Tuesday, 18 August 2015

New horizons in office realty space; 3 new commercial buildings are setting new benchmarks

Three new commercial buildings in three cities are towering over the others - rawing top Indian and global companies as tenants and setting new benchmarks in the creation of quality office space. One Horizon Centre on Golf Course Road in Gurgaon, WaveRock in Hyderabad and The Capital in Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex each offers features that have helped to fetch a premium on rentals, which clients are more than willing to pay.

Apart from standard facilities like prime location, high-speed elevators, multi-level parking, power back-up and central air conditioning, the developers of these buildings provide an ambient air quality that's cleaner than the outside and spacious floors designed to maximise usage. All three buildings have been certified 'green' and have sustainable design features that are said to make workplaces healthier, productive and less energy-consuming. The 25-storey One Horizon Centre building in Gurgaon has 1 million square feet of office space and boasts of tenants like Apple, Coca-Cola, Vistara, American Express and Zomato.

The Capital in Mumbai has clients including Deutsche Bank, Pfizer, Bain & Co, VISA, SBI, First Gulf Bank and Symantec. WaveRock in Hyderabad is home to Tata Consultancy Services, BSE -1.19 %, Accenture, DuPont, Capgemini and Birlasoft. The lights in the office of Vistara, the Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines venture, at One Horizon Center don't come on till about 4.30 pm. It's not that people start working late but just that there is enough natural light available, unless it's raining, a company spokesperson said. The glass facade of the building, treated to allow in light while cutting out the heat and noise, has helped Vistara lower its energy bills by as much as 35-40 per cent. What drew Vistara to the building? The location, floors of 34,000 square feet free of pillars to optimise use of space and the prospect of top companies as neighbours.

International property firm Hines, which developed the project with DLF, said it was surprised at how quickly the tenants booked space. "We were able to lease about a million square feet in under 12 months. Most firms that have come here have relocated from other buildings in Gurgaon," said Hines MD Yash Gupta. He cited how 19 elevators have been installed so that the time taken to reach a floor is less than one minute. The air-conditioning units have filters to remove dust and impurities in the air and carbon dioxide sensors have been fitted to ensure that healthy levels of fresh air are maintained inside.

The Rockefeller Centre, one of the most popular attractions in New York City, is located in mid-town Manhattan and is much bigger - with 19 commercial buildings straddling 22 acres. Tishman Speyer, the owner of the Rockefeller Centre and the Chrysler Centre in New York, developed WaveRock in Hyderabad. Avnish Singh, MD, Tishman Speyer in India, said quality differentiation in buildings will become very important for tenants. At the Wave-Rock, property management is not outsourced. "We do it in-house, which is what brings in the personalised touch and quality and also long-term asset value," he said. WaveRock has been built with sustainable design, zero-water discharge, a glass facade that reduces the load on the air-conditioning system and an efficient floor design that lets in more daylight and allows tenants to place more workstations. The Capital in BKC has a contemporary facade, floor sizes of 50,000 sq. ft. that are not easily available in Mumbai and a mechanised parking facility for 1,500 cars.

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