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Emergence of gated communities with employee-friendly amenities

Gautam Saraf • 23/10/2020
As global economies open and businesses come back to work in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, workplace safety will assume greater importance than ever before. One of the hardest tasks for businesses in an atmosphere like this is to encourage employees to return to their workplace amid growing concerns of health safety as the world reels under the impact of a global health emergency. It is in this context that we should examine the merits of gated work campuses or business parks. 

Growth of gated working communities, post-Covid19 

In re-shaping the course of how workplaces are built and operated, the past two decades have been crucial. It is during this period that gated work campuses gained popularity among corporates, for whom multi-facet approach of innovative building designs, structures and managing the open spaces became the key to growth in a fast-developing and highly competitive world. As commercial real estate adjusts itself to overcome the new challenges in the post-coronavirus world, the relevance of gated work campuses is expected to increase manifold, wherein campuses are designed, built and managed to be future ready.

The business parks act as a one-stop solution for businesses through a variety of amenities and ancillary services would act in their favour in the post-Covid19 world. As hygiene and quality maintenance assume galactic proportions in commercial real estate amid growing concerns of heath safety, business parks become a natural choice for occupants because of a variety of factors. 

As integrated facility centers, carefully designed to cater to every need of a target group, business parks not only offer occupants an effective working environment away from the hustle and bustle of congested city commercial space, but also offers them an opportunity to enjoy the best-in-class work environment at attractive price range. Business parks make available to the users a high-quality infrastructure and a superior value proposition, especially because of government-supported policies. These gated campus are designed to create a vibrant community to cater for every moment a client wants to be in - special place to sit in open air, tantalizing food options, café or a safe commute to the workplace.

Also, thanks to the select international investors who bring in global best practices in upgrade and development, India currently hosts some of the most efficient and aesthetically supreme workspaces in the form of gated communities. The Equinox Business Park at Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), which is owned by Brookfield Asset Management, the Bhartiya City in Bangalore by Bhartiya Group and the WTC Pune by Panchshil Realty could be cited as the finest examples of the transformation these communities have undergone in terms of quality as well as volume.

It would be imperative to recall in the above context the 10-acre Equinox Business Park that was purchased by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc for $360 million in 2018 from the original developer Essar group and transformed to make it future ready, with an array of amenities for its users.

Future opportunities

In an atmosphere where high standards of services and occupant safety would shape the future of commercial real estate, growth possibilities are immense for developers of gated workspaces. A large part of the level of their success would, however, depend on how efficiently the design and structure cater to the changing needs of occupiers, especially since social distancing and unhindered communication, both become equally crucial for business. Also, ensuring that the asset management processes operate seamlessly to the utmost satisfaction of the occupiers as well as owners would be of paramount importance.

In the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, employee health and safety would become the core areas of concern for occupiers. Developers will thus, divert their focus on the use of innovative technologies, by delivering gated work campuses with high-end user amenities where communication is seamless and there are no compromises on the occupants’ physical safety. 
Going forward, the key to success in this model will lie in understanding occupier needs and adopting virtuous approaches towards resource management that is sustained by automation. Amid all these, technologies must be used to make sure employee productivity is not compromised in any way.  
Though these work campuses would run-on high-end technologies, the need for self-sustenance cannot be overlooked. The presence of the perfect synergy between internal and external factors that drive innovation for smooth operations of these campuses is of critical importance.

These short-and long-term, methodologies can assist in establishing occupancy strategies that can adapt to resource consumption accordingly, and support new business models that could create revenue from under-utilized spaces.



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