Kumarakom Daytrip Report

Kumarakom, believed to be the best backwater tourism option in Kerala, is also known for its mangrove forests. The recent history of the place is based around the construction of Thaneermukkom Bund between 1974 and 1976. The salt water barrier divides the Vembanad Lake helping farmers who do farming below sea level. The environmental impact includes the proliferation of water weeds and the deterioration of the fish population.

Many luxury resorts are in the area, offering visitors options including boating, canoeing, and fishing.House boats are another popular option – a typical package includes cruising the lake, first-class overnight accommodation in the boat while docked in the middle of the lake, great seafood made to order by a private chef, etc – all this starting around Rs 10,000 or so. A snag though is that families with young kids generally do not enjoy the experience as much as adults do.



A major attraction of the area is the Bird Sanctuary, a 14-acre area developed in a rubber plantation (Baker’s estate) on the southern bank of the Kavanar River. Since birds start their day at the crack of dawn, it is better to be there at the opening time of 6AM.  Kerala Tourism Development Corporation’s (KTDC) Waterscapes resort is a great choice, if a visit to the bird sanctuary ranks high in the priority list – it is the only one within the premises of the bird sanctuary . Being government run, it is to be expected that service levels are below par although the location and setting is unbeatable. If you opt for this, the best bet is to go for the Superior Lake View rooms as the Canal View rooms (slightly discounted alternative) is not very good as the water under those rooms are stale. Also, for a family of four, booking online will only allow for 3 adults - the rooms can accommodate up to 4 adults and so the difference need to paid while checking in.



The bird sanctuary entrance is shared with the entrance to KTDC Waterscapes resort - it is located just before the bridge to Kavanattinkara and immediately after the Taj Garden Retreat Resort Complex. There is a small pedal boating area at the entrance whose open or closed status is dictated by the water level. One can opt for a guide to accompany you (Rs 250/-) – parking and other charges are very nominal.

Many visitors choose to explore on their own – for those with a keen eye and ability to identify birds, this will work well. Salim Ali’s books are handy in this regard and his most popular work is “The Books of Indian Birds”. The initial portion of the walk is along the Kavanar River where houseboats are a common sight. At the bend, breathtaking views of the Vembanad Lake awaits. Parts of the Coconut Lagoon resort can also be seen across the waterway. The village of Ayemenem (Arudhati Roy’s God of Small Things) can be seen across the river way – one side is the village of Kumarakom and the other is the idyllic village of Ayemenem. The “History House” featured in the novel is now part of the Taj Garden Retreat Resort Complex, originally built by Alfred George Baker, a British missionary.

A point to keep in mind when walking about solo is that the view towers are about two km leisurely walk away – many return upon reaching the lake shore one km out thinking that is the end of the walk – it is a V-turn from there with a small sign pointing the direction for the last leg. There are numerous spots along the way where nests, birds, and bats can be seen. The real treat is from atop the second view tower – from that vantage position one can see into the 14 acre island sanctuary - thousands and thousands of birds and nests– egrets, cuckoos, cormorants, racket tailed drongos, common rollers, teals, herons (night, purple, cattle), etc. Local birds seen throughout the year include cuckoos, waterfowls, egrets, herons, cormorants, etc while parrots, teals, flycatchers, larks, and the Siberian cranes are migratory birds. Many of the wanderers come from the Himalayas while some come from as far away as Siberia. While it may be tempting, going off the concrete trail is discouraged as snakes abound.

A visit to the Ayemenem house, where Arundhati Roy spent part of her childhood is a must for her fans. The place can be reached by boat along the Meenachil River.



Note: Popular resorts that dot the area near the bird sanctuary include:
  1. KTDC Water Scapes: Wonderful location inside the bird sanctuary and facing Vembanad lake. It is a heritage site associated with Alfred George Baker.
  2. Zuri Kumarakom Resort & Spa (earlier Radisson): Rooms are large (451 sqft). It is an excellent resort but the staff needs training to be world class,
  3. The Paul’s Kumarakom Lake Resort: The facility is excellent with an uppity flair. Again the staff needs additional training,
  4. Vivanta by Taj: It is one of the first 5-star resorts to come up in the area. The impact of time is obvious - the place and its service levels are in need of a face-lift, and
  5. Casino Group’s Coconut Lagoon: The place offers both a classy setting and excellent food. On the downside, the food is pricey and lighting is below par. 

Quick Take on Procter & Gamble (PG)

Fair Value Estimates (FVE):


Click for an intro on our Fair Value Estimates. Below is our estimates for Procter & Gamble:


The average FVE is $65.12 against the current share price of ~$67.50.


Financials Summary:


 


Q2 2012 Quarter Report & Conf. Call – 01/27/2012:



Organic sales growth – 4%, volume – 1%: effect of pricing.

 No growth in developed markets. But, developing markets at 37% of sales compared to 27% of sales 5 years ago is offsetting this factor well.

Market share in line or higher in businesses representing ~45% of global sales compared to 60% level in previous quarters – negative effect of price increases – expects it to be temporary as price gaps narrow either because of competitors following price increases or PG dropping the price increase. But, global market share inline with prior year levels – held or grew share in 9 of 15 countries, 3 of 6 reporting segments and 11 of 24 billion-dollar brands.

Core earnings down 3% due to higher commodity prices and tax rate headwind. Also, divestiture of PUR business had an impact.

Good and intangibles write-down at $0.53 per share – onetime non-cash – appliances and salon professional businesses – out period growth projection reduced.  Tax rate at 36.7% due to the noncore nature of charges which are not tax deductible. Otherwise it should have been 24.9%.


Six Reporting Segments Summary:



  1. Beauty Segment: organic volume and sales growth of 2%. Retail hair care led the growth with India Pantene shipments increasing 80% and China Head & Shoulders shipments increasing 25%. NA weak – mid-single digit shipment decline.
  2. Grooming segment: Blades and razors volume increased low single digits. CEE, ME, and Africa shipments in double digits mainly from expansion of Fusion ProGlide. NA Fusion ProGlide sales offset by Mach3 losses.
  3. Health Care Segment: Oral care volume down low single digits. Crest 3D White growing. Oral-B toothpaste expansion markets delivered results ahead of expectation.
  4. Fabric and Home Care Segment: Organic sales growth of 5% - flat volume. Tide PODS should start selling in less than a month. It could become the biggest launch in the US consumer product industry.
  5. Global Home Care Segment: Shipments up low single digits. Challenge – US auto dish category were price was increased 8% - the consumer value versus competitive products currently outside our range and so we will reverse some of the price increases – to aggressively pursue cost savings to maintain profitability.
  6. Baby and Family Care Segment: Organic sales up 6% - mainly because of price increase. Focus on strong 3-tiered portfolio.

Guidance:


Background - Tightened sales guidance and earning per share guidance mainly because of foreign exchange impact – ruble, zloty, the real, the peso, and the Turkish lira depreciated 10% to 20% against the dollar. These along with pound sterling have caused the majority of earnings impact. Historically, currency impact is offset by declining commodity costs which has not been true so far – input costs still expected to be $1.8B higher.  Developed markets all weak with US being the only one growing, albeit slowly. Disproportionate growth in developing markets also has an impact as absolute profit per unit is lower in the area.

Priorities

  1. Maintaining our top line growth momentum – 4% organic sales growth is good, 
  2. Execute pricing changes with excellence. Some corrections, but they are minor compared to $3.5B in increases this year. Pricing to continue to be a significant driver of organic sales growth, 
  3. Improving productivity – Reducing number of technical centers we operate globally while opening new ones in developing markets – facility in Singapore and R&D center in Beijing – operating closer to growth areas. Overhead to be reduced by 1600 roles through selective hiring, normal attrition, and restructuring. To announce more at CAGNY. 
  4. Restore solid operating profit growth – pricing should help – second half core operating profit growth to be 10 to 15%.

