Nestled between major IT and ITes corridors, Velachery is a locality that developed in the backdrop of the IT establishments. Thus is home to professionals working in OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) and GST (Great Southern Trunk), in South Chennai.
However, as area serves several commuters travelling between localities further down south and the ones up in Central Chennai, it suffers from traffic snarls. Thankfully, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has widened the Velachery Bypass Road to make the traffic flow better.
Traffic or not, residents here enjoy proximity to the Besant Nagar Beach and the ECR (East Coast Road), while being only a short drive away from the Chennai International Airport. There are some locations within Velachery such as the Velachery Lake, commercial centres along the main roads, and the Phoenix Market City Mall.
Connectivity and Transit Points
Connectivity is a strong point for Velachery, with multiple bus routes branching out in every direction and a couple of railway stations. Residents here can find public buses on Velachery Main Road and Tharamani Road, there is also another bus route just outside Velachery, to the west, the City Link Road. The railway stations in Velachery are a part of the MRTS (Mass Rapid Transport System), and connect to OMR, ECR, Besant Nagar, and Marina Beach.
Residents also have access to St. Thomas Mount Railway Station, just 2-5 kilometres westward from Velachery. This transit point is a popular choice among the residents here, as it serves as a station for the Southern Railway trains, entering and exiting Chennai, and it is a connecting point for buses, trains and metros.
Factors for Growth in the past
Back in the 1990s, Velachery was nothing but a farmland, and now it stands as a symbol of modern living. This rapid development is largely in response to the increased housing demand, which was fueled by the IT establishments in and around the area.
Other localities in South Chennai have seen residential growth as well, but nothing like Velachery. Not even a decade ago, from 2008 onwards, older houses and bungalows were demolished and were replaced by residential skyscrapers and high-end commercial buildings.
Builders have preferred Velachery to other localities for a couple of reasons, first – it is closer to the Central Business District areas of Chennai. Second, it has good connectivity through road and rail. The major roads here, Velachery Main Road, Velachery Bypass Road, and Tharamani Road, directly connect Velachery to almost all of the key localities in Chennai. On top of which, the existing MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) railway stations in the locality provide easy access to the other localities, bypassing road traffic entirely.
Residential & Commercial Market
Residential Market Trends
The residential market has made a clear shift, from houses and bungalows to fully-fledged apartments in Velachery. In fact, all it take is a drive down to the off-roads, to realise that Velachery is a sea of apartment buildings, with a few big roads and some commercial pockets here and there.
Another thing that is seen in Velachery is that, there are a good number of luxury apartments - as demanded by IT/ITeS professionals. Having said that, there still are some neighborhoods with houses, very few villas, and some plots that are up for purchase.
The prices, whether for purchase or rent, have been increasing over the past few years. Currently, apartments in Velachery are being sold at Rs 6200-6700 per sq.ft. and rented out at Rs 14-17 per sq.ft.
Commercial Market Trends
Velachery is not known for its commercial market, but it may see more visitors with the new Phoenix Market City mall, another mall here is the PS Srijan Grand Mall. Although these malls are ambitious in stature, they are primarily for satisfying the high-lifestyle demand of the residents. There are additional commercial pockets around the locality, such as commercial spaces, showrooms, and retail shops, and these pockets continue to grow. There are some new commercial projects that are upcoming in this locality as well.
Velachery like the rest of Chennai suffers electricity load-shedding, except that and traffic snarls everything is more or less pleasant in this neighborhood.
Most of Velachery has a storm-water drain network laid down, to tackle the problem of flooding.
Factors for Growth in the Future
There are no plans for a metro station to be built in Velachery, however there are plans to extend the MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) line, from Velachery Railway MRTS station to St. Thomas Mount. This will in fact be the most helpful development in terms of connectivity, as St. Thomas Mount serves as a hub where all the different modes of transport meet. Once this line is completed, Velachery will gain access to the Chennai Metro as well.
A mid-way MRTS station is being built as well, between Velachery MRTS station and St. Thomas. This station is called Puzhuthivakkam MRTS station, and will serve as the main railway station for those living in the western neighborhoods of Velachery.
A monorail is also in the pipeline, and the construction date is yet to be announced. It will be part of Phase I of the Chennai Monorail project, which stretches southwards to Vandalur, through Tambaram. This monorail will have a total of 14 stops along the way.
All these developments in connectivity coupled with several commercial establishments will definitely attract more people to live here, that in turn will lead to capital appreciation. Phoenix Market is the second largest mall in India, and has a very high-end wing, exclusive for products imported from international brands.