Co-working operators leasing space at malls, hotels
Co-working operators are opening centres at malls, hotels, and metro stations in order to be in the heart of the city and have amenities like parking, dining options, and shopping spaces close by.
Companies that follow a hybrid work model are reserving spaces at these co-working facilities because their employees want to be close to their homes.
“After finishing work, people look for a place to hang with friends. By operating a centre in a mall, there is no parking hassle, employees can go to the gym after work or to an eating place. For these reasons, co-working centres at malls are popular,” said Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis.
This trend is unfolding as the use of flexible spaces in commercial real estate portfolios is becoming more prominent post-COVID-19 pandemic.
According to property consultants, over 90,000 flex seats were leased across the top 7 cities by occupiers in FY 2021–22, which is a 2.5X growth Y-o-Y.
“Co-working spaces in malls will generate higher footfalls into the mall and would be a huge benefit for the retail spaces in the property. Restaurants and food zones in the mall will be the biggest beneficiaries of this integrated asset class,” said Pratik Kataria, Director, Sainath Developers & President, Next Gen Committee, NAREDCO.
Operators say that these arrangements are beneficial for property owners too, as they are able to convert their low RoI assets into high-yielding ones.
“The Office Pass (TOP) got into a similar arrangement with Rapid Metro in Gurgaon to convert their Operational Control Center into a thriving co-working center. The centre was an instant hit and currently enjoys over 90% occupancy. These formats attract new-age companies who want to position themselves as trendy and unconventional,” said Aditya Verma, CEO & co-founder, The Office Pass ( TOP).
TOP, which currently runs 12 neighbourhood co-working offices in Delhi NCR, plans to open two new offices in the city before Diwali.
“We believe this trend will gain momentum as it is not only flexible but also offers a saving of 18–20% on office operational expenses,” Verma said.
Experts say that the location of a co-working centre is the most important aspect and many occupiers want easily accessible centres.
“The location of a co-working space has become the most significant driving factor for occupancy. A co-working space is a beneficial choice for all types of businesses, including large companies, startups, and entrepreneurs, and keeping accessibility, location and facilities in mind, nothing suits better than a mall or a hotel,” said Kushal Bhargava, co-founder of MyBranch, a co-working space provider.
Industry experts say that the saving of space for common facilities led to better space utilisation and, in turn, better pricing for the end customer.