Guidance Summary – core earnings guided down to $4 to $4.10 from the prior range of $4.15 to $4.33. So, EPS growth to be 1% to 4% compared to $3.95 in prior year. All-in earnings per share in the $3.85 to $4.08 range – includes $0.55 to $0.65 per share gain from Pringles divestiture, restructuring cost in the range of $0.15 to $0.80 per share and $0.52 per share in non-core charges related to impairments, etc. Capital spending in the 4-5% range. Expect to pay $6B in dividends and $4-5B in share repurchases.

Jan-Mar quarter guidance – organic sales growth in the 3-5% range – compared to 4-9% projected for the back half. But, foreign exchange expected to have negative impact of 3 points resulting in flat to 2% sales growth range.


Q2 2012 Conference Call Q&A Summary:



Second year in a row were you project back end loaded guidance only to retract. What gives?

Productivity increase is a focus. To talk more about this in CAGNY. Top-line is growing. Bottom line is a function of macro effects. We will try to offset with productivity increases. But, we can’t reduce spending to offset costs as that will harm our long-term trajectory.

Pricing flexibility – please comment?

Overall successful in executing the pricing increases. There are 3 exceptions were we had to take action. The percentage increase this time around is much less and so it should be asier to implement. Also, commodities  rolled over last time with our price increases. That is not likely to happen this time. Besides, we are growing share now.

How is growth projected – volume vs pricing?

We will continue to grow top line and we are going to continue to grow the market share. The strategy is to have a full portfolio of offerings from premium priced to low priced. Example is laundry care currently – Tide total care at the premium end, Tide at the average end, to Era at the low end. PODS is the new innovation in the area. Crest 3D white is another premium priced example. Innovation at the premium end is critical.

Volume will be a bigger component going forward. Out of 4 to 5 top line, 3 to 4 points will be volume – mix and pricing help.

Discontinuous innovation by – growing categories. Not seeing that. Why?

You should be seeing it. Febreze auto product is an example – gets us into a category in fragrances in automobiles that we have never been in before. Tide PODS is another example – it will be expansive to the laundry category – it’s the most condensed laundry product you can buy – much better for environment – it is expected to be 30% of category.

Cost cutting needs to happen faster. Also, its just too complex and needs to be broken up – what is your take?

Scale is a tremendous advantage. Wants to be in the top-third in peer group w.r.t. total shareholder returns. Improving productivity is part of the deal – you will hear more at CAGNY. We have been doing similar to what Kraft did. The key question is whether we can scale and win versus the more focused company and we think the answer is Yes.

Cost savings and role of advertising related question?

Over time, advertising cost increases should moderate – more choices, less expensive in the digital space.


Macro Assessment:



Global economic growth is a big positive for the company. Strong dollar is a negative.


Checklist:


1.        Is it a business I understand very well squarely within my circle of competence? – somewhat.
2.        Do I know the intrinsic value of the business today with a high degree of confidence? – somewhat.
3.        Is the business priced at a large discount to intrinsic value today and in two to three years? – No, FVE showed it being fairly valued.
4.        Would I be willing to invest a large portion of my net worth into this business? – No.
5.        Is the downside minimal? – may be – beta is low at 0.30 – so it should hold up very well in a correction.
6.        Does the business have a moat? – may be – many of its products are household names and so there is a certain level of user loyalty.
7.        Is the business run by able and honest managers? – may be – compensation is very high.
8.        How much is the Margin of Safety? – A good investment needs good downside protection – margin of safety is very low but (~$65 was our average FVE). beta is very low as well and so there is some downside protection.
9.         Moats – A good investment needs to have a good upside earnings engine. Is there a solid moat? Could the moat be shrinking/evaporating? – see above.
10.    Is it a simple easy to understand business? – somewhat. 
11.    Are the revenues and cash flows of the business sustainable? Are you looking at normalized earnings or boom-time earnings? – Example Cort Furniture purchase by Wesco – the volumes were high due to Internet bubble – Buffett/Munger mistake. Given the complexity of the business, it is tough to gauge – it appears we are looking at normalized earnings.
12.    Is it a Graham Net/Net play? – Bought below net working capital. Special Situation – good downside protection and chance of high returns, but probability is very low - Cash and short-term investments + (0.75 * accounts receivable) + (0.5 * inventory) - total liabilities. No – big negative number.
13.    Is the company’s business becoming unregulated? – that could cause the moat to quickly evaporate  - regulated businesses have high cost structures which would be disastrous in a competitive unregulated landscape – an example of such a mistake is Warren Buffet’s investment in US Air which he acknowledged as a mistake in the 1996 letter to shareholders. No.
14.    Assets to Equity – Is the company too leveraged? – the ratio is at ~200% - so, the company is leveraged - good will and intangibles make up roughly half of the assets.
15.    Could the company have made bad lending decisions? – bank specific – NA.
16.    How much will high unemployment and recession hurt the business? – it will affect the company negatively.
17.    Is the investment correlated to one or more of your existing holdings? – holding many business that are correlated can result in an undiversified portfolio – Yes – KFT is in the same general area (consumer products conglomerate), but it is splitting up – after the split-up, will have to reassess..
18.    Can this business be decimated by low-cost competition from China or other low-cost countries? – example – Warren Buffett’s investment in Dexter Shoes – No. But, private-label is a threat.
19.    Is this a win-win business for the entire ecosystem? – avoids tobacco, gambling, predatory lenders, etc –Yes.
20.    Mohnish Pabrai has said he has ten check-list questions on leverage – How much?, What are the covenants? Are they recourse or non-recourse?, etc. – Not clear.
21.    There are five questions on management - Management Compensation? Interests of Management – Is it aligned with shareholders? Management’s historical track-record?, Does Management have a large stake in the company? – Very little insider ownership.
22.    Unions & collective bargaining issues related questions – Does the company have union issues? – don’t know.
23.    Pension funding status? – unfunded amount is pretty high - ~$11B.


 

Quick Take:



As a huge conglomerate, the company is very complex – there are myriad factors that affect the company that one needs to consider to analyze it well. On a pure fundamental basis, the company has a TTM PE of 17.05 and because of the anemic guidance; the projected forward PE is down only by a small amount to 16.5. The PE is comparable to companies in its peer group.

Our average Fair Value Estimate (FVE) came in at $65.15, only a slight discount to the current price of $67.43. Financials show a healthy picture with a couple of concerns: Asset to Equity ratio is high at ~200% indicating a fair amount of leverage and the Graham Net-Net is a large negative number, again indicative of the large leverage.

The company has a focus on productivity & cost savings and has a plan to realize ~$10B in productivity and cost savings by 2016. It includes a target of ~$3B in overhead reduction. The savings has to come from a projected $85B cost pool for 2016 that includes $52.1B in COGS and $32.8B in SG&A. The projected savings account for 12% of the projected cost pool and that level of savings is easier said than done. But, if the company is able to pull off this, earnings-per-share could double based on this factor alone, within the next 4 years. Investing in the company at the current price level is a bet that the company’s management will be able to deliver on this objective.

Last Updated: 03/2012. 


Belgian Congo - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Belgian Congo was a free state founded by King Leopold II that was annexed to Belgium as a colony in 1908. Between 1884 and 1908 it was the Congo Free State privately controlled by Leopold II. Belgian Congo gained independence and became the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on June 30, 1960.

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Belgian Congo were Independent State issues depicting a head-portrait of King Leopald II in different colors and denominations. The set (Scott #1 to #5) of five stamps catalogs for around $400 Mint and around $300 Used. There are certain varieties of the highest denomination which catalog much higher. This was followed between 1887 and 1894 by another set of Leopald II issues. That set (Scott #6 to #13) is more expensive and catalogs in the $1.5K range for Mint and around half that for Used. The first original issues were a local scenes set of thirteen stamps (Scott #14 to #26) issued between 1894 and 1901. The set catalogs for around $375 Mint and around $95 Used. The designs show Port Matadi, River scene on the Congo and Stanley Falls, Inkissi Falls, railroad bridge on M’pozo river, Hunting Elephants, and Bangala Chief and Wife. Several other local scenes sets and certain varieties were the primary stamp issues of Belgium through the period till 1928.

