Chennai is home to several serene and well-kept posh zones which are among the most coveted residential destinations throughout the city. Poes Garden and Boat Club Road are the most premium residential zones in the city and come with good roads, well maintained civic and social infrastructure, low noise levels and huge bungalows with large gardens and courtyards. The hustle and bustle of the city takes a backseat in these two localities. These areas are home to the rich and famous of Chennai and coveted addresses here can command sky-high prices.
Both Boat Club Road and Poes Garden were initially positioned as layouts and there were big plots sold in these areas. Major business houses and companies in Chennai bought these land parcels many years back as per reports. Boat Club Road is considered more prestigious than Poes Garden and witnessed rapid evolution in the 1950-60s. There were many premium clubs set up by the British that are present here along the Adyar River’s banks. The Adyar Club was set up in the year 1891 on the river bank and the Madras Club was also present here. The Madras Boat Club is also located nearby. The Madras and Adyar Clubs were merged in the year 1963.
The areas near these social clubs were positioned as some of the most premium real estate destinations and they were snapped up by several wealthy families after Independence. There are huge land parcels along the Boat Club Road that have been purchased by families belonging to big business groups or the companies themselves like the TVS Group, Murugappa Group, Ambattur Clothing, ITC, Ashok Leyland, TTK and HSBC to name a few. From the 1980s onwards, Boat Club Road became the most sought-after housing destination in Chennai.
Several companies started developing big homes for their heads in this area and the Murugappa Group was one of the earliest to start building villas here. The American International School is located nearby and this attracted expats as well. ITC also developed premium housing projects for its senior executives while the family behind the TVS Group also shifted to live in this area. The famous Maran brothers also purchased property in the area sometime earlier. N Srinivasan, the Managing Director of India Cements and former BCCI mandarin, purchased property in Boat Club Road back in 2011 while the family behind MRF also shifted here in 2014. Other people who purchased property here include Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, Dwarak Reddy, son-in-law of Dr. Pratap Reddy (promoter of Apollo Hospitals), R Veeramani (Chairman of Gem Granites), Ravi Appasamy (Appaswamy Real Estates), L Ganesh (Chairman of Rane Group) and Subba Reddy (Ceebros).
Poes Garden also gained special status as a coveted housing destination for its good connectivity to the Fort St. George and Mount Road along with the Bay of Bengal. The land was the property of Poe, a British man back in the 19th century. It was purchased by shipping firm Binny and Co. in the 1920s prior to being distributed amongst the directors. Poes Garden was sold as residential plots/layouts back in the 1950s. TVS Group also possessed land parcels back then in this area. However, Poes Garden rose in status with the arrival of ex-Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa into the locality. Her mother Vedavalli purchased a bungalow here in 1967 and Jayalalithaa lived here for 30 years in the bungalow called Veda Nilayam.
Iconic movie star Rajinikanth is also a resident of the area while the BGR Group family purchased property from the TVS Group in 2015 here. Indra Nooyi, the CEO at Pepsico, bought an apartment here in 2007 for a whopping Rs. 6.5 crore. Ace cricketer Dinesh Karthik and his wife Deepika Pallikal, a noted squash player, have also shifted to this locality in recent times. Boat Club Road spans 40-50 acres while Poes Garden is around 25 acres. Boat Club Road is costlier than Poes Garden but both areas have sky high prices in comparison to the rest of the city. Horizontal growth has been observed for both these localities. Boat Club Road still has a majority of bungalows while Poes Garden has quite a few residential skyscrapers and complexes.