BANGALORE: Bangalore east has matured into a self-sufficient region with a good mix of commercial, residential and retail real estate segments. With good connectivity through the Outer Ring Road (ORR), Whitefield Road and the Old Madras Road, localities in the east continue to witness interest from the commercial and retail sectors. The planned extension of the Metro line right up to Whitefield is giving impetus to further growth in the region.
Commercial real estate
According to Vestian Global Workplace Solutions’ real estate research analysis, Bangalore currently accounts for 112 million sqft of operational non-captive office space. Among ORR (Sarjapur-Marathahalli-Hebbal), Hosur Road, Electronics City and Whitefield, ORR and Whitefield dominate the office space market with almost an equal share of 30 percent each.
According to Alexander Moore, Chief Executive Officer – India, LJ Hooker, the ORR and the prime hub of Whitefield are still the major areas of interest. “The ORR is probably moving ahead of the central Whitefield zone due to its slightly better accessibility etc. Some recently commenced tech parks on the ORR are offering good amenities along with room for expansion. Companies are opening major new facilities in the region and there are a lot of businesses doing back-end in the financial and services sector,” he says.
Juggy Marwaha, Managing Director – South India, JLL India, explains, “Bangalore continues to score very high among its other peers like Gurgaon, Mumbai and the other southern cities with regard to quality of top-end talent coupled with reasonably priced Grade-A real estate. A city like Bangalore offers the best in terms of the ‘livability’ and job opportunity quotients, and these are the most important reasons for Bangalore continuing to be attractive not only to the IT industry but across various sectors. Whitefield still is the best alternative to the ORR corridor for office space.”
Availability and demand
Statistics with JLL India indicate that about three million sqft of Grade-A space is still available in the Whitefield area. However, the first quarter has shown high interest levels for leasing because of the lack of supply in the ORR and Secondary Business District (SBD) areas.
Marwaha points out, “Bangalore has typically absorbed over 6-8 million sqft year-on-year for the last couple of years, and the trend will continue this year too. Whitefield’s share is about 20 percent of the city’s overall office space absorption.”
As for the type of options witnessing demand, Moore says, “Built-to-suit that complies with international standards for occupation as well as minimum green standards, at rates that are affordable on an internationally indexed basis.”
Shrinivas Rao, CEO – Asia Pacific, Vestian Global Workplace Solutions, explains, “According to our estimate, Bangalore will absorb nearly nine million sqft by the end of 2014 and ORR will remain the most attractive micro-market for the next three to five years owing to availability of Grade-A office spaces and support infrastructure. After the revisions to the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) regulations, many SEZ Parks are likely to witness mixed developments owing to high demand for residential spaces.”
Retail real estate
Hectic residential activity in the region has led to the rapid emergence of retail, especially large format stores, in select pockets.
Marwaha says, “The Whitefield-Outer Ring Road-Sarjapur Road micro-markets of the east have evolved into self-sustaining hubs, with the presence of quality residential and retail spaces to complement the growth of commercial activity in the region. Whitefield is one of the most sought-after real estate localities in the country, and over a period of time, it will be well connected to the other key parts of the city by the Metro. This micro-market has high-grade international schools, and good hospitals are also being set up. It is progressively developing into a standalone locality, with adequate social infrastructure already in place and even more coming up rapidly.”
Over the last five years, substantial infrastructure and social development have enhanced land values in the region, attracting developers to plan extensive residential projects. As for the retail real estate around Whitefield, Brookefields is one of the main high streets, which houses many national and international brands.
“Several malls have sprung up in the east, catering to different categories of customers. While one of the first malls in the area caters to customers who want to shop at discount stores with a mall experience, another primarily caters to professionals working in the adjoining IT Park. One of the new malls in Mahadevapura not only attracts customers from Whitefield and the nearby areas but also from central and south Bangalore, because of the wide range of specialty retailers and quality dining options it offers,” Marwaha adds.