Belgian Congo released a large set of fifteen stamps on June 30, 1928 depicting a portrait of Sir Henry Morton Stanley in different single-colors and denominations. The set (Scott #115 to #129) is sought after and catalogs for around $20 Mint and around half that for Used. A set of seven stamps depicting the four kings (Leopold I, Leopold II, Albert I, and Leopold III) was issued on August 15, 1935 and that set (Scott #159 to #165) catalogs for around $10 MNH and around half that for Used. The most sought after set among the later issues is a large set of twenty six stamps issued between 1947 and 1950 in the “Carved Figures and Masks of Baluba Tribe” theme. The set (Scott #231 to #256) catalogs for around $45MNH and around $5 for Used. The designs show “Ndoha” figure of tribal king, “Tshimanyi” idol, “Buangakokoma” – kneeling beggar statue, “Mbuta” – sacred double-cup carved with two faces (man and woman), “Ngadimuashi” – female mask, “Buadi-Muadi” – square mask, “Mbowa” – buffalo horned executioner’s mask.

Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Belgian Congo was a 5 Centimes Copper-Nickel coin issued in 1909 with a mintage of 1.8M. The issue (KM# 12) shows a crowned “JL” with a hole in the middle in Obverse and star, date, and value in Reverse. It catalogs in the $200 range for BU and can be had for as low as $5 for F. Copper-Nickel varieties with denominations up to a Franc formed the major coin issues of Belgian Congo. Higher denominations using distinct designs include a hexagon shaped brass 2 Franc coin issued in 1943 with a mintage of 25M. the issue (KM# 25) catalogs for around $75 in BU. The design shows the denomination with stars flanking in obverse and an African Elephant with date in Reverse. Other higher denominations of prominence include a 50 Francs silver coin (KM# 27) issued in 1944 with a mintage of 1M. That coin catalogs in the $200 range in UNC. It has a similar design and contains 0.23914 oz actual silver weight.

Belgian Congo was administered together with Ruanda-Urundi between 1925 and 1960. As such coins of both these areas were made jointly during the period between 1952 and 1960. Ruanda-Urundi Aluminum and Brass Centimes of the period are pretty common and catalog in the few dollars range. There are silver Essais (E1 through E6) of the 5 Franc denomination for a few different years and they catalog much higher.

Collectible Memorabilia:

Colonial era postcards, Christian missionary maps, and authentic Congo fetish figures, sculptures, etc form the major collectible items of the area. 

Last Updated: 12/2015.


Cash holdings in an investment portfolio - strategies to squeeze income

It is customary for investors to hold sizable amounts of cash in their portfolios. This cash-hoard is especially beneficial to investors when the market is over-extended and/or uncertain:

  1. Keeping the powder dry: Dry powder ensures opportunity to swoop for the kill when the conditions are right. Such opportunities do come by every few years and cold hard cash is required to place significant bets that can pave way for later rewards. Margin funds available in a brokerage account should not be considered for this purpose as the high interest rate takes a generous chunk from the returns – in fact, it is recommended to steer clear from margin funds as far as possible, independent of the market conditions.
  2. Buffering correction impact: A popular investment strategy is staying fully invested on the long-side. More often than not, if the market experiences a 20% correction, the portfolio mirrors that to a large extend. But this correction impact could have been lowered had a percentage of the portfolio been in cash. For e.g., consider a $100K portfolio fully invested in a total market index fund. A 20% market correction reduces the portfolio value to $80K. But, if 20% of the portfolio was in cash, the value would go down only to $84K buffering the impact of the correction.
  3. Trouncing the market average performance: Aspiring to stay fully invested when the market is valued at a significant discount to estimated fair values and raising cash when the margin of safety goes down is a surefire way of beating market averages. Investing the cash-hoard when the margin of safety is compelling has the advantage of the newly invested funds giving a much higher ROI compared to the rest of the portfolio. In effect, the overall portfolio gets a significant boost that should help beat the averages.
  4. Realizing absolute returns: Rather than market tracking strategies, a variation on the above is to hold cash with an eye towards realizing absolute returns. Holding cash allows one to go long when the market is in the doldrums thereby allowing focusing on absolute returns. Further, extending such a strategy to going for selective selling of over extended securities raises cash thereby allowing one to reload for an eventual market downturn.

The cash hoard is not without downsides – the obvious one is that it is tough to beat inflation in that part of your overall portfolio. Independent of the interest rate environment, keeping your cash hoard liquid while earning a good return on it is a holy-grail.

Below is a look at the common options available within US brokerage accounts:

  1. Money-market sweep: Typical brokerage money market sweep accounts offer dismally low interest rates – in the 0.05% range for our TD Ameritrade and E*Trade brokerage accounts – i.e. a $100K average cash balance in the portfolio will give a grand total annual return of ~$50. In a higher-interest rate environment, they might offer faintly better returns, but nothing of substance. The advantage with the money-market sweep offering is that generally sign up is not required and the balance is very secure – FDIC or SIPC coverage exists on balances up to $250K kept in a sweep vehicle. Certain brokerages also offer double the coverage (up to $500K) as they distribute the cash held between two bank accounts which each offer $250K of coverage. 
  2. Savings account sweep: Savings sweep accounts offer substantially better interest rates but still  well below prevailing inflation rates – in the 0.25% range for our TD Ameritrade and E*Trade brokerage accounts. The balances kept in such accounts offer similar protection as money-market sweep offerings making them also very secure. The downside though is that transfers back-and-forth can typically take upwards of a day, depriving one of the ability to take advantage of a market spike.
  3. Fixed deposit account based mutual funds, Mutual funds indexed to treasury bonds, and other AAA rated bond funds: These generally offer an income stream upwards of 2% making them a good option for US residents. High quality muni bond funds are another option suitable for taxable accounts. One disadvantage is that capital preservation is not guaranteed - one can minimize this risk by going with high-quality (AAA rated) options with low duration. Restrictions in purchasing US mutual funds by non-residents are a stumbling block for non-resident US citizens. For non-residents, there are a number of ETFs that offer similar risk/reward. Floating-rate income trust ETFs (EFT, BSL, PPR) that invests in senior secured floating-rate loans, MLP ETFs (NTG, CEM, EMO), etc are other choices although preservation of capital is only a secondary objective for such products.
  4. Arbitrage: This strategy requires a global trading account as opposed to a trading account for US markets only. Global trading accounts allow transferring money and investing in major global markets. This opens up arbitrage opportunities – basically, one could transfer a portion of the assets to another currency which offer better interest rates and if the exchange rate remains stable during this capital allocation, you come out ahead compared to holding the money in USD which offer meager rates. Transaction & transfer costs can both reduce the returns and capital risk is a concern as well...
  5. Stable high-yield stocks: These offer the best potential returns but with the downside that capital preservation is subject to the vagaries of the market. Even so, investing in dividend paying stocks with a high margin-of-safety is a far better option compared to many of the alternatives. A variation on this strategy is combining long-dated protective puts with short-term (~90 days)  near-the-money covered calls: the strategy provides downside protection with funding for such protection covered by the cash realized from the calls. Keeping a list of such stocks and picking from them on a perpetual basis to implement this strategy can work very well, especially in a low-interest-rate environment. An example using General Electric (GE) stock showed a projected income stream of around 11% annualized with minimized risk because of the protective puts: The stock currently trades at $16.80. Long-dated puts two years out are priced in the $3.80 range while short-dated calls three months out are priced in the $0.78 range. The difference between the defensive put premium and the cash realized from the covered calls should be in the $1.22 range based on a calculation that assumes constant stock price over the period ($0.78*8 - $3.80 = $2.44/2 = $1.22). That is an annualized return of ~7% and the stock is yielding ~4% giving an almost guaranteed total return of ~11%. 

