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Monday, March 8, 2010

Aditya Shagun Developers' Green Zone at Baner, Pune: Review

Remembering Nikhil Rane of Vanshaj Rane Group:

Last time when i was here, on the other side of Baner - Sus Village-Hinjewadi side of Mumbai Pune Bangalore Expressway, the location looked promising.

At that point, i was visiting the location of Vanshaj InSignia at Baner - Sus, a group housing project of IT professionals working in Hinjewadi.

Now, after the death of Nikhil Rane, builder of InSignia_Pune Housing Group, everything is looking dull and sad. For example, Green Zone - Nature's Nest Baner, i am visiting today.

Investing in Pune real estate market:

This weekend, i received a SMS from Aditya Shagun Developers. SMS claimed that "Never before in Baner! 2 BHK Flat in just 30.5 lakhs*!!" and invited me "to explore new dimensions of my dream home in Green Zone Baner"

Because, i was busy exploring Ambegaon village, witnessing the launch of Amit Enterprises' luxurious affordable housing project Astonia Royale, i couldn't visit "Nature's Nest" a.k.a. "Green Zone Baner".

But i visited www.greenzonepune.com and enjoyed their photo gallery. For a while, I lost myself in an illusion which you, property buyers, buy as a promise and congratulate yourself for investing in Pune real estate market!

To Enlarge Clik Image

Visit to Green Zone Baner Pune:

Ultimately, i decided to make a fresh start and visit Aditya Shagun Developers' Green Zone, along with Rohan Builders' Rohan Leher, Bhandari Associates' Nea Pure Homes and Multicon Developers' Pinewood at Baner Pune. Neighbors of Late Vanshaj InSignia.

It was really a fresh start! Lots of things have changed! When Rohan Leher was launched in the first week of April 2008, location of Rohan Builders' "Well Ventilated Homes" was near "Balewadi Stadium at Baner"! Now, Aditya Shagun Developers' Green Zone Baner is near Pashankar Auto. I took their word and got down at Pashankar Auto to thank Kunal Sancheti Associates, developers' of Venezia Baner, for creating a new landmark in Pune real estate market. Pashankar Auto!

Pashankar Auto:

Kunal Sncheti Associates' Venezia Baner:

"Ravi, good for you, walk a kilometer!," I told myself and started walking on the service road, reminding myself not to look at Yash Orchid on my left! However, i couldn't avoid looking at "In Door" furniture shop on my left, or "Ready Possession Flats Available" banner on "The West Wing" and couldn't stop wondering whether Multicon Developers have started giving possessions in "Periwinkle", on the other side of Expressway!

In Door Exclusive Furniture:

West Wing Baner Pune:

Multicon Developers' Periwinkle Baner Pune:

View Aditya Shagun Developers' Green Zone Baner Pune in a larger map

Keeping Rohan Leher to my left, when i reached the junction, i noticed, a few, new direction boards. Swojas Associates' Solitaire, Karan Group's Sara, and even Rachana Associates' Beverly Hills; the residential real estate projects which are on the other side of the expressway, near Pancard Club on Baner road, have put their direction boards at this junction. For a few minutes, i admired the demonstration of the importance of infrastructure development in marketing real estate. I was very sure that Anand, salesperson at Green Zone, was going to talk about this tunnel which connects both sides of Baner.

To Green Zone, Rohan Leher, Pinewood, Nea:

To Pancard Club Baner Pune:

Green Zone Baner:
An island of tranquility and green abundance (!):

Now, after paying tribute to Late Nikhil Rane, as i told you earlier, I was ready "to make a fresh start!", i was curious to visit "Nature's Nest"!! Now, i had gathered enough courage to visit "an island of tranquility and green abundance", Green Zone Baner by Aditya Shagun Developers!

On my way to Green Zone, i noticed a couple of things.
1) Green Zone and Rohan Leher, you can say, share the common compound wall.
2) The road which divides Green Zone is actually the original entrance of Rohan Leher
3) Construction of two levels of parking of all 4 buildings of Green Zone has already started.

Rohan Leher and Green Zone, Baner, Pune:

2 Pieces of Green Zone Baner Pune:

Old entrance of Rohan Leher: Divides Green Zone into 2 Pieces:

Shape and Size of the plot of land:

Though i had gathered enough courage, i had to stop at the entrance of Green Zone. I wondered about your ideas. Do you give any importance to the size and the shape of the plot while booking a flat? Do you think that the size and the shape of the plot makes your flat good or bad to live in?

