In a city full of age-old heritage structures reflecting the design expertise of the ancient masons to new-age buildings empowered by the rising aspirations of white-collar professionals, the real-estate story in Lucknow is at a turning point. From Bara Imambara to Chota Imambara that reflect the intricacies of Mughal architecture to Rumi Darwaza and Vidhaan Bhawan, which constitute an exposition of Awadhi and the Indo-European style of architecture, Lucknow is a cultural potpourri and the contemporary metropolis of Uttar Pradesh. Though the city evokes nostalgia in the hearts of history and poetry lovers, not to mention foodies, there’s so much more to it – a lot of it to do with its ongoing infrastructure development. Lucknow’s connectivity with other cities is being fostered by the highways and expressways being built in Uttar Pradesh. Within the city, the metro-railis forging an avenue of transformation.Real-estate players are keen to capitalise on these developments and the time seems just right. “Lucknow has a lot of potential and after the pandemic, the market is in a positive mode,” says SK Garg, Chairman, CREDAI, Uttar Pradesh.“I am really happy with the infrastructure upgrade that the state of Uttar Pradesh and the city of Lucknow are witnessing. It will definitely makeLucknow one of the most sought-after real-estate destinations in Uttar Pradesh in times to come. The commercial market is slow; residential is doing well. I just hope there is more land available close to the metro stations as it would allow developers to capitalise in a better way.” Real-estate development in Lucknow is also spurred by increasing consumer aspiration.“A significant economic and behavioural shift is propelling the rise of the Lucknow housing market,” agrees Shashank Gupta, Executive Chairman and Managing Director, Urban Axis Infratech.“The trends clearly show that the aspirational consumer is going beyond metropolitan areas that offer an opulent lifestyle in addition to sustainability and wellness factors. A flurry of infrastructural development, good connectivity, vibrant open spaces and cultural history have established Lucknow as a top real-estate destination, with demand increasing across the gamut. Despite the detrimental effects of the pandemic, the real-estate market has seen great growth, with homebuyers and developers continuing to express interest in investing. The city has seen a major boom in the real-estate market in the past two years, with property prices rising by 25-50 per cent.” Highlighting the role of expressways and metro railways in the growth of the Lucknow real-estate market, Ravi Nirwal, Sales Director & Principal Partner – North India, Square Yards,says, “Infrastructure always plays a vital role in the overall development of a city and with expressway, highwaysand metro it becomes easier. With Yamuna Expressway (Noida to Lucknow via Agra), Ganga Expressway (Meerut to Prayagraj) and Bundelkhand Expressway (Delhi to Patna via Lucknow) would be a super success for the development of the city. Areas like Gomti Nagar extension and nearby would be prime movers over the next couple of years.” “The metro railway has given a lot of impetus to areas like Faizabad Road, Kanpur Road, Sultanpur Road and Rae Bareli Road,” according to Abhai Mani Chaturvedi, Vice President – Research, Anarock Group.“Ample land parcels are available in these areas for developers to capitalise on. Moreover, the remaining phases of the metro railway will become operational in three to seven years, which will furtherescalate the price of properties in these areas. As of now, prime areas in and in around Lucknow worth taking note of are Gomti Nagar Extension, Sushant Gold City, Faizabad Road, Vrindavan Yojana and Mohanlalganj.” Apart from the metro railway, the Ring Road, too, has too has turned Lucknow into a viable real-estate destination. “Emerging regions like The Outer Ring Road (ORR)are fast becoming the epicentre of the investment valley,” says Siddharth Katyal, Group Director, Omaxe Ltd. “The ORR connects to five national and six state highways, thereby providing connectivity to adjoining cities like Rae Bareli, Kanpur, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Agra, Hardoi, Sitapur, religious cities like Prayagraj, Varanasi and Ayodhya, and even Delhi.” It is also important to take into account that Lucknow is playing an integral role in Uttar Pradesh’s march towards itsgoal of becoming a $1-trillion economy. The city contributes 3.85 per cent of the state’s GDP so it’s no wonder that developers are keen to execute projects there. “The market potential, marketability and demand for housing units in Lucknow are good and we are keen to execute projects on a joint venture basis,” shares Pravin Jain, Chairman, Parsvnath Developers. “The demand curve in residential real estate is currently being driven by the affordable and luxury segments. Areas like Hazrat Nagar and Gomti Nagar have become expensive but thanks to the infrastructure upgrade, it is easy to commute to and from affordable areas like Airport Road and Uattardhona to Lucknow. So,it is fair to say that Lucknow is also having an impact on the development of real estate in adjoining areas and cities.” Though the real-estate market in Lucknow is primarily being driven by residential and retail, going forward, there will be opportunities in the commercial segment too. Gomti Nagar is now developing as both a commercial and IT hub of mainland Lucknow. Until now, Central Lucknow, consisting of Hazratganj, Vidhan Sabha Marg and Ashok Marg, was the main commercial area. Commenting on this development Chaturvedi points out,“Companies like HCL and TCS have now taken note of Lucknow and have started opening up, more so because they are getting office spaces at better rates.” Going by current trends, Lucknow will emerge as a real-estate hotspot of Central India in the long run. So before prices escalate further, try your luck now!