Waterfront Flats/Apartments in Greater Kochi Area - Review

The backwaters of Kerala are famous and the state is among the premium tourism locations in the country. The industrial capital of Kochi is a prime focus for real-estate developers and the area is blessed with several beautiful waterfront locations because of the confluence of three factors: the Arabian Sea, the back waters, and rivers. Below is a look at current waterfront flat and apartment projects in the area:

1. Heera Constructions:

Wind Faire (Vytilla, off NH47 byepass): A single block (G+19 floors) with five apartments in each floor (95 apartments total) on 1.61 acres of land. They are all 3BHK units with square footage between 2008sft and 2260sft. The apartments offer sweeping views of Chilavanoor Backwaters and takes after their previous project, Heera Waters. Amenities include club house, swimming pool with party area, gym, children's park, air-conditioned lobby, etc. 10/2012 Update: The Base Selling Price (BSP) is set at Rs 4150psft with car parking (Rs 3L) and other charges additional - that is quite a premium compared to the Rs 2200psft that their previous project was launched at, a few years ago.  10/2015 Update: The project is nearing completion and there is very limited availability. Current Status:  The project is delayed with construction progressing at a slow pace. Very Limited Availability. 


2. Purvankara:

Purva Oceana (Marine Drive): A large single block of 95 3BHK apartments with eight different plans facing the Arabian and Bolgatty Palace on 1.24 acres. Four of the larger plans (upwards of 3000sft) offer waterfront balconies. Square footage varies between 2536sft and 3417sft. Amenities include terrace pool, billiards, gym, steam and sauna, landscaped garden, jacuzzi, jogging path, etc. 2013 Update: Pricing starts at Rs 4000psft and goes up to a whopping Rs 8500psft for the ones on the higher floors with the best views. 10/2015 Update: Construction is in full-swing and there is limited availability. Price has gone up to a base selling price between Rs 6,495 psft and Rs 9,995 psft (all inclusive). Current Status: The project is complete. There is very limited availability.

Purva Grand Bay (Marine Drive): 265 three-bedroom units on 2.65 acres ranging in square footage between 1885 sft and 1933 sft located a little further up from their Oceana project. There are six blocks (B+G+14). 10/2015 Update: The base selling price is set at Rs 6,440 psft. Current Status: The project is complete. There is limited availability. 

Note: They have a huge new project in Marine Drive called Marina One coming up in a whopping 16.7 acres of prime waterfront land. It is a joint project with Sobha.

3. Dewa Group:

Dewa Pier20 (Marine Drive): Seven huge blocks with 605 apartments that cover a total built-up area of 1.5 million sft in Phase I. The blocks offer a large number of two, three, four, five BHK and duplex units that vary in square footage between 1200sft and 5150sft. Some of the first floor apartments have a private garden. The blocks are on the other side of the road and so cannot be considered a true waterfront property although the views are still very good. Amenities include family pool, 50M lap pool, kid's pool, wading pool, water walk, party area, decks, amphitheater, etc. Current Status: The project is delayed (frames of some towers are up). There is availability.   

4. Tata Realty: 

Tritvam (Marine Drive): Six towers on 8.44 acres of prime property located between the backwaters and Mangalavanam bird sanctuary (near Highcourt) at Marine Drive. Towers 3 & 4 are currently open for sale. The project is in its very early stages and is a maiden project of Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited in the area. The towers offer 3 BHK units with square footage between 2268sft and 2185sft. The Base Selling Price is set at Rs 5850psft and applies to units that do not have Preferred Location Charges (PRC - for view). The pricing goes all the way up to Rs 9075psft for a unit that has a direct view of the backwaters. Floor Rice Charges also apply and that is set at Rs 50 per floor after second floor. 10/2015 Update: Tower 5 is currently in pre-launch. A sixth tower called iconic tower with duplex apartments was announced as well. Current Status: The project is almost complete and occupation certificate is obtained. Limited Availability.


5. Nest Infratech:

JKH Signature (Alwaye):  Ultra Luxury four and five BHK units on the Periyar riverfront from 2924sft to a whopping 10,000sft for a penthouse. Location is by the side of Perumbavoor bus-route, a popular spot with several other river-front projects. Ultra luxury features include centralized hybrid air-conditioning with room controls, infinity pool, video phone security, sky squash, roof top multigym, lawn tennis, etc. 10/2015 Update: Construction in full-swing - frame is up - limited availability. Current Status: The project is delayed. Limited Availability.

6. Asten Mather Company:

Nautica (Cheppanam, Panangad):  Sixty apartments on twin-18-floor towers in a prime waterfront two-acre location on Vembanad Lake at Panangad (near sailing club house). Square footage varies between 2500 and 4100 and prelaunch pricing (03/2013) is set at at Rs 5000psft. Amenities include leisure club, games room, pool table, half basketball court, muti-purpose gym, yoga area, steam and sauna, swimming pool, theatre, rooftop party area, etc.06/2013 Update: Asten Mather has a Periyar River Front project called Cocoon which features a distinct "villament" concept. The project is on 4.5 acres at Mudikkal (Alwaye-Perumbavoor route), 15 minutes drive from Alwaye. It is designed by nature lover and architect Mr. Sanjay Mohe - The design highlight of the property is the terraced design with each level unfolding beneath the other with sweeping views from the natural hillock on to the adjacent river. Pricing is at Rs 5500 psft.  10/2015 Update: The projects are delayed. Construction in full-swing on the Nautica project but the Cocoon project did not take off. Limited availability.  Current Status: Delayed - the 2nd tower in Nautica is still in pre-launch - pricing up to Rs 7Kpsft but they are taking only 5% upfront now.

7. Prime Meridian: 

Blue Waters (Panangad):  Blue Waters is a super-luxury project (Rs 8000 psft - very limited availability) nearing completion. 4/2014 Update: "The Dominion", an apartment project opposite Lakeshore Hospital on NH-byepass road is announced and is priced at Rs 5000 psft during the pre-launch period till May 10, 2014. After that, pricing is scheduled to increase to Rs 5500 psft. 10/2015 Update: The ultra luxury project got a huge boost recently when Sachin Tendulkur purchased one of the few independent homes in the project. "The Dominion" project is delayed and is still in pre-launch phase. Current Status: No further updates on "The Dominion" project and it is not even listed in their upcoming projects.

8. Trinity: 

Periyar Winds (off. Alwaye-Perumbavoor Road): 51 three-bedroom units (1555 sft and 1585 sft) on 53 cents of prime periyar waterfront land. 10/2015 Update: The project is in early launch phase. There is availability and pricing starts at Rs 58.5L. Current Status: Construction started with frames up till level-5. There is availability.

9. Anta Builders:

River Valley (Tripunitura): 62 three-and-two bedroom units on 74 cents of Kaniyampuzha River waterfront land. 10/2015 Update: The project is nearing completion and there is very limited availability.  Current Status: The project is complete - very limited availability.