I know that one shape of a plot is considered good and is called "Gomukhi"! Because the shape looks like the face of cow, an holy animal. (This reminds me that, I drink Chitale Bandhu's 'Cow Milk' everyday but haven't seen a cow in years! Have you?) Now, because of Vastu, some give importance to the direction of the entrance, like the entrance of your flat. But, i am not talking about the "beliefs". I am talking about the architectural design and the comfort of living.

I don't like flats in projects constructed on a long strip like plot, called Patta or Patti in Marathi. For example, Cost Rica and Palash+ at Wakad. However, Nandan Inspera at Wakad demonstrates that creative architect and an experienced builder can offer a better plan and overcome the limitations imposed by the shape and size of the plot. What say you?

Coming back to Green Zone...i realized that i may not have been so disappointed by the location, by the shape & size of their plot and the building layout, if Aditya Shagun Developers had been more sensible in their presentation.

I may have felt proud to be a poor neighbor of Rohan Leher. I may have been more considerate about wall like or chawl type 3 connected buildings, E, F & G buildings, of Green Zone. I wouldn't mind so much about 2 existing pieces and would have been curious about 1 upcoming piece of A, B & C buildings of Green Zone. Because, the reality is actually not that bad!

Thanks to Rohan Leher, now, because of you, property buyers have accepted this location. Thanks to Rachana Associates' Beverly Hills, now, when i see from here, I feel like i am in Baner. Thanks to Kirloskar Brothers, because of your corporate office in this part of Baner, one can imagine that, in the near future, this area may look like an urban neighborhood.

Rohan Leher and Green Zone, Baner, Pune:

Kirloskar Brothers' Corporate Office, Baner, Pune:

Rachan Associates' Beverly Hills, Near Pancard Club, Baner:

Green Zone - 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flats in Baner:

Making sure that i am no more in a criticizing mood; but in a completely positive, receptive frame of mind, i decided to enter the site office of Green Zone and meet Anand Kulkarni (91 98226 07584), salesperson at the site. When i was in Pune real estate advertising, for many years, Aditya Builders was my client and have seen how middle class, (in those days there was no lower middle class like today,) home buyers used to trust them and buy their utility oriented flats. "Ravi, be ready to see some functional floor plans garnished with some attractive feature, like a "garden view" from every room of a flat in Aditya Garden City at Warje,", i told myself and entered.

Site office of Green Zone, Baner, Pune:

Looking at the site office, i realized that, Aditya Shagun Developers must be considering Green Zone as one of their small and simple projects. Site office is small. There is no sample flat - mock up flat. Haven't seen a launch ad of Green Zone in the newspaper. Do they think that a SMS is enough to sell this project? So, i decided to start from this point and told Anand that i am here because of the SMS.

Location of Green Zone Baner, Pune:

"Yes, we are sending SMS. People are visiting. We are giving proper time to every site visitor," said Anand.
"Anand, you know that i am not a property buyer. I talk and write about Pune real estate," i said.
"Yes, I know,"said Anand.
"Good, so let us come to the point. Please, tell me what's great about Green Zone," i asked.
"Location and the property rates of Green Zone!," said Anand.
"Is it so? Is it a good location?," i asked him.
"It's Baner! Isn't it?," Anand asked me.
Yes, Aditya Shagun must be sure that Pune property buyers consider this area as "Baner", i thought, otherwise they would have called it "Baner West", like Comfort Zone in Balewadi! They claim that it's located at "Baner Road, West Aundh"!
"Green Zone is not too far from the Expressway. This location is near Hinjewadi. At the same time, it's better than Wakad! Because by the tunnel under the Expressway you can go to shopping malls and restaurants on Baner road in no time!," Anand said.
"Yes, certainly, the tunnel is an advantage!," i said with a serious face.
"Plus, we are in PMC and as per the D.P. this road is going to be 80 feet wide!," pointing at the road Anand said.
"80 feet! Good!," i said.

"If distance from Hinjewadi matters so much then why not stay in Blue Ridge or Megapolis in Hinjewadi?," i asked myself.

Blue Ridge Hinjewadi - 140 Acre Township where along with a flat you get all services!

