symbiotic relationship, with the growth of one influencing the development of the other. In the last decade, eastern Pune saw a number of IT parks being set up in areas such as Magarpatta City, Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar and Kharadi. Attracted by lower rentals and incentives, a number of major IT firms such as Amdocs, Tech Mahindra, PTC and Tieto as well as IT units of major banks such as Barclays and Standard Chartered opened in these areas.
The areas in immediate proximity of these hubs benefitted with increasing housing demand, but within a short while, this demand had pushed up prices sharply. Wagholi, located within a 12 km radius from these places, proved attractive to developers and home buyers with vast land areas available at affordable rates.
Another segment driving housing demand in Wagholi is the people, working in nearby industrial hubs such as Hadapsar and the Chakan-Talegaon-Shikrapur road. MIDC Ranjangaon, among the major industrial zones in Maharashtra, which houses multinational firms such as Fiat, LG, Whirlpool and Bombay Dyeing, is located 40 km further down Nagar Road and Wagholi is an excellent and convenient residential option for executives in these companies.
Well-connected to the city
Most residential projects in Wagholi have come up either around the Pune-Nagar Road or the Wagholi-Lohegaon Road. The former road is six-laned and directly connects Wagholi to major Pune localities such as Kharadi, Viman Nagar, Yerwada and Koregaon Park, while the latter links Wagholi directly to Pune Airport (11 km away).
The Kharadi-Hadapsar road between Nagar Road and the Pune-Solapur highway links Wagholi to Magarpatta, Eon IT Park, Hadapsar and the shopping district of MG Road. Regular public transport buses ply from Wagholi to Pune Railway Station (14 km away), from where one can connect to other city areas. 6-seater auto rickshaws convey people from Wagholi to various destinations along Nagar Road.
Plans for future developments hold out even more promise. The Pune Ring Road project is expected to touch Wagholi, while an elevated flyover will directly connect Wagholi to Shikrapur. Construction of a direct road linking Wagholi to Kharadi is almost complete, with a proposed riverside road from Kharadi to Sangamwadi expected to reduce traffic congestion and travel time to the city.
One drawback of the IT revolution in eastern Pune was how it led to sharp appreciation in property prices in the immediate vicinity of the IT hubs, putting areas such as Viman Nagar and Kharadi out of reach for most categories of home buyers. For such buyers, Wagholi has been a godsend.
Apartment prices in Wagholi range from Rs. 3500 – 4600 / square foot (Source: Knight Frank India Real Estate Report, 2016), which is almost half that of the aforementioned areas. In addition, as Wagholi comes under a Gram Panchayat area, charges for registration, title deeds etc. are far lower than in city areas. These factors make living in Wagholi far more affordable compared to its surrounding areas.
One can get a 1 BHK apartment in Wagholi for a starting amount of around Rs. 30 lakh, with corresponding rate for a 2 BHK as Rs. 50 lakh and 3 BHK apartment being Rs. 70 lakh.
An issue, which arises from Wagholi being outside corporation limits, is the lack of regular water supply to homes in this area. Some reputed developers, having major projects here, have taken the initiative and have adopted various means such as drawing water from nearby rivers to address this issue and alleviate this pain point for residents.
An education hub
The housing boom in Wagholi has attracted many big players in the education space, catering to both school and higher education for your kids. Of particular note is the sheer amount of international schools, which aim to provide a holistic educational experience, combining academics with top class sports facilities. The prominent schools in and around Wagholi include the Lexicon International School, Sanskriti School, Vikhe Patil Memorial School, Podar International School (all affiliated to CBSE) and Jyotirmay International School (affiliated to IGCSE).
Wagholi has also seen a number of engineering colleges come up, which are affiliated to the prestigious University of Pune. These include Dhole Patil College, JSPM Imperial College, Moze College and GH Raisoni College. The prestigious Symbiosis University has a campus in nearby Viman Nagar and attracts students from across the country to its management, law and liberal arts courses.
Recreational and social amenities
When it comes to recreational and social amenities, residents of Wagholi can truly have their cake and eat it too. They benefit from amenities in Wagholi, as well as the established neighbouring areas of Kharadi, Viman Nagar and Kalyani Nagar.
Malls such as Phoenix Market City and Inorbit Mall (both 8 km away) in Viman Nagar, Amanora Town Centre and Seasons Mall (both 11 km away) and Reliance Mart shopping complex (7 km away) in Kharadi fulfill both the daily necessities and high end shopping needs of Wagholi residents. Wagholi itself boasts of Pune’s largest dedicated sports mall Decathlon, a one-stop shop for all sports enthusiasts. For thrill seekers, Diamond Water Park and Adventure Park in Lohegaon is a good option.
Residents can choose from among Kolte Hospital, Lifeline Specialty Hospital and Imax Multispecialty Hospital in Wagholi for their medical needs. In addition, there are also Rakshak Hospital (6 km) and Columbia Asia Hospital (8.5 km) in Kharadi.
Wagholi’s neighbourhood abound in hotels such as Radisson Blu in Kharadi, Four Points by Sheraton and Parc Estique in Viman Nagar and Hyatt Regency and Novotel in Ramwadi. Restaurants such as Chokhi Dhani, Coriander Leaf and Marathi Tadka in Wagholi are popoular with residents and visitors alike.
Property rates for a multistory apartment in Wagholi have risen significantly in recent times from an average of Rs. 2600/ square foot in Q4 2010 to around Rs. 4200/square foot today. This aspect has attracted many investors from Pune and other cities such as Mumbai, Ahmadnagar and Aurangabad.
With improvements in road infrastructure and more social utilities on the horizon, investing in Wagholi real estate offers the prospect of good returns both now and in the future.
For any person interested in residing or investing in a home in eastern Pune, Wagholi offers a package that is compelling, inviting and promising. This promise has seen massive development of this area and if the ongoing and upcoming projects are any indication, the property market here will remain buoyant. Recognising this trend several smaller developers and larger developer of Pune viz Panchsheel, Guardian, Rohan, Kolte Patil, Marvel amongst others have expansion plans here.