Kalpataru Park City, Thane: A project that deserves more attention from customers
There are few developers in Mumbai with a legacy of the kind like Kalpataru. Not too many people will be aware that the company built one of the first skyscrapers in Mumbai. In 1975, it did the Kshitij at Nepeansea Road. In 1999, it did the Kalpataru Heights at Mumbai Central which stood out until Raheja Vivarea set a new benchmark in that market. More recently it did the Sparkle at Kalanagar, Bandra East that has come to symbolize the rise of that market.
Yet it is unlikely that Kalpataru would feature meaningfully in terms of brand recall for most prospective customers. That is to a large extent due to the unsophisticated marketing strategy by the company – carpet bomb during a launch and thereafter almost vanish. Hence while planning my itinerary for Thane, I must confess the project by Kalpataru was not even in my schedule. Thane is a market with several ambitious projects by key developers and my priority was to see them. As fate would have it, scheduling issues on another project pushed me into doing a walk-in into the Kalpataru Park City project at Kolshet Road, Thane.
Since I visited that project immediately after visiting Lodha Amara, I could notice the contrast in the energy that was in the air of the sales offices’ of the two projects. One was hyperactive and the other was passive.
Its Sunrise project is completed and sold. The offering that is now available is for two phases/wings. Immensa & Starlight that has a RERA delivery date of 2025 and 2027 respectively and is part of the township that spans over 100 acres. Similar to almost every large project in Thane, this is bundled with a wide array of amenities. Based on the AV showcased, the star attraction in the mind of the developer is the Grand Central Park. It is spread across 20 acres and is pitched as the Thane equivalent of New York’s Central Park or the Hyde Park in London. Kalpataru is constructing it on behalf of the Thane Municipal Corporation.
Below is the pricing for a 2BHK in the two wings. Area is in RERA carpet and price is All-in, inclusive of stamp duty and registration. Do note that since the developer has published data on the RERA website with minimal enthusiasm, it is tough to gather the total apartment inventory as well as which configurations are doing well in either of the two towers.
Immensa: 8 towers. Possession is 2025
598 sqft: INR 1.10 crore
632 sqft: INR 1.16 crore
664 sqft: INR 1.22 crore
761 sqft: INR 1.34 crore
805 sqft: INR 1.40 crore
Starlight: 10 towers. Possession is 2027
535 sqft: INR 87 lakhs
655 sqft: INR 1.19 crore
796 sqft: INR 1.38 crore
828 sqft: INR 1.45 crore
What I liked
- Emphasis on the product, product and product
- Involvement of Capacite as a contractor that has done projects like Oberoi’s Enigma & Lodha Altamount. And JMC – the subsidiary of Kalpataru
- Maintenance of property after possession to be done by its own subsidiary – PSIPL
- Project in a location that is emerging rapidly
- Museum called Roots – to educate buyers on the nuances of construction. In my view – this is the best thing about visiting that project. It aims to showcase housing as a product than a commodity.
What I didn’t like
- Pricing is at a level which is off-the-market
- Show-flat was mediocre. Besides, I would have liked to see the show-flat of the 2BHK which is the majority of the portfolio. Instead the one that is there is of the largest 3BHK. I don’t like to see a sample flat and then imagine – the bathroom being 10 ft smaller, kitchen 15ft smaller, bedroom wall shifted by 2ft etc. Hopefully Proptech will soon solve that for most projects
- Only Construction-Linked payment plan. No Rent/Pre-EMI till OC plan that is being offered by many of its peers. Lodha Amara is offering No-Rent scheme, Runwal is offering a 9:91 payment plan and Piramal is offering subvention on select configurations.
- Shoddy data submission to RERA
How is it faring?
Immensa and Starlight have a stock of almost 3000 units. Immensa has sold 70% of its stock while Starlight has sold around 18% of its stock.
Its no secret that the finances of most players are stretched and Kalpataru is no different. I have a bias for companies that are quality and product conscious and, in that regard, it is my hope that players like Kalpataru emerge stronger from this crisis. For that it must no longer treat marketing and branding as a peripheral activity and do it with sophistication. The premium that branded developers are able to charge is on account of their investment in that regard to a large extent. For buyers who are not as price conscious, this is a project worth visiting and evaluating as the developer has a track record of executing quality projects. For the rest – I will still encourage them to make a visit to the project for their educational museum, Roots. Its not often an Indian developer wants to educate buyers on an aspect that is generally compromised – Product.