"Ravi, you are not taking it right. You should go back to the point where you saw all those 'to way' boards, kneel down and kiss the land. The Land of Baner! Then you will be in the right frame of mind to understand the benefits & importance of Baner. You will understand why property buyers don't mind paying more property rate for the projects in this part of Baner, which doesn't have road, water line, drainage line, power station; than those integrated townships in Hinjewadi which take the responsibility to supply all these services! Go back Ravi and kiss the land of Baner!," i told myself.

Kissing the land of Baner!

kenny living up to his word and kissing the ground when we found land

Property Rates of Green Zone Baner:

"Anand, what's the property rate? SMS said 'Never before in Baner, 2 BHK Flat for just 30.5 lakhs'", i asked.
"That's including MSEB, leagal and infrastructure development charges! If you add Stamp duty and Registration charges to it, total price of a 2 BHK Flat in Green Zone is only Rs. 32.23!!," Anand said.
"Isn't it an attractive property price for a 2 BHK Flat in Baner?," Anand asked me.
Avoiding answering yes, looking at the brochure of Green Zone, i asked him, "Anand, but what is the carpet area of a 2 BHK Flat? You have mentioned only saleable area, 925 sq.ft.!," i asked him politely. Yes, when builders hide the carpet area, i get angry. When the builder is one of the big bosses of Pune builders, comittee member of Credai Pune, i get more angry.
"Minus 20% from it. Simple!," Anand said.
"What about the terrace? I have to minus the terrace area to get a carpet area of my 2 BHK Flat, isn't it?," i asked him.
"Yes, of course!," said Anand. I kept on looking at his face, expecting the answer. But he didn't utter a single word.

I realized that Aditya Shagun Developers are trying to hide from me exactly how much space, the carpet area, i am going to get, for my Rs. 32.23 lakhs.

Accepting his reluctance to disclose the carpet area, i asked Anand, "3 BHK Flat goes for?"
"Including everything, only, Rs. 44.14 lakhs for a 3 BHK Flat!," Anand said.
"3 BHK Flat of undisclosed carpet area for 44.14 lakhs. Anand, what's the property rate at Green Zone?," i asked.
"Rs. 3,100 per sq.ft. for a 2 BHK Flat and Rs. 3,300 per sq.ft. for a 3 BHK Flat," Anand said.
"Two different property rates based on a saleable area! Creative property pricing!! Is there any specific reason for this?," i asked Anand.
"Construction cost!," he said.
"Construction cost?," i said.

"Ravi, Stop! This is a dog's chew bone!! There is no juice in this reason. Don't start arguing on this point!," i told myself. "There is no point in asking,... but the D building which has 3 BHK Flats, a stand alone building in the 2nd and smaller piece of plot - on the other side of the dividing road, has only 7 floors....! Every 3 BHK Flat, of 1,205 sq.ft. saleable area, has 2 terraces.....! There are no separate, high-end - luxurious specifications for these 3 BHK Flats......! Then why 200 rupees more than a 2 BHK Flat.....?," i told myself and i didn't argue with Anand about the price difference.

Specifications & Amenities of Green Zone Baner, Pune:

As a real estate salesman, i knew that only Anand's boss knows the real answer! It's all about an "attractive property price"! The builders know that when a normal size of a 3 BHK Flat of 1400 - 1500 sq.ft. in Baner, Balewadi and Wakad, goes for around / above 60 lakhs, property buyer would be happy to pay Rs. 44.14 lakhs for a 3 BHK Flat of undisclosed carpet area in Green Zone Baner. So, why not charge 200 rupees more than a 2 BHK Flat!kenny living up to his word and kissing the ground when we found land The builder must have thought that, for sure, property buyer will book a 3 BHK Flat, get down on his knees, kiss the land of Green Zone Baner and may ask for an opportunity to kiss the builder for fulfilling his dream!

Floor Plan of a 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flat at Green Zone Baner:

E, F & G Buildings, in a bigger piece of Green Zone, have 2 BHK Flats. These 3 buildings are connected. So, instead of buildings, actually these are 3 wings. Every wing has 12 floors. Parking is on the 2 extended levels, on the ground and first floor, for which there is a ramp. Obviously, there are 2 lifts in each wing.

On one floor there are 4 flats. Yes, main doors of the flats are east or west facing. 2 flats on the front side, flat number 1 & 4 on each floor, facing north, have a view of a garden in the front of the building. 2 flats on the back side, flat number 2 & 3 on each floor, facing south, have a view of Rohan Leher. These flats will have a better light and breeze than the flats in the front side with a garden view.

