Chennai development body plans to build co-working centres in three places

July 7, 2024

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CHENNAI: From high-speed internet to dedicated workstations, meeting rooms, and fully equipped libraries, people looking for affordable co-working spaces can soon enjoy them at centres planned by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). The agency has shortlisted CIT Nagar, Anna Nagar, and Kolathur for these centres combined with libraries in CIT Nagar, Anna Nagar, and Kolathur.

Coworking centres are where employees from different companies share space to save money by using common infrastructure. In Chennai, these centres started emerging in early 2000 and picked up in 2015. They offer cabins with three-seaters and above, fixed desks, flex desks, and meeting rooms for people to choose from. The rent varies from 9,000 to 33,000, depending on the locality and the type of seating opted for.

The co-working places planned by the govt will be started at 30 crore, said P K Sekar Babu, CMDA minister, adding that the facilities will be of high standard. “Not everyone can afford the co-working facilities offered by the private sector. We are targeting employees in the middle segment. The space can be used by youngsters who are working and preparing for competitive examinations. It will have a library where they can study during breaks or after work hours.”

The centres will cater to a diverse range of users, including entrepreneurs and startups, freelancers, and independent professionals: writers, designers, consultants, and other independent professionals, as well as remote workers. “Nearly 30% of the investment goes for rentals for startup entrepreneurs. Early-stage ventures and individuals with business ideas will find the centres ideal for launching and growing their businesses. It will save on overhead costs of a traditional office,” said Anshul Mishra, CMDA member secretary. Development of these co-working centres will revitalise underutilized spaces within the city. “This can contribute to the overall economic development of the area and create a more vibrant urban landscape,” he added.

These facilities will have good connectivity to ensure accessibility for a wider range of users. The CMDA is planning to explore different models, such as public-private partnerships, to ensure the centres are run efficiently and sustainably. Besides, networking events, workshops, and social gatherings will be held here to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing.

S Satheash, AVP, Real Estate, Workez, a co-working firm, said that last year the seat absorption by the co-working centres was 19,000. “Govt entering the industry is a welcome move, but they should ensure quality and match standards with current players in the industry. They should start in places like Guindy, OMR, and the central business district,” he said.

Umesh Kumar, a freelancer, said that he pays 9,000 a month for the work station in the Nungambakkam co-working space. “It is a sizeable portion of the income I get, but it has good amenities. The govt co-working space should be on a par with the private players,” he said.

  • Published On Jul 7, 2024 at 02:00 PM IST

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