Historical info on waterfront flat/apartment projects:

Below is some historical information (2012 thru 2015) on flat/apartment projects when we scouted in the 2012 timeframe. Updates over the years and the status as of 2015 are also included, if available:
  1. Asset Homes Silver Swan & Silver Streak (Alwaye): Silver Swan is a single block (G+16 floors) of 73 apartments with two and three BHK units that vary in square footage between 1200sft and 2150sft and six different plans. The Base Selling Price (BSP) is set at Rs 3750psft with a floor rise charge (FRC) of Rs 20 per floor. It is a Periyar river-front property located off the NH47 Highway next to Uliyanoor Bridge. Amenities include raised swimming pool overlooking river Periyar, gym, children's play area, clubhouse facing river Periyar, river-side party zone, angling point, etc.Silver Streak is another Asset waterfront single block apartment in Alwaye. Pricing for both start in the Rs 45L range. Scheduled completion is set for March 2014 and April 2014 respectively. 05/2013 Update: Pricing for Silver Swan has increased from Rs 3750psft Base Selling Price (BSP) to Rs 4000psft to be effective May 15, 2013. Final Update - 2015: The projects are complete.
  2. Sahara Grace (Chittethukara, Seaport-Airport Road): 944 two, three, and four BHK apartments and penthouses on 14.71 acres of land across 14 towers. The project is on the banks of Chitrapuzha river and the clubhouse has the best views. Square footage varies between 1200sft and 2500sft with the Base Selling Price (BSP) set at Rs 3000psft. The first two blocks (B1 and B2) are nearing completion while the recently launched A3 block is projected to complete by 2015. There is availability in all three launched towers. Amenities include swimming pool, health club with ayurvedic massage parlor, sauna, jacuzzi, gym), party lawn, billiards, snooker, table tennis, guest rooms, kids' play area, artificial lake, gazebo, jogging track, etc. Infrastructure facilities include piped cooking gas supply, helipad, substation, RO plant, CCTV, boom barrier, main gate and boundary wall security, etc. Final Update - 2015: Not much progress - the first two blocks are nearing completion - no ETA on when the project will complete.
  3. Skyline Riverville (Alwaye): Around 60 three BHK units that vary in square footage between 1574sft and 2249sft. The project location is ~6KM from Alwaye by the Perumbavoor transport-bus route. The concept is similar to their completed project called Riverscape further up on the same route. The launch price is set at Rs 2990psft and Rs 3190psft for the smaller and larger units respectively - the larger units have better views of the Periyar river although all apartments have waterfront views from the balconies. Amenities include raised swimming pool with excellent views of the river, children's play area, landscaped garden, gym, and clubhouse. Final Update - 2015: The project is complete.
  4. SFS Aqua Greens (Alwaye): Couple of large blocks with six different plans, some facing river Periyar. The location is on the Kalady road from NH47 at Desam Junction. Plans vary in square footage between 1209 sft and 1646 sft. Amenities include large swimming pool, clubhouse opening to the pool, gym, children's play area, garbage chute, incinerator, generator backup, etc. Final Update - 2015: The project is complete.
  5. DLF Riverside (Vytilla): A large set of blocks on 5.12 acres on Chilavanoor riverfront with two, three, four BHK apartments along with larger duplexes (total units - 185). There are five different plans and the square footage varies between 2000sft for a 2BHK unit to 5600sft for a 4BHK Duplex unit. The Base Selling Price (BSP) is set at Rs 4750psft and there is Preferred Location Charge (PLC) for waterfront apartments at Rs 475psft for single apartments and Rs 575psft for duplexes. Amenities include clubhouse, swimming pool, landscaped garden, jogging track, party hall, yoga plaza, river decks, tennis court, boat jetty, and resting pavilions. Final Update - 2015: The project is complete but is in a regulatory cloud - Kerala government recently (June 2014) cancelled the environmental clearance for this previously approved project and in December 2014, the high court of Kerala ordered that the building be demolished.
  6. Shwas Aqua City (Alwaye): A large waterfront city in the banks of river Periyar with around twelve different blocks and villas on 17 acres of riverfront property. It is located off Parur Kavala on NH47 after UC college. Amenities include clubhouse, gym, swimming pool, kid's pool, aquarium, riverside boat house restaurant, riverside walkways, boat club with pedal boats, jogging track, etc. Final Update - 2015: The project status is still listed as "nearing completion". The project is delayed several years and there are many customer complaints. 
  7. Jewel River Woods (Alwaye): An apartment block on 60 cents of land (G+14) in the heart of Alwaye town (near private bus stand) located by the side of river Periyar with four units per floor. Square footage of the units vary between 1645sft and 1775sft. There are four plans of which two are water facing. The apartments are competitively priced at Rs 2900 to Rs 3100psft for town-facing apartments and Rs 3000psft to 3200psft for water-facing apartments, depending on floor. Amenities include gym, party area, children's play area, riverview point with park benches, generator backup, reticulated gas supply, RO plant, sewage treatment plant, etc. Final Update - 2015: The project is complete and sold-out.
  8. Galaxy Winston (Kadavanthra): This is part of a twin project that also include Galaxy Kingston. The towers have 13 floors and face Chilavanoor river and is located at Chilavannoor road. There are two main plans with square footage at 1026sft for the 2BHK units and 1490sft for the 3BHK units. Amenities include gym, clubhouse, centralized gas supply, swimming pool, motor boat, mini auditorium, elevated river-view point, etc. Final Update - 2015: Both projects are complete.
  9. National Puzhayoram (Alwaye): Sixty apartments in a single block just 100 meters from NH47 right after Maglapuzha bridge. They offer two basic plans with 1910sft for the 3BHK plan and 2490sft for the 4BHK plan. Pricing is set at Rs 3600psft with Rs 25 per floor Floor Rise Charges (FRC). Amenities include swimming pool, gym, party hall, children's play area reticulated gas connection, etc. Final Update - 2015: The project is ready-to-occupy. Extremely limited availability.
  10. Chakolas Habitat Bayside (Thevara): Large 4BHK units (3690sft) in a single block on Thevara waterfront. Amenities include clubhouse, infinity pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, landscaped waterfront garden, squash court, pool table, table tennis, and terrace garden. They also have a single-tower waterview project in Edakochi.  Final Update - 2015: The projects were originally set to complete in 2012 and are delayed significantly. Construction is almost complete. 
  11. Holiday Group Baycastle (Marine Drive): A large single block with three and four BHK units on ten floors with first two floors of commercial space. The project offers four plans that vary in square footage between 1810sft and 2080sft. Amenities include swimming pool, kid's pool, jacuzzi, sauna, children's play area, clubhouse, gym, generator backup with apartment coverage at 2000 watts, etc. Final Update - 2015: The project is delayed slightly and is nearing completion.
  12. Dream Flower CLAIRE (Thevara): Small 12-apartment tower on 14 cents of land on the Thevara waterfront, just 1.5KM from MG Road. The units have an area between 1085 and 1160 square feet and are priced in the Rs 50L to Rs 55L range (all inclusive but excludes registration). The project was launched on 09/2012 and has a completion target of 02/2014. Final Update - 2015: The project is complete.
 
Related Posts:

  1. Waterfront Flats/Apartments in Greater Kochi Area - Review
  2. Greater Kochi Villa Projects Review
  3. Kakkanad Flat/Apartment Projects Review
  4. Kakkanad Flats (Condos) - Shopping Experience
  5. CREDAI Kochi Real Estate Property Expo 2010 - A Report.


Last Updated: 10/2016.

Kakkanad Flat/Apartment Projects Review

This is an expanded report of the availability of flats in the greater Kakkanad area. We did a post detailing our experience shopping for a flat in the mid-2010 time-frame. Since then, the pricing at many of the projects gone up significantly. Below are some of the ongoing projects from the major builders in the area:

1. Confident Builders:

Confident Leo III (near Wonderla). Located ~3KM from InfoPark the project has two-and-three bedroom units in a G+16 tower with 6 apartments per floor. The site is 98 cents and pricing is between 44L and 49L. Current Status: There is availability and construction is in progress.

