One-and-a-half years after the first wave of COVID-19 forced employees to work from home, a flurry of rental deals in Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex of late seem to indicate that with vaccination picking up, it may not be long before some offices reopen.
Pharmaceutical major Abbott Healthcare recently leased a 5,000 sq ft apartment for Rs 9.26 lakh per month, according to registration documents made available by Zapkey.com.
The document was registered on July 27, 2021, for a period of three years. The apartment is located in Sunteck Signature Island, BKC and comes with five car parks. The rent for the first year is Rs 9.26 lakh a month; Rs 9.91 lakh for the next year and Rs 10.90 lakh for the third year, the documents show.
A security deposit of Rs 1.5 crore has been paid by the company, per the Lease and License agreement documents.
Abbott Healthcare has its offices located in BKC.
Abbott Healthcare’s response is awaited.
On June 29, 2021, Mirae Asset Capital markets India took up an apartment of size 2,906 sq ft on lease in Signia Pearl project by the same builder in BKC for Rs 3.75 lakh, documents accessed by Zapkey.com showed.
Real estate experts said if rental transactions pick up in BKC in future, it could mean offices may reopen in phases. “This may herald green shoots of recovery both in the residential leasing as well as the commercial rental space,” said Ritesh Mehta, Head Residential Property Sales, JLL India.
It should be noted that Indian outsourcing giant Infosys had in July informed employees through a memo that they might resume work from offices.
The Bengaluru-based IT services company had, however, stopped short of calling all employees back to work, reflecting wider caution across the sector amidst the looming threat of the third wave of COVID-19 infections.
In June, Mumbai-based drug maker Ajanta Pharma had renewed its lease for a 3,369 sq ft apartment in Mumbai for a whopping Rs 18 lakh a month.
An Awfis Workspace Survey Report had also indicated that as many as 82 percent of the workforce prefers returning to office premises with some level of flexibility once they are vaccinated and 72 percent favour a hybrid work model that is a combination of working from home and working from the office premises.
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Sunteck Signature Island houses uber luxury residences and the ownership is by invitation only. According to the company’s website, these apartments are inspired by Manhattan, Singapore and HongKong.
Several business tycoons and Bollywood stars have units in this project which is located a stone’s throw away from the central business district BKC.
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Actress Sonam Kapoor had bought a duplex apartment in Sunteck Signature Island at BKC for Rs 35 crore in 2015. Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had also bought a luxury apartment spread over 5,500 sq ft for Rs 21 crore in this complex, local brokers said.
The Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) initiated BKC in the 1970s to decongest the existing office hubs like CBD in the city. Initially, oil companies, consulates and banks occupied this district.
In 2010, the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), the world’s largest diamond bourse, started operations to facilitate diamond traders in India. This attracted many other related companies to BKC to start operations in this area.
BKC houses large corporates primarily from non-IT categories such as banks, insurance companies and other government institutions. The growth driver for this area has been large industries and high-quality office buildings followed by better connectivity infrastructure.