Bangalore: India’s silicon city is growing taller. A planned 32-storey tower in Jalahalli, once completed, will surpass the 24-storey twin towers of Bearys Lakeside Habitat in Hebbal as the city’s tallest residential building.
The 344ft (105m)-tall structure is one of the three towers of the Aquila Heights project that will be launched April end by Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd on land earlier owned by state-owned watch and tractor maker HMT Ltd.
Designed by Singapore-based architects Ong and Ong Ltd, the Aquila Heights project is said to have retained 89% of the 6.3-acre project as open space. “The reason why we decided to go so tall is to make sure that we keep maximum ground space,” said a Tata Housing spokesperson from Mumbai. The project will be completed by 2010.
Bangalore has few tall buildings compared with larger metros such as Mumbai, which boasts of buildings that rise beyond 600ft. Local authorities, however, say the situation here is changing fast.
“Real estate development in Bangalore has mostly focused on horizontal villa projects rather than building tall towers. But now, many such tall projects are coming for approval and we are considering them primarily on the basis of the infrastructure provisions like water, roads in that area,” said A.V. Rangesh, town planner member of the Bangalore Development Authority, or BDA. Rangesh said there are a few more residential projects of more than 25 storeys each awaiting BDA’s approval.
Brigade Gateway, for example, is another upcoming high-rise project in Yeshwantpur with a 30-storey commercial building called North Star, which the Bangalore-based realtor Brigade Group says would be the tallest commercial building in the city once it is completed in 2009.
Currently, the tallest building in the country—the 100-storeyed APIIC Trade Tower—is being built by Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corp. in Hyderabad.
Some other high-rises being built in India include the stalled Shapoorji Pallonji twin tower project in south Mumbai, the 67-storey Oberoi Skyz project, which will have only 44 apartments, and the 57-storey Lodha Bellissimo in central Mumbai.
Till recently, the 24-storey Utility Building on Mahatma Gandhi Road was the tallest building in Bangalore.
Real estate consultants in the city say Aquila Heights should open to good response from buyers, for whom it would be a matter of pride to live in the tallest building in Bangalore.
Pranay Vakil, chairman of Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd, explained this trend as a graduation for Bangalore, which resembled a low-rise city such as Washington.
“With professional property managers coming in, builders will go for taller buildings because such projects require additional attention and specific care. Infrastructure issues such as power have also been a problem in Bangalore projects and taking a lift to the 30th floor was always considered to be a challenge.”