I went to visit this project on a whim. My husband and I had been looking for a property to invest in, for some time now. We live in Mumbai and lead very busy lives. And given this, the search for a property had also been sporadic. For nearly a year, we had been on the look-out for a spacious 4 BHK apartment, with a lot of amenities, which could also double up as a quick weekend getaway, in or around Mumbai.
Given our hectic schedules, we wanted to have a place to spend an odd weekend with the kids, without the worry of flight and hotel bookings. The idea of having a home away from home, in a well-serviced gated community, with all kinds of recreation space for the children to get busy in, especially and most importantly a large and well-kept swimming pool, is what we have been living with for a while. A 2nd home that also worked out as a strong investment opportunity.
My husband frequently travels to Pune for work, and my toddler and I decided to join him on one of these trips. I had seen the impressive advertisements of The Ark on our drive over. As his work took him to the plush NIBM area, after dropping him, I decided to hop over for a quick look at this project, with my toddler in tow. Little did I know that this chance visit would give us our dream getaway home.
On entering the lobby, I sensed a refreshing friendliness in the ambience. Different from the 30 other projects we had visited, this one was a lobby of a tower in which people actually resided. Unlike the intrusive aggression of a sales office of a real estate project, this had a welcoming, secure, lived-in air, further made comfortable by the friendly ushers, who offered some much-required coffee and a plateful of decadent cookies that my little one dug right into. Given the COVID scenario, I especially liked the little touches to the service that ensured thoughtfulness, and carried through to most aspects of the project.
The nice representative took us right up to an office space, and showed us the project video. After having visited so many projects with the intention to buy, I found myself awed by the emphasis on architecture that the builder seemed to have put. Clearly, this was more than just another project. There was heart in it. We had seen The Ark marketed as a masterpiece, compared to the 7 wonders by some enthusiastic well-meaning agency I am sure. But as more and more details of the project unfolded, I felt that each carefully designed element was a sincere effort in living up to that claim. I was eager to see each one.
We then saw the acres of private forest within the compound, learnt about each amenity planned inside and out, and most of all, I was impressed to see the well-planned plush residences. I loved the deck looking out at the forest, and could picture my husband and me sipping our evening tea there, while the kids splashed in the infinity pool on the terrace.
However, all the while, I was also doing quick comparisons of each element with the many apartment complexes we had seen earlier. Yes, the private forest area and the wide open spaces all around seemed to be rising above these comparisons. I felt my reservations slipping away, but I was determined to play devil’s advocate, to make sure we decide right.
And then we stepped into the lift to go to the much-acclaimed terrace on the 18th floor. Nothing prepared us for the spectacular expanse and views that greeted us. This was one space that had no equal. You had to be there to experience it. Even though it was far from complete, the space and views were stunning. My ‘Mumbai-raised’ space-deprived toddler squealed with delight, and went tearing across the roof, running with abandon and safety. And I could imagine our weekend evenings here.
After completing our research and several more visits, the husband and I closed the deal. The Ark was one of those purchases where the heart met the head. I grudge them for not budging on the price, but between us we knew it was a great deal.
We can’t wait to get our home later this year. While we stood on the largest terrace in the world after signing the dotted line, the idyllic evening breeze of Pune seemed to promise us that our weekend visits would be far more frequent than we imagined.
Maharashtra-RERA vide Reg. No. P52100004160, P52100028472 and P52100020446 - https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in/