2. Jain Housing: 

Jain Housing Tufnell Park (off Infopark Expressway):  1216 two and three BHK apartments in a land area of around 9 acres. The apartments are priced very competitively at Rs 1900pst. Amenities include clubhouse, gym, swimming pool, children's play area, badminton court, basketball post, cricket net practice area, amphitheater, etc. The project is moving very slowly although it had a completion date of mid-2012. July 2012 Update: construction activity has stopped since the April 2012, apparently due to labor issues. Current Status: Unknown although a few flats seem occupied although the project is by no means near completion. 

3. Hoysala:

Hoysala EVM Tower Alfa and Tower Beta: This project was announced in 2013 with a projected completion date of December 2015. It has 130 flats across two towers (G+13) on 1.2 acres of land. It is located off the Infopark road from civil station. The apartments vary in area from ~650 sft to ~1500 sft. Current Status: The project is delayed and construction is in progress. There is availability. 

Hoysala Domain: 124 apartments in a single tower (9 per floor, 2BHK, 2+Study, & 3BHK, G+14) on 77 cents of land very near their EVM project. Amenities include swimming pool and health club. Current Status: The project is delayed. There is availability. 

4. Trinity Builders: 

Trinity World (off Seaport-Airport road near Chittethukara): A four-tower township project on six acres just off Seaport Airport Road near the Infopark Expressway entrance. The main block features a central atrium which provides excellent cross-ventilation and plenty of natural light. Amenities include clubhouse, gym, swimming pool, party hall, business center, guest room, reticulated gas supply, generator backup, etc. The different towers offer apartments from 1BR to 3BR from ~1100 sft to ~1800 sft. Current Status: There is availability. The towers Jupiter (3BHK, Rs 65L+) & Mercury (2BHK, Rs 46L+), Neptune (3BHK, Rs 62L+) are "ready-to-occupy", and Venus (2&3 BHK, Rs 41L+) is ongoing.

5. SFS Homes: 

SFS Silicon Hills and Meadows (near CSEZ): The location is very near their completed Silicon Drive project. Apartments range in size from 764 sft to 2164 sft across two towers. Amenities include large swimming pool with adult/kid separation, state of the art fitness center, indoor games, multi-purpose hall, and rainwater harvesting. Current Status: The project is complete.

6. Purvankara:

Purva Eternity (Athani): A huge project on 5.21 acres with 6 blocks and apartments that vary in size between 1290 sft and 1750 sft. The units have a base selling price of Rs 4000 psft (69.22L onwards, all inclusive - there is also a special offer of up to 7 years assured rent). Amenities include  swimming pool, gym, garden, and club house. Current Status: Construction is complete and the apartments are ready-to-occupy. There is limited availability. 


7. Olive Builders:

Olive Kalista (next to Infopark off Edachira Road): Around 740 apartments in a township spanning 8.54 acres across five towers (Arista, Astra, Aleta, Alisha, and Anna) with two and three BHK units along with eleven villas. The units range in square footage between 1339sft and 1799sft. The Base Selling Price (BSP) is set at Rs 3100psft. Common amenities include man-made lake with fountain, boat jetty and boats, lake side deck, swimming pool, children's pool, shuttle court, tennis court, skating ring, meditation hall, amphitheater, clubhouse with indoor shuttle court, etc. Current Status: Alisha is the newly launched tower. Others are either ready-to-occupy while or nearing completion. 

8. Infra Housing:



Infra Vantage (opp. CSEZ, off Seaport-Airport Road): Around 160 apartments in a single tower with two and three BHK units. Square footage varies between 1138sft and 1537sft across ten different plans. Amenities include swimming pool with kids wading pool, terrace party area with pantry, gym, clubhouse, shuttle court, children's play area, janitor's room, convenience store, etc. Current Status: The project is complete.

Note: Infra Housing has three other somewhat unique apartment projects in the area: a) Infra Aspire, a compact apartment project near VSNL office - the project is complete, b) The Verandah Gardens, a retirement homes project is delayed several years, and c) Nouvelle, a serviced apartment project which is in progress. 

9. Skyline Builders: 

Skyline Spectra (Mavelipuram): Just half-a-kilometer from Kakkanad bus-stand, the project is in a single tower (L-shaped with connecting walkway, G+18) with 87 apartments with square footage between 1125 and 1886 (two-and-three bed rooms). Initial pricing is set at Rs 4750 psft. Amenities include swimming pool (first floor), fitness center, multi-purpose hall, driver's room, childrens' play area, etc. Current Status: The project is in progress and there is availability. 

Note: There is still very limited availability in their huge Ivy League project (Brown Tower) in Edachira next to Smart City. 

10. Galaxy Homes: 

 Galaxy Techno Valley (Karimugal): Small one and two-bedroom apartments (352 sft to 591 sft) in a single four-storey tower. Play area, security cabin, and a common toilet are the main amenities. Current Status: Construction in progress and there is availability.

Galaxy Pine Court (off Wonderla Road near Athani Junction): Three towers (16 floors) with 270 two-and-three bedroom apartments (725 sft and 928 sft, ~23L and ~29L) on 136 cents of land. Amenities include swimming pool, health club, mini auditorium with indoor games, garden & play areas, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, etc. Current Status: Construction is on-going and there is limited availability.

Galaxy Cloud Space (Edachira): Single tower (16 floors) with 140 three-bedroom (~1100 sft each, ~44L) apartments. Amenities include swimming pool, health club, mini auditorium with indoor games, garden & play areas, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, etc. Current Status: Nearing Completion and there is very limited availability.  

11. Desai Homes: 

DD Diamond Valley: Three towers with two-and-three bedroom apartments with square footage between 1128 and 1544. Location is opposite the DD Green Woods project in Edachira. Current Status: Work in progress. 

DD Green Woods (Edachira): 102 two-and-three bedroom apartments with square footage between 951 square feet and 1473 square feet near Kalabhavan School. Childrens' play area, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, and centralized gas connection are the main amenities.
Final Update: The project is ready-to-occupy as of 2015 and even now there is availability. DD Misty Hills, a project launched almost a decade ago, also still has a few units available.

12. Manjooran Housing:

Rowan Park (Edachira): A 3-acre township project. Two towers (Springs and Scarlet - both 20 floors) scheduled to complete in March and December 2016 respectively as of last year are delayed by another year. Springs have 90 two-and-three bedroom apartments with pricing starting at Rs 50L. Scarlet has 132 one-and-two bedroom apartments starting at around Rs 20L. Location is near Marthoma School at Edachira. Current Status: Both projects are delayed - Springs is nearing completion and Scarlet is now projected to compete in December 2017.



13. Motif Builders:

Royale Courtyard: Single tower of two-and-three bedroom (between 1216 sft and 3068 sft) units around 4KM from Kakakand Civil Station towards Pukkattupady. Current Status: Work in progress and availability is limited. 



14. Green Vistas:

Prakrriti: Two and three bedroom apartments in two phases with square footage between 1073 and 1687 on 3.76 acres. 08/2012 Update: The pricing for Green Vistas Prakrriti (Edachira, 600 meters from Infopark) Phase I (Sep 2012 handover) and pre-launch pricing for Phase II (handover in 30 months) has both been adjusted to Rs 2800 psft. FRC is Rs 20 per floor and parking is Rs 2L. Previous Update (03/2012): Phase I (July 2012 handover) is nearing completion and they have a couple of good offers at the moment: a) All-inclusive furnished flats (kitchen cabinets and wardrobe) in Phase I (very limited availability) with an assured rentals clause (24 months) available for a special price - several conditions apply including payment of 50% of the quoted amount before March 31st - the pricing for a 1437sft Type D apartment is ~Rs 47.6L and comes with an assured rental of Rs 16K per month - that works out to an all inclusive price of Rs 3314 per square foot, and b) Phase II (EOY 2014 handover) can be booked at the pre-launch price of Rs 2600psft. Current Status: The project is nearing completion after many delays and there is still limited availability. Pricing is upwards of ~40L based on plan.