As per the current trend, all rooms of your flat have only one window, either in the north or south. East and west sides of your flat are closed, so neither in the morning, nor in the evening your flat will get direct sunlight. You will have only indirect light. Because of this your master bedroom, would be as romantic in the afternoon as at night.

Kitchen has a dry terrace of 3'11"x4'9". Instead of keeping washing machine, husbands should use it for flirting with neighbor's wife or women should use it for gossiping.

Green Zone Baner:
2 BHK Flat for Rs. 32.23 lakhs:

Considering the total effect of three important features of the flat - small room sizes + only indirect sunlight + no cross ventilation - i realized how truthful Aditya Shagun Developers are. They call this flat "nest"!

When i was at the site of Green Zone, after talking about 2 great features - location: Baner & property price of a 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flat - I asked Anand about the planning. He said "maximum space utilization" or "no wastage of space" in a 2 BHK Flat. You must have heard this in many projects, i am sure.

When a 2 BHK Flat is a compact flat, like in Green Zone, i take it as there is no space to move around in a flat. If all of you are at home, everybody will get a place to sit, stand or sleep but when it comes to moving around in this flat, at any point of time - only one person should move and others should remain in their position - like a stachu. Am i right? How do you take it?

Green Zone Baner: Floor Plan of a 3 BHK Flat:

7 Story, single, stand alone D building, in a smaller piece of Green Zone Baner has 3 BHK Flats. There are only 2 flats per floor. Means, Green Zone Baner has only 14 Flats of 3 BHK.

Like a 2 BHK Flat building, this building also faces north and Rohan Leher is at the back,ie south side of the building. All bedrooms have only one window, but one may have 2 windows - it looks like that. Unfortunately, it is the smallest one ( 12'2"x10') out of the 3 bedrooms! However, I was delighted to see that at least 2 bedrooms out of 3 have a window on east / west side. Which means that 2 bedrooms in this 3 BHK Flat will have direct sunlight at least once a day, not bad!

One more funny thing, if you choose flat number 1 on any floor, your master-bedroom will be the biggest bedroom (10'x13'5") in the flat, but if you choose flat number 2, your master-bedroom would be only 12'2"x10'2"! Why so? Because, i think, as per vastu master-bedroom should be in the south - west corner of the home! And one more attraction, master-bedroom in the flat number 1, on odd floors, also has an attached terrace! So, please, consider this if you believe in Vastu!

Green Zone Baner - Flat Number 1 - on Odd Floors:

Green Zone Baner - Flat Number 1 - on Even Floors:

There is no common toilet in this 3 BHK Flat, All 3 toilets are attached to the bedrooms. But, Anand said, they will convert one if you ask. I am sure, the builder will not charge for this "change" because he had to attach it to the bedroom. Otherwise, common toilet's door would have been directly visible form the main door of the flat!

Every 3 BHK Flat has 2 terraces. Flats on the odd floors, have 1 terrace attached to the dining and the 2nd terrace, as i have told you, is at the back - Rohan Leher side, on the south side of the flat. It means that, the master-bedroom of the flat number 1 on the odd floor, is not only as per vastu but will have a better ventilation than other bedrooms.

Green Zone Baner - 3 BHK Flat on an Even Floor:

On the even floors terrace is attached to the living, and is a little bigger. Second terrace is again on the north side, not on the south like odd floors. It means this, the smallest bedroom of the flat would have a view!

When i asked Anand Kulkarni about the planning of 3 BHK Flats, he said "squarish shape of the flat". Yes, i agree with him. 3 BHK Flat at Green Zone has a good shape. Particularly, 18'4"x12'4" living and dining is quite a good shape and size for a flat of 1205 sq.ft. saleable area and a hidden carpet area.

In all, this is not a good plan of a 3 BHK Flat. However, i would like to thank and congratulate Arc. Avinash Nawathe for doing his best. He has tried to overcome the limitations imposed by the size, shape and orientation of the plot and done his best to find best possible solution. I can understand that Arc. Nawathe can't be rude like my tailor. My tailor would have refused to stitch my wedding suite if i had given him cut pieces!

