In Goa, builders move towards eco-friendly projects

PANAJI: With Goa’s attractiveness as an investment destination hitting an air pocket due to the lull in the real estate market, builders are grappling for new ideas to woo investors back.

With sun, surf and sand no longer good enough to attract discerning buyers, the industry is looking inwards, quite literally.

As land availability continues to shrink and prospective clients prefer to wait and watch, developers have now caught on to a new idea – projects targeted at those looking to live in Nature’s lap.

“Housing is going through a difficult phase, where builders cannot even think of a project getting stalled. People want green projects and builders are trying to be self-sustained so that after the project is complete, there is no pressure on the environment,” Goa president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai), Jagannath Prabhudessai, said.

Historically, real estate developers have focused on projects along the coastal belt to feed the investment demand. The realty sector is largely dependent on non-resident Indians and non-Goans seeking a holiday home or a quick return on investment and the market did its best to cater to this demand.

“There is a big movement of eco-living across the country. Through our project, we want to celebrate the best of Goa,” Uttam Dave of Atmanya Projects said.

To try and woo clients, real estate developers are ensuring that the residential projects come with green amenities. An effluent treatment plant, water recycling, smaller energy footprints and a significant tree cover are features that developers are boasting about. Now, with discerning customers keen on a home away from the hustle and bustle of the city, real estate developers are moving into the hinterland.

Atmanya Projects recently announced a niche project called ‘Amoravida’ that is spread over 1.26 acres at Dhargalim and comprises 15 tree house units along the Chapora waterfront.

If you thought that Dhargalim was far, think again. H H Infrastructure has come up with a unique proposition. Given that land prices are at a premium in Goa, the company has crossed the border and is developing a project at Dodamarg, surrounded by peaks, waterfalls and lush greenery.

Despite being situated well within Maharastra, the project is titled ‘Goa Greens’ to cash in on those people who want to invest in Goa. “There are many people who are looking to be close to nature, who are environment conscious. These are the basic attractions other than the amenities that we have on offer,” director of H H Infrastructure, Gagandeep Singh Sheoran, explained.

The focus on Goa’s north-eastern region is no coincidence. The incumbent government’s push for a greenfield international airport at Mopa has also served to fan real estate speculation in the region. Mopa international airport is just 20 minutes away from ‘Amoravida’, while ‘Goa Greens’ is barely 15km away from the upcoming airport.

“Many people want to encash on Mopa. Hardly 15-20% of the people are environmentally conscious. People may want nature, but they prefer affordability over nature,” chairman of Goa Association of Realtors, Amit Chopra, said.

“There is a clientele that is environment conscious, who want to be away from city life,” Chopra admits but as Dave puts it, “the market is not yet ready to pay a premium for green buildings.”

Credits ET Realty

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