15. Kent Constructions:

Kent Mahal (off Infopark road to Puthencruz, 200M from Smart City): One to Three bedroom apartments between 650sft and 1350sft on 3 acres of land with six towers.  Current Status: The project is complete and ready-to-occupy and there is very limited availability. 

16. Noel Villas & Apartments:

 Noel Serenia (Athani): Three bedroom apartments with square footage of 1750 sft and 2050 sft on a single tower located opposite Fort Township off Athani Junction. Amenities include gym, half basketball court, badminton court, party hall & theater, guest room, generator backup, etc. Current Status: The project is complete. 

17. Dream Flower:

Zenobia (opposite CSEZ & behind Tonico Cafe): Fourteen premium flats (12 two-bedrooms and 2 three-bedrooms) in thirteen cents of land. Square footage varies between 905 and 1300 and pricing between Rs 35L and Rs 60L. Current Status: The project is nearing completion (December 2016 projection) and it is Sold Out. 

18. Nucleus Properties:

Heyday (Off seaport airport road on Thuthiyoor Road): 20 villas and 16 apartments on a 1.2 acre lot. The villas vary in square feet between 1198 and 2014 while the apartments are between 874 and 1293. Amenities include swimming pool, health club, club house with multipurpose hall, badminton court, etc. Current Status: The project is in progress and there is limited availability.

19. Prestige Group:

Hillside Gateway (on Infopark-Edachira Road opposite Kusumgiri Hospital): 602 apartments (various plans with 1BHK to 4BHK and square footage between 656 and 2499) and 27 villas (two plans at 3932 and 4012 sft respectively) on 13 acres across 6 towers. A world-class forum mall is to be co-located within the same acreage. Current Status: Project in early launch phase and pre-launch pricing is set at Rs 4000 psft.
  


Historical info on Kakkanad Flat Projects:

Below is some historical information (2012 thru 2015) on projects in the area that have completed/sold-out:

