Nariman Point has not recorded a single deal of this quantum ever, and this is a new record for the Central Business District that has been steadily losing its occupants to other business districts, including Bandra-Kurla Complex and Lower Parel. “The deal is expected to be signed any time in the next two weeks. As part of the deal, the bank will get ground floor for its corporate branch, while four more floors will be used for its headquarters,” said one of the persons mentioned above.
The bank is shifting its India headquarters, currently housed in south Mumbai’s Fort House, and corporate branch to this new office space in the skyscraper. The Singapore-headquartered banking and financial corporation will be paying a monthly rental of Rs 250 per sq ft, taking the total annual payout to Rs 30 crore. The bank is expected to start its operations from the new office from early next year.
Last year, Indian Hotels Company had leased around 30,000 sq ft spread over two floors in Express Towers and this was touted to be the largest so far. In 2015, law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co had also picked up 26,000 sq ft on lease in this landmark office building. Both Blackstone and DBS Bank declined to comment on the story. “As a matter policy, Blackstone does not comment on media/market speculations,” the private equity major said in an email response. Transaction advisor CBRE also declined to comment.
Blackstone, global private equity major and most active investor in India’s real estate sector, along with its partners is planning to list two separate Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and has been lapping up commercial properties across the country. It acquired a majority stake in Express Towers for about Rs 870 crore in 2014, and since then, the new owner has been retrofitting the iconic office tower built in 1972 for better market viability.
With the emergence of newer business districts such as Bandra-Kurla Complex, Lower Parel and Andheri-Malad belt in central and suburban Mumbai, Nariman Point had been witnessing an exodus of corporates and multinational companies for several years. Better amenities, connectivity, large floor plates, parking and many such factors had prompted occupiers to shift from Nariman Point to these areas.
However, many believe, with the proposed and currently underway infrastructure projects such as coastal road, eastern freeway, and phase III of metro rail network may help the location reclaim its glory. Last week, registry and financial services provider Link Intime India picked up nearly 60,000 sq ft office space in commercial complex 247 Park — now owned by Blackstone Group — in the Vikhroli suburb of Mumbai on lease.
Last year, Blackstone Group, the biggest owner of office space in the country, bought the commercial complex 247 Park for over Rs 1,050 crore. Following this acquisition, Blackstone has spent Rs 25-30 crore to upgrade the 1.1 million sq ft office building.The commercial real estate market in India has been growing at a steady pace in the backdrop of changes in policy and regulations that have further boosted the sector. Last year proved to be a record year with commercial real estate witnessing the highest-ever annual office absorption of around 35 million sq ft.
In the recent July-September quarter, information technology and IT-enabled service companies continued to lead office space transactions, accounting for more than half the space take-up. Banking, financial services & insurance, along with engineering & manufacturing, accounted for a share of about 10% each, with transactions mostly in Mumbai and Chennai.