Bottom Line: Be it Marina One or any other property, Kochi Marine Drive is a tempting proposition for NRIs and HNIs looking for property along coastal lines in Kochi.
“An NRI client from Mumbai once told me that sea facing property in the city is so damn expensive that even he can’t afford it. It seems all the properties in and around Juhu or Worli are meant for born rich and celebrities and not for those professionals who come up in life after years of hard work on an international assignment,” Manohar Nambiar, a property broker from Mumbai shares his experience.
Nambiar has now shifted his base to Kochi and dealing with a number of NRI clients who wish to have a coastal property. Thankfully, none of these clients have the kind of predicament that he used to find among the NRIs of Mumbai where the sea facing property would command the base price of INR 40 crore onwards.
Today, he is selling properties of a number of leading developers in the most upmarket coastal zone of Kochi, Marine Drive. The coastal properties in this part of the world are in the range of INR 3-5 crore. This is something that most of the well-to-do Keralites and those returning from the Gulf and other parts of the globe can afford.
Kochi Marine Drive fact file
The face of Kochi Marine Drive has changed in the last over a decade
With luxury properties in the range of INR 3 crore onwards, Kochi Marine Drive is a top pick among the coastal properties
Most of the NRIs from Kerala are investing in Marine Drive
The luxury apartments do not reflect Kerala’s trademark hip roofs of clay tiles
Marine Drive walkway that starts from the High Court Junction and continues until the Rajendra Maidan is a top pick among the tourists
There are several boat jetties along the walkway of Kochi Marine Drive
Marine Drive is a picturesque promenade in Kochi that is facing the backwaters. It is one of the most popular hang out for the residents of the city as well as tourists due to the magnificent view of the backwaters and Kochi Harbor. The walkway is perfect to enjoy a relaxing stroll at any time of the day and hence a property on this stretch is high on the wish list.
Old timers in the city remind that until the 1980s, the Shanmugham Road was the literal Marine Drive with the Kochi Lake and the adjoining Arabian Sea to its west. In the 1980s GCDA (Greater Cochin Development Authority) started the Kochi Marine Drive project on the lines of Mumbai Marine Drive and hence after the face of the present Marine Drive(from Shanmungham Road to the present Marine Walkway) was changed.
Kochi Marine Drive is today most sought after property destination in the city. However, the land prices and the property rates here are not artificially inflated and that makes the destination even more attractive. The Marine Drive stretches from the Jankar Jetty in the north to the Ernakulam Boat Jetty in the south.
Though a coastal area, Kochi’s Marine Drive is not a secluded locality nestled in the lap of nature. As a matter of fact, a number of food joints and malls have come up which make it the de factoshopping destination. There are several boat jetties and the International Boat Jetty Complex along the way.
The market value of land around Marine Drive is as costly as INR 75-85 lakh for each cent (435.6 square feet). The land availability is, however, a tough challenge here since more than a dozen builders have occupied the land parcels and launched projects. The apartment in this area costs around INR 10,000 per square feet onwards.
The prices, though highest from Kerala’s standpoint appear to be modest for those who are exposed to luxury coastal housing in other major cities of India. However, Ashish R Puravankara, Managing Director of Puravankara Limited finds a rational behind this when says, “Just look at the salaries of professionals in Kochi. They are nowhere near the salaries of a top notch professional in Mumbai.”
Kochi Marine Drive has changed so much in the last over a decade that anyone having visited the locality a decade back would not recognize the place. This is one upmarket area of Kochi where even the building designs are not reflective of Kerala’s trademark hip roofs of clay tiles. The modern futuristic buildings are coming up with flat concrete, glass and steel, instead of wood.
It is a game of luxury property now along the Marine Drive of Kerala. However, it is not a game for any developer. As a matter of fact, some of the largest developers in the last six to seven years have also tasted failures over here. Having said that, the new developments in this market are quite attractive in terms of pricing, offerings, value proposition and overall livability quotient.