  1. Confident Capella (off Infopark Expressway): Two Hundred and One, 1/2/3 BHK apartments along with 14 villas that are part of the Confident Corona villa project. The project has just been handed over (2012) to owners association and availability is very limited. Amenities include swimming pool, gym, billiards, table tennis, guest rooms, children's park, party hall, and steam and sauna room. Final Update - 2013: There is no availability and the handover process is complete.   
  2. Hoysala D'zire (off Edachira Junction next opposite Kalabhavan school): 94 two and three BHK flats in a single block on around an acre of land. The project had a completion date of December 2012 but was delayed significantly. Square footage varies between 828sft and 1381sft with three different plans. Amenities include club house, swimming pool, gym, spa, basketball half court, and pool table. Oct 2015 Update: The project is nearing completion. 
  3. SFS Silicon Park (opp. Technopolis, off Seaport-Airport Road): Two and Three BHK apartments across two main blocks (Silicon Court and Silicon Gate). The apartments have a square footage of between 1212sft and 2065sft with six different plans. Amenities include gym, party hall, swimming pool, children's play area, garbage chute, etc. The project is nearing completion and availability is very limited. Final Update - 2015: The project is complete and handed over.   
  4. Purva Moonreach (on Seaport Airport Road near Civil Station): Three BHK units on two blocks with 360-degree views. The apartments have a square footage of around 1900sft. The project is nearing completion. Amenities include billiards room and table tennis room, gym, steam, sauna, jacuzzi, swimming pool with change rooms, club theater, outdoor children's play area, basketball post, etc. Final Update - 2015: Phase I of the project is completely sold-out. 
  5. Noel Greenature (off Infopark Road from Civil Station): Around 100 "villa apartments" in two blocks with 14 floors. The apartments have a square footage between 1990sft and 2479sft. Each apartment has a private garden area with walkway and view which is a unique feature of the project. Pricing is Rs 3400psft - each apartment has an open garden area measuring around 250sft and that is priced at Rs 1000psft. Amenities include party hall and home theater, pool table, library, swimming pool, gym, kid's play area, shuttle court, two guest rooms, open air theatre, generator backup, reticulated gas connection, etc. The project is nearing completion and availability is very limited. They also have a newly launched project at Athani junction called Serenia. Final Update - 2014: The project is completely sold out and handed over. 
  6. Good Earth Home's Elements. The project is off Edappally-Pukkattupady Road (on Pipeline Road) in Thrikkakara (not Kakkanad proper but borders it) and consists of 50 flats in a high-rise on a one-acre plot of land. Building foot-print is ~30% and the apartments have "the gardens in the sky" concept similar to the one pioneered by Noel at Greenature. Pricing starts at Rs 4000 per square foot - Rs67L for a 1690sft 3BR apartment. Amenities include club house swimming pool, gym, and sky court. Final Update - 2015: The project was completed in January 2015.
  7. Chakolas Orange Park (on Wdonderla road from Civil Station): Studio, one and two BHK apartments across two blocks with square footage between 663sft and 1336sft. Amenities include children's play area, club house, pool, jacuzzi, provision store, indoor shuttle court, table tennis, coffee shop and restaurant, snooker room, gym, launderette, party room, etc. They also have another project called Chakolas Heights near Irumpanam bridge on Seaport-Airport road. The projects are nearing completion and are good value for money with pricing around Rs 2000psft. Final Update - 2015: The projects were originally set to complete in 2012 and is delayed significantly. Construction is almost complete.
  8. Skyline Ivy League (Smart City): Around 470 two and three BHK flats on 6.5 acres of land across six towers. There is a large selection of plans across the towers. All towers are launched and the first four are in the process of being handed over. There is very limited availability in those towers while there is still availability in the last two towers (Princeton and Cornell, scheduled handover date 12/2013). The Base Selling Price (BSP) is Rs 3100psft. Amenities include swimming pool and lawn-swimming pool with kiddie's pool, club house-fitness center, games room, children's room, guest room, party hall, home theater, large landscaped areas with children's play area and equipments, etc. Skyline also has a project near Bharata Mata College off Seaport-Airport Road called Corona that is getting ready to launch. 06/2013 Update: A new tower Brown was announced this month with a pre-release pricing of Rs 3750psft, Rs 3L for car park, and Rs 10 FRC from 4th floor. It is very early and the builder is still unsure whether they will get permit for a G+20 as opposed to G+9 approved currently. Final Update - 2015: The project is read-to-move-in for the most part. Limited availability.
  9. MIR Green Metropolis - Jade Heights Tower II (Opp. Sunrise Hospital, off Seaport-Airport Road): A 32-storeyed tower that is part of MIR Green Metropolis township which has the distinction of being the tallest twin tower in South India. It has 3 BHK apartments with a square footage of ~1820sft with five different plans. The township is part of a 400-units plus 25-villas township project that also includes the completed Emerald Park tower, Jade Heights Tower I, and the Verdant Yard villa project. Amenities include health club, jogging track, swimming pool, yoga center, waiting room, library, guest suite, reticulated gas system, conference hall, reading room, amphitheater, open air party area, kids play area, etc. 05/2013 Update: Pricing has gone up in the last year from Rs 2700-3160psft to Rs 3100-3560psft depending on floor (FRC - Rs 10 per floor) and plan (1850sft plan is priced Rs 150 higher compared to the 1820 sft plan - PLC). Final Update - 2015: Jade Heights Tower 1, Emerald Park Tower, and the Verdant Yard villas are completely sold-out. There is availability in Jade Heights Tower 2 - construction of the tower is still at a very early phase (frames only partly up).
  10. Galaxy Greens (near Rajagiri Valley): Around hundred three BHK units in a single tower 100m from Infopark Expressway on the road to Rajagiri Valley. Square footage varies between 1242sft and 1563sft across six different plans. The project is nearing completion. Amenities include swimming pool, health club, children's' play area, mini auditorium, 24-hour security, generator backup for common facilities, etc. Galaxy also has a project call Galaxy Domain near HMT junction. It has similar amenities and 3BHK apartments with square footage between 968sft and 1338sft. Final Update - 2015: The projects are complete and handed over.      
  11. Jewel Richmond (Rajagiri Valley): Small one, two, and three BHK flats on two single towers (Jewel Crest View and Jewel Ridge View). The Crest View project is slated for completion in September 2012 and Richmond project in June 2012. The Crest View project has seven plans with square footage between 630sft and 1575sft. The Ridge View project has five plans with square footage between 560sft and 1305sft. Amenities are minimal. The downside is the proximity to Brahmapuram waste treatment facility. Final Update - 2015: The projects are ready-to-occupy and there is limited availability.
  12. Heera Cyber View (on Edachira Road, near Infopark): 131 flats in a single tower (B+G+15 floors) with square footage between 1345sft and 2090sft (two and three BHK units). There are nine different plans offered. The project is nearing completion. Amenities include fitness center, children's park, passenger lift, backup generator (common facilities only), cooking gas reticulation system, round-the-clock security, etc.Final Update - 2015: The project is almost complete and there is very limited availability.
  13. DLF New Town Heights (Civil Station, opposite MLA Road on Seaport-Airport Road): Around 1800 two-and-three BHK flats on 26 acres of land across 20 towers. Square Footage varies between 1100sft and 1750sft with the Base Selling Price (BSP) set at Rs 3500psft. Phase II towers (U and V) are set to launch shortly. Handing over for Phase I towers is scheduled to commence by mid-2013. Amenities include swimming pool, kids' pool, badminton court, yoga plaza, gym, party hall, cafeteria, table tennis room, salon, video game parlor, cards room, billiard room, squash court, creche, guest suites, banquet hall, convention center, jogging track, etc. Infrastructure facilities include three-tiered security with video surveillance, RO Plant, solid waste treatment plant, underground drainage and cables, etc.05/2013 Update: Pricing was increased several times in the last year: Rs 3750 psft in July 2012, Rs 4000 psft November 2012, and Rs 4250 in January 2013. Car Parking rate was also increased from Rs 2.5L to Rs 3L. 09/2013 Update: 16 units remain unsold among the launched towers and their Signature Tower launch was postponed to Phase II (2014 or so). The project has slipped by another year and handover for launched towers are now scheduled for a phased delivery between October and December 2014. Also, they issued a surprise payment request for between Rs 1.25L and Rs 2.5L (depending on square footage) for taxes paid by them to vendors and such - apparently, in the owner's agreement there is a clause (19.1) that mentions this although the payment schedule had no mention of it. There is some activity within the newly organized DLF NTH owners association to protest the move. Final Update - 2015: The first phase of the project is almost complete and the final demand notices to the first batch of buyers is sent. Minimal availability.
  14. Sahara Grace (Chittethukara, opposite Infopark Expressway on Seaport-Airport Road): 944 two-four BHK flats and penthouses on 14.71 acres of land across 14 towers. Square footage varies between 1200sft and 2500sft with the Base Selling Price (BSP) set at Rs 3000psft. The first two blocks (B1 and B2) are nearing completion while the recently launched A3 block is projected to complete by 2015. There is availability in all three launched towers. Amenities include swimming pool, health club with ayurvedic massage parlor, sauna, jacuzzi, gym), party lawn, billiards, snooker, table tennis, guest rooms, kids' play area, artificial lake, gazebo, jogging track, etc. Infrastructure facilities include piped cooking gas supply, helipad, substation, RO plant, CCTV, boom barrier, main gate and boundary wall security, etc. Final Update - 2015: Not much progress - the first two blocks are nearing completion - no ETA on when the project will complete.
  15. Mather Highlands (Rajagiri Valley): 248 executive apartments(two and three BHK) in six towers (G+8 to G+14 floors) on 2.78 acres of land adjacent to Chithrapuzha river.  Square footage varies between 1233sft and 1619sft across four different plans. Pricing is set at Rs 2500psft to Rs 2800psft depending on the floor. Car parking is Rs 2L and statutory charges are collected at 12.5%. Amenities include clubhouse, gym, recreation area, swimming pool, shops, tennis court, indoor party area, and landscaped terrace. The project is located in a crowded section of the valley next to a number of flats from Jewel Builders with the Mather's own completed villa project "Leisureville" in the middle. It is a very good location for IT workers and executives. There is however one downside that may be a showstopper for many - Brahmapuram waste treatment facility is on the other side of the river and the whole area stinks badly, especially some nights. Their Esperanza project nearing completion on Seaport-Airport road is a good choice if you are looking for Studio Apartments. Final Update - 2015: Both projects are almost complete and three is extremely limited availability in both.
  16. Desai Homes - DD Misty Hills (on Veegaland road from Civil Station): 350 apartments and 19 villas in a 5-acre compound on two main blocks featuring two and three BHK apartments. Square footage varies between 982sft and 1292sft. The project has a completion date of December 2012. The apartments are very competitively priced with a Base Selling Price (BSP) starting at Rs 1900psft. Availability in Tower 2 is limited although there is plenty of availability in Tower 1. Final Update - 2015: The project is read-to-occupy and there are few units available. DD Golden Gate, a similar large project also has a few units available. 
  17. Flair Alliance - Trine Phase I (off Veegaland road from Civil Station): An eclectic collection of two and three BHK units along with large penthouses across three main blocks. The units vary in square footage between 1152sft and 2554sft. Amenities include swimming pool, kids pool, gym, jacuzzi, sauna, card room, tuition room, table tennis, billiards, snooker, visitors lobby, kids play area, society room, on call maintenance, reticulated gas system, conference room, library, reading room, roof top party area, club house, generator backup, garbage chute, shuttle court, basketball post, etc. Flair Alliance has two other projects in the Kakkanad area - Atrium and Corbel. They also have two new projects on the same lot - Phase II and Phase III which are yet to be launched - previously Blueberry and Sofitel. Final Update - 2015: Trine Phase I project is delayed - frame is partly up and there is availability. Their Atrium and Corbel projects are both complete. 
  18. Rajagiri Campus Court (Infopark Expressway, next to South Indian Bank):  It is a township project consisting of two residential towers, one hotel, a mall and multiplex Cinemas. The plan calls for the ~360 apartment (two towers, 25 floors, 3BHK-1760sft, 2BHK-1570sft, few duplexes and penthouses) residential portion to complete in 36 months. The project is a collaboration between Asten Realtors, a unit of Mather builders and the Rajagiri group of institutions. Amenities include swimming pool, club house, health club, children's play area, home theatre, rooftop party area, drivers' rest room, common toilets, high speed elevators, pool tables, spa with jacuzzi/sauna, massage tables and steam bath, indoor games room, video games arcade, 24 hour security with CCTV, generator backup, centralized gas supply, modern fire protection systems, etc. 07/2012 Update: during the pre-launch phase, pricing was at Rs 3000psft and was expected to go to Rs 3250psft shortly. 06/2013 Update: Pricing of Campus Court is now set at Rs 3600psft which translates to around Rs 75L for a 3BR (1760sft) apartment and Rs 68L for a 2BR+Study (1572sft) apartment. 01/2014 Update: Campus Court saw a further price increase around September last year to Rs 3800 psft and they have announced a further increase to Rs 4000 psft effective January 25, 2014. The project is making progress and the three-year time-frame (mid-2015 delivery) for the two apartment blocks looks still on track. Final Update - 2015: The project is delayed although the frames for the two towers are both up.
 
Related Posts:

  1. Waterfront Flats/Apartments in Greater Kochi Area - Review
  2. Greater Kochi Villa Projects Review
  3. Kakkanad Flat/Apartment Projects Review
  4. Kakkanad Flats (Condos) - Shopping Experience
  5. CREDAI Kochi Real Estate Property Expo 2010 - A Report.


Last Updated: 10/2016.

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