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Thane a sought after secondary business district in Mumbai

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Chintan Sheth
Sheth Group

Demand for office spaces in India continues to grow, leading to falling vacancy levels. This has resulted in rentals in central business districts, hitting a new high with land prices already at peak levels and thus giving rise to the development of Secondary Business Districts (SBD) such as Thane.

Companies always scout for geographies where Grade A office spaces are available at competitive prices. Bandra Kurla Complex, Nariman Point, Lower Parel, Powai, Andheri East, today, command a premium over other micro-locations. The rising demand has also led to the emergence of new areas for commercial spaces. Thane is one such location that has commercial office spaces available at a much competitive price than at established central business districts.

Already, some of the leading corporates like Tata Consultancy Services, Bayer, Raymond, etc. have their office spaces in Thane. Going forward, more companies are likely to follow suit. As Mumbai and its population grows, people have also started moving northwards, thereby creating a need to establish newer business districts outside Greater Mumbai limits. Thane, being centrally located in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, has an advantage over other micro markets.

Thane is well connected with prominent localities of Mumbai, including western suburbs as well as those of Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Kalyan and beyond. In the last decade, Thane has witnessed an upgrade in infrastructure and in the years to come there will be further upgraded. For example, work has commenced on a metro line to link Ghodbunder Road with South Mumbai. Likewise, soon, work will take off to connect Thane with Bhiwandi and Kalyan through a metro rail.

Corporates purchasing office spaces at Thane are and will enjoy first mover's advantage because in the years to come commercial office space prices will only go north. On the other hand, the work-force that prefers to reside near their offices also manage to find a home for a reasonable rent, encouraging the walk-to-work culture.

Meanwhile, in the last 40 months, residential property prices have risen by 6.2 percent in Thane. Thane has quickly become the go-to destination for developers and migration to Thane has gone up ten times, from 30,128 to 3.9 lakh across a decade's duration. As per industry research, almost 7,860 new units were launched in Thane in H1 2019 while over 6,810 units were absorbed during the same period, increasing by 70 percent against H1 2018. As compared to Mumbai, where the price of a luxury apartment is nowhere below Rs 8-10 crore, Thane offers the same square footage with bigger open areas is available for less than half the amount.

An influx of retail, industrial and commercial activity, as well as a cosmopolitan crowd, have dramatically changed the appeal of this central suburb. With its realistic property prices, strategic location and availability of land for housing along with its infrastructure developments, Thane now offers a high-end lifestyle packed with extraordinary amenities. With only narrow space for expansion, Mumbai has very few property locations that have evolved to fulfil the wants of the modern homebuyers.

Already, several corporate houses have made Thane their address to come closer to the working population. Areas of Ghodbunder Road, Wagle Estate, Hiranandani Estate, Pokharan Road 2, etc. are dotted with commercial spaces, thereby making it a secondary business district. In the next few years, Thane has the potential to become a hub of top quality office spaces.

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