Golf Course Road today has come a long way from being an empty stretch of a mere motorable road to a road with the most expensive piece of real estate in Gurugram. In the early 2000s, it was a breeze to drive on Golf Course Road, as it was dotted with offices like Genpact and Hewitt. In terms of residential development, only the fag end of the 7.5 km stretch of road saw some hustle and bustle of population. It was only in 2004 that the realty giant DLF launched luxury projects, such as DLF Magnolias and Aralias, that anchored the corridor and branded it as luxury living. Soon, other developers took up positions along Golf Course Road as it became popular amongst expats, high net worth individuals and top executives of the corporate world.
The clout of the corridor was evident from the fact that, residential property prices in Golf Course Road appreciated by 106% from 2007–2016 and moved from Rs 6,600 per sq ft to Rs 13,600. Today, property prices in the region run in the range of Rs 13,600–32,000 per sq ft, making it the costliest residential stretch to live in Gurgaon. Some of the prominent luxury projects of the area are DLF Camelias, DLF Magnolias, DLF Aralias, Emaar Palm Springs, Vipul Belmonte, etc.
Not only residential, but the corridor also boasts of some of the prime office buildings in NCR, like Hines Horizon Centre, that command the highest office rentals in NCR. By virtue of its location and specifications, the building today commands rentals in the range of Rs 150–250 per sq ft.
As time passed, and office and residential developments took place, the breeze of the road lost its appeal and slowly it became a nightmare to drive on the packed roads that only had bumper-to-bumper traffic jams at various junctions. Now, all that is set to be a thing of the past as the road gears up for its new avatar.
The corridor is slowly shaping up for its impressive transformation as the work on the connectivity options, in the form of the 16-lane, signal-free expressway and the Rapid Metro, are going on in full swing. The upcoming (partially open) 10.5-km, 16-lane expressway will join NH-8 at Shankar Chowk to Sectors 55–56 on Golf Course Road. This connects Golf Course Road with the commercial district of DLF CyberCity on one end and to the upcoming residential and office corridor of Golf Course Extension Road on the other. The road, once complete, will provide the much needed speedy connectivity between these corridors and will ease the travel time to DLF CyberCity by half, as it would take only 8–10 minutes to reach the office hub of DLF CyberCity.
Not only this, another important infrastructure push for Golf Course Road has been the linking of the Rapid Metro to Sectors 55–56. The 7-km-long line from Sikandarpur metro station to Sectors 55–56 will further boost the connectivity of Golf Course Road. The line has five metro stations and will cater to the riders from Golf Course Road Sectors 42, 43, 53, 54, 55, 56 and DLF Phase 1. The attractiveness of Golf Course Road is only set to increase with the completion of these two major infrastructure projects by the end of 2017.
Golf Course Road will retain its exclusivity at least for the next five years, owing to the positioning of its high-end residential properties, quality commercial spaces and well-defined social and physical infrastructure. Residential price appreciation due to the infrastructure push has already been factored in, hence going forward; we do not expect a high rate of price appreciation in this corridor as witnessed in 2010–2011. In terms of the office market, due to the lack of quality office space in NCR, Golf Course Road will continue to be the most sought after office space for corporates wanting to set foot in NCR in the near future, which in turn will put an upward pressure on rentals.
The author is Consultant – Research, Knight Frank India