Anyone who has come to Navi Mumbai has come to Palm Beach Road. It is the Queens Necklace of the twin city. A biker’s haven over the weekend. The Raahagiri place to be on Sunday mornings. And anyone who has come to Palm Beach has seen Seawoods Estates. Though the name that everyone knows, for the most ambitious and prestigious of housing complexes developed by CIDCO, is NRI Complex. It is a tangle of 56 high rises divided into two phases.
Developed by CIDCO as its high end offering, the project was a big dream for anyone in Navi Mumbai. When it was commissioned in 1994 with fan fare, it was targeted at the NRI looking to invest in India. Only NRIs, making payments in foreign currency, were allowed to purchase flats from CIDCO. The response was so lackluster that CIDCO realized its mistake within 2 years and started selling the flats to Indians as well. But by then the project was declared a failure and for nearly 5 years it was virtually empty. Prices crashed and NRIs sold their holdings in the panic that followed, fearing further loss.
It was only 10 years after the completion of the project that people started realizing the potential of the complex. The complex boasts the best ratio of built-up to open spaces. The club has all the facilities from billiards table to tennis, squash and badminton courts. A swimming pool as well as a lot of gardens are within the complex. Phase I and Phase II both have independent clubs.
It’s a gated community that celebrates all festivals with fervor. Children roam free within the complex and parents can rest assured that they are safe. Cycles are a mode of transport for the kids running from one court to another to catch the various training sessions. Everything from dramatics, all sports, fitness to dance and Vedic maths are taught in the complex. Everyone will find likeminded people here. It’s also a very cosmopolitan mix of people.
So, was the project ahead of its time? Maybe. Is it now overpriced compared to the market? Certainly. But one thing is for sure, there is no other complex that affords the kind of open spaces, as this lavish offering from CIDCO. And that is the USP. The space to breathe, in this crazy, congested city. You can’t put a price tag on that now, can you?