The largest and most densely populated suburb of Mumbai, Andheri started developing as early as 1915. This locality, situated on the west of Mumbai, on the Salsette Island, has the busiest railway station in the country. Andheri’s contribution to the country as a major industrial hub cannot be denied. Both the sections – Andheri East and Andheri West have a number of industrial and commercial centres.
Andheri East is mostly known for being an industrial and commercial hub. Despite that, there are plenty of residential colonies here. The people settling down here are mostly from middle-class background and the residential areas are cheaper than those in the more upscale western neighbourhood. Andheri West is almost entirely residential, with most of the communities here being dominated by Parsi households and luxury apartments and villas. It is more posh than Andheri East, and the property prices are higher.
The Andheri skyline is dotted with skyscrapers and high-rises. The most common property type is multi-storeyed apartments, with a few bungalows scattered here and there as remnants of Andheri’s rich Parsi heritage. The road network in Andheri is extensive, with broad roads, connecting it to every part of the city. Like the rest of Mumbai, life in Andheri is fast paced. The heavy flow of traffic and the number of malls and shopping centres in Andheri, makes it the first choice of many young Indians, who want to experience a happening city life.
Connectivity and transit points
Being a part of MMR, Andheri enjoys excellent rail connectivity. The Andheri railway station lies on the Mumbai Suburban Railway. The residents of Andheri mostly use the western line of the Mumbai Suburban Rail network for daily commutation. The harbour line, which is a part of the central line, connects Andheri station with Panvel and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport Terminus.
The road network in Andheri is excellent. The Versova Causeway or the Versova Road connects Andheri with Versova. The two major arterial roads that run through Andheri are the Madhavdas Amarsey Road (M.A. Road) and the S.V. Road. Andheri is connected to further off areas like Borivali via the new link road.
The major landmarks in Andheri that sets it apart are –
Factors for growth in the past
Being located in the business capital of India, Andheri definitely enjoys the advantage of being home to a number of commercial and industrial hubs. The best example of these would be Saki Naka and MIDC-SEEPZ. The easy connectivity with the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is another added advantage that Andheri enjoys.
Developments in Andheri go back to the early nineties, when people from other states and colonies started migrating to Bombay. Andheri, which was previously dominated by the Parsi colonies, started to see rapid urbanisation under the influence of the subsequent colonisation.
But the real development in Andheri started when a number of film studios and companies were set up in Andheri. This period started from 1935 and lasted till 1980, during which Andheri was the hub of the Bollywood film industry.
One important infrastructure project, the Western Express Highway, which passes through east Andheri, connects this locality with suburbs like Bandra, Goregaon, Kandivili, Borivali and Dahisar. It then continues on to be the Delhi-Mumbai National Highway. Being located on such an important route, Andheri real estate continues to flourish under the constant traffic along this road.
Another project improving the connectivity in Andheri is the recently completed Ghatkopar – Andheri – Versova corridor of the Mumbai Metro. This has proven to be a boon for commuters, as it reduces their traveling time from one and a half hours to less than thirty minutes.
Residential and Commercial Market
Although both parts of Andheri have thriving real estate markets, there are some differences between these two markets.
The real estate market in Andheri East is distributed equally between residential and commercial properties. This locality claims a lower price rate than its western counterpart. Generally the properties in Andheri East are for middle class and upper class homebuyers. The properties favoured by these buyers are smaller, more compact apartment types, generally 1 or 2 BHKs, whose price range is Rs 10,400 – Rs 14,100 per sq. ft.
The locality of Andheri West can be identified as a posh and upscale neighbourhood, with the residents comprising of all the elites of the film and TV industry, and globally successful business personalities. They prefer larger apartments or villas (3 or 4 BHKs). There are no industrial areas here; strictly residential locality, and the price range lies between Rs 16,550 – Rs 25,100 per sq. ft.
Traffic Problems: The areas that are most affected by traffic problems are the Andheri-Kurla road and the Andheri station. The Andheri station has a footfall of more than 6 lakhs, which has increased since the completion of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro corridor. This has caused congestion and traffic comes to a standstill on a daily basis.
Garbage Disposal Problems: Parts of Andheri, especially Andheri West suffer from garbage disposal problems now and then. The agency responsible for the disposal and treatment of waste sometimes fails to pick up the garbage for some days at a stretch, creating extremely unhygienic conditions, especially in localities like Versova, J.P. Road and Lokhandwala.
Factors for Growth in the Future
Phase III of the Mumbai Metro project will consist of an elevated metro line corridor from Andheri East till Dahisar East. The project is scheduled to start in 2016 and it is predicted to be completed by 2021. Once operational, this will improve connectivity in the locality, which will be a big impetus to the real estate market in Andheri.
Among other smaller upcoming infrastructure projects, is the widening of the Gopal Krishna Gokhale flyover in Andheri West and the construction of another flyover from SV Road to the Western Express Highway. Both these projects will decongest the traffic near Telligalli in Andheri West, and have a positive effect on real estate around this area.