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80-year-old Connaught Place is still India’s most expensive office space

Quartz india
Quartz india

Connaught Place, the eight-decade-old business district of India’s national capital, is still going strong.

It was the only prime office space among many in the country to see an uptick in rentals during the first quarter of 2018. It rose one spot to rank 9th in the annual occupancy costs survey by real estate consulting firm CBRE. The ranking included 120 of the world’s most expensive office spaces.

Annual office space rents in Connaught Place moved up 38% year-on-year to $153 per square foot during the first quarter of 2018, according to the survey.

In comparison, top business districts in India’s financial capital Mumbai slipped. The city’s Bandra Kurla Complex plummeted 10 spots to 26 and the central business district of Nariman Point slipped seven spots to 37.

However, CBRE believes the trend could reverse in the future.

“We are optimistic about the Mumbai market and are expecting an upswing in the coming months,” said Anshuman Magazine, CBRE chairman for India and southeast Asia. “Delhi, being a prime market, continues to witness significant activity and has moved one step ahead… owing to stable vacancy, rents, and absorption,” he said.

Connaught Place has consistently featured among the world’s top-10—in 2015, it was the seventh most expensive.

“Its location in the heart of India’s capital, coupled with great infrastructure and connectivity to other parts of the city, makes it an ideal location for any business to be in,” Magazine said in 2017.

Beginning in the 1990s, Connaught Place began to lose its sheen as neighbouring Noida and Gurugram offered large retail and office spaces. But it saw a revival in 2005 after the construction of a metro line that draws around 500,000 commuters every day. Moreover, the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games led to years of renovation and construction, which further added to the area’s charm.

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