NEW DELHI: New Delhi’s Connaught Place was recently listed as the fourth most expensive office location in the world.
The area, which is a home to many big businesses and government offices, has a history of some 80 years.
Lawyer Nilofar Qureshi owns an office in a commercial complex that also houses other offices. She dreams of working out of an office in Connaught Place.
She said: “It’s advantageous to have an office in Connaught Place. It’s close to the court, the bank and other big and small facilities. My staff also find it approachable.”
Connaght Place is less than a kilometre from Ms Nilofar’s current office, but the divide is wide.
A recent survey put Connaught Place as the world’s fourth-most expensive office location, ahead Tokyo and New York.
Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director of South Asia at Cushman and Wakefield, said: “Connaught Place has been the nerve centre of National Capital Region (NCR). Lots of corporates, especially banking, corporate houses continue to be in Connaught Place because of excellent infrastructure. After the Metro hub was created in Connaught Place, it has even increased its reach to far-flung areas of National Capital Region (NCR), right up to Gurgaon and Noida. And there are retail support, quality hotels in the neighbourhood, which provide an excellent opportunity for corporates to set up their offices.”
Average rental in Connaught Place comes in at $162 per sq ft annually, compared to $262 per sq ft in London’s West End – the world’s most expensive office market.
India’s much lower per capita income means it is not easy for the average business to afford a place in the area.
Mr Dutt said: “Small and medium corporates are struggling in Connaught Place because they are not able to afford rentals due to the expensive leases that have got signed and most of them actually are by large multi-national corporations, whose affordability is higher. They (small corporates) are moving to South Delhi and even outside Delhi whether it’s Noida or Gurgaon.”
The horse-shoe shaped commercial area is home to banks, law firms, financial institutions and some leading media houses.
Connaught Place was built more than 80 years ago. But it still has a fresh supply of office space due to constant redevelopments and renovations of existing buildings. These command a premium and are instrumental in pushing up the average rental prices.
By Zain Awan – CNA/xq