Every month, many new names join the ever-growing list of homeowners in Noida and Greater Noida. Last Wednesday, the twin city got its most famous homeowner in master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. The cricketer bought a flat at a housing society in Greater Noida and his wife Anjali came down to the city for the paperwork. However, if the folks of Greater Noida believe they’ll be seeing the cricket legend as their neighbour soon, they’re in for some disappointment. Tendulkar is the seventh international cricketer to buy property in Noida in the recent years, but none of the other six have stayed in the city either. The same can be said for a number of actors and singers who have purchased houses in Noida – none of the celebrities have converted those houses into homes.
For cricketers, Noida house is for either investment or business
Apart from Tendulkar, Kapil Dev also bought a flat in the same society, which adjoins an 18-hole golf course. Residents hoped that given Kapil’s penchant for golf (he is a national-level senior golfer now), he would make the city his second home. However, the former World Cup-winning captain has chosen not to move to Noida. MS Dhoni’s association with Noida has had its share of ups and downs. Captain Cool had spent a sizable sum purchasing three plots and a flat on the Noida Expressway in 2010. However, his visits to the city in the six years since have largely been for ad shoots or promotional events. But any mention of Dhoni and Noida in the same sentence today brings to mind the infamous incident where homeowners in a Noida society had complained to him about the builder he endorsed failing to deliver houses in time. The homeowners’ tweets went viral and Dhoni quit as the brand ambassador of the group.
Then there are others who have chosen to buy land here and utilize it for their businesses. Both Ajay Jadeja and Saba Karim run cricket academies on their properties in Noida. Saba Karim’s academy in Sector 132 remains one of the oldest by a sportsperson in the city.
Buying house in Noida for investment, not for living
The trend is not limited to cricketers – even people from the entertainment industry own properties in Noida. And like their cricketing counterparts, they don’t live here either. TV actors Aman Verma and Kavita Kaushik have flats in Noida, as does Karan Singh Grover. However, even during their visits to Delhi-NCR, the actors do not stay in their Noida homes. Speaking in an interview last year, actress Taapsee Pannu had revealed that she had bought two houses in Noida between 2014 and 2015 for investment purposes. “I don’t expect to be staying in either of the houses, so I will probably be renting them out,” she had told us. Talking about why she chose Noida, Taapsee added, “Noida is the future for real estate. They have done all they could with Delhi. Whenever we talk of expansion, it has to be about Noida.”
The only notable exception to the trend is former Miss India and actress Gul Panag. The actress has a house in Noida and has been a very vocal supporter of the city on social media. Tweets like “Glad I chose Noida over Gurgaon,” and “Noida is home!” are indicators of that.
However, administrative officials in the city say that the mere association of a celeb’s name with the twin cities is enough to boost the interest of others looking to move here. Rajiv Tyagi, additional general manager, Greater Noida Authority, says, “Even if Sachin or Dhoni visit the city three-four times a year and go by their flat once, it is still billed as them ‘visiting their Noida home’. In people’s minds, it is not simply an investment, but that person’s home. And in India, which is so celebrity-crazy, the prospect of having a celeb for neighbour is a big deal, even if it is just a remote chance. I know of cases where people have been willing to spend a few extra lakhs to get a flat next to one owned by a celebrity.”
Even Delhi-based celebrities avoid Noida
While actors and sportspersons not based in NCR avoid staying in Noida, even NCR-based celebs, who own property in Noida, choose to stay elsewhere. Singer Mika has a house in Noida but stays in a farmhouse near Gurgaon. Despite being a regular to Noida, the singer chooses to rent out his Noida apartment. Cricketer Suresh Raina bought a palatial mansion in Sector 50 in 2013 and was expected to move here from his Ghaziabad home. However, the cricketer eventually bought a house in South Delhi, into which he moved last year. Speaking to us last year, the cricketer had said, “Noida is a nice place and I still go to practice there, but I found the atmosphere of South Delhi more to my liking.”
Noida’s famous homeowners
Sachin Tendulkar, Greater Noida
MS Dhoni, Sector 104, Noida Expressway
Suresh Raina, Sector 50
Kapil Dev, Greater Noida
RP Singh, Greater Noida
Saba Karim, Sector 132
Karan Singh Grover