However, a good point about these 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flats in Green Zone Baner is, i believe, you will never forget that in life money has little value. This realization will make you more humble and whenever you see soil, you will get down on your knees and kiss the earth. Even if it is not land of Baner!

Exploiting your Erroneous Zones:

If you feel that i am a little harsh in my criticism, i am biased towards integrated townships, i don't understand the optimistic and romantic property buyers who prefer to live in an upcoming area, or their capacity to bring water, drainage and power to this part of Baner, i am sorry. I completely trust and respect you. I am just reminding you that you are free to choose your behavior - to book a flat, not to book a flat, to change and improve the floor plans.

Nobody knows better than me that real estate marketing is nothing but exploiting your "Erroneous Zones". For many years, in Pune real estate advertising and marketing, i have practiced and mastered this skill. Now, as a pioneer Pune real estate blogger, i consider it my duty to warn you if you are investing in a particular project only because you are seeking approval of your peers, you are hung up in the past (past projects of a builder), feeling guilty (you missed to book while real estate was booming!), being afraid of the unknown (Integrated Township in Hinjewadi - new phenomenon - whether the builder will be able to complete the project in time and as planned?), displaying anger (to teach a lesson to all greedy builders in Pune, you join a group and are taken for a ride by some other builder).

While booking a 2 BHK / 3 BHK Flat, more than a project, a builder or a location, for me, what is important is you should be aware of what you are getting into and should be able to live happily in your home ever after. Amen!

Related Stories:

1) MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2010

February 2010 - Most popular blogs on Ravi Karandeekar's Pune Real Estate Market News Blog

2) SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2010

Vanshaj Rane Group to open booking of Vanshaj Kiona, at Balewadi, today, 6TH March 2010!
To know more about spacious 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flats at Vanshaj Kiona Balewadi, please, visit www.ranegrouppune.com

3) FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2010

Mont Vert Belrose, Pashan Baner link road, to open booking of 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flats on 6TH March 2010
2 BHK Flat - 740 Carpet + Terrace - for Rs. 43.52 & 44.75 Lakhs

3 BHK Flat - 1027 Carpet + Terrace - for Rs. 58.76 & 58.91 Lakhs

To know more about Mont Vert Belrose, please, visit www.montverthomes.com

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  1. Very nice review. Was really astonished with the kind of details provided. I've become a fan of yours since I've started following you on buzz.

  2. Good blog Ravi, but what a pathetic location and pathetic floor plan, flat size, rate and builder...everything is a big mess, but your blog is too good about it.
    And by the way, this area has no good connectivity to main Baner nor to Pashan, no water, drainage, electricity...most likely this fall under either Sus or Mahalunge gram panchayat, one needs to clarify from the builder...the tunnel below highway is a small hole, only one car can pass at a time...and we are talking about fast connectivity for thousand's of flat holders using this hole to commute to Baner for milk :)
    What a joke on earth...!!!!
    And we are talking about paying 32L and 44L for those peigeon holes there...I would rather burn that money in my fire-place and warm myself...

  3. Yes, very pathetic!

    Rohan Leher, Green Zone, Pinewood are in PMC. Nea Pure Homes is in Sus.

  4. Ravi, by the way do you have any clue as to if there is a proposed DP road straight from BR to Mahalunge coming towards back side of Balewadi stadium and then reaching the by-pass highway near the Merc Show-room...!!!!
    I have seen such DP drawn on the website of BR, I am just curious.

  5. Why are you asking? Except the bridge, these roads, in parts, are already there.

    Blue Ridge has to talk about this road because their access road is poor. Otherwise, an integrated township has no reason to talk about any road in any village on this earth.

    When a salesman in some upcoming project in Sus or in this side of Baner talks about this road, consider it as he is inviting you for a dinner. Not at his home but at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    Real estate salesman has to tell many fairy-tells.

  6. hi Ravi,
    hd never thought the way u do abt projects....
    thanks 4 showng d way.hd gone 2 visit green zone 2 day...ws utterly disappointed..

    hw is megapolis to buy a property there?


  7. Thanks for the review Ravi.
    I have been to green zone project,but much worried about accessible road from express highway.When do you think the road will be commutable?as i have been there in rains and it was very difficult for me to reach there on my two wheeler.

  8. Hi Ravi,I like your review and the way you point the right things and keep builders mum..can you also tell something about pinewood project. is that worth paying 4400 per sq feet and possession next year july 2013?.