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Birla Estates - Residential Buildings

RMZ’s CoWrks enters Mumbai with Birla Centurion lease pact

By Bidya Sapam

CoWrks, a unit of Bengaluru-based commercial real estate developer RMZ Corp. offering shared office spaces, is entering the Mumbai market, two people aware of the development said. The company has already leased 93,000 sq. ft at Birla Centurion building in Worli, these people said on condition of anonymity.

CoWrks already offers shared office spaces in Bengaluru and Chennai.

CoWrks enters Mumbai at a time global office provider WeWork is also ramping up its business in the financial capital. This year, the US-based firm, which raised $4.4 billion from SoftBank in August, leased over 1 lakh sq. ft space across two locations in Mumbai.

The Bengaluru-based RMZ has signed up for 62,000 sq. ft in Birla Centurion with an agreement to take up another 31,000 sq. ft in future, said the first person mentioned above. “It has leased the space for a monthly rental of Rs175 per sq. ft,” the person said, adding that space could fit around 2,000 seats.

Located within the 300 acre-Century mills, an old textile mill compound in south Mumbai, the 14-storey building is owned by Birla Estates, a newly formed real estate company by the B.K. Birla group firm.

Spokespersons of Birla Estates and RMZ Ltd did not respond to questions emailed on Monday. Global property advisory firm JLL India, which served as transaction advisor to the deal, declined to comment.

Earlier this year, Birla Estates had put up newspaper advertisements that it is planning to lease two of its commercial properties, Birla Centurion and Birla Aurora.

South Korea's Woori Bank recently leased 11,000 sq. ft at Birla Centurion while US-based entertainment and leisure brand Playboy has opened a lounge bar in the building.

According to a 20 November report by real estate consultant Colliers International, co-working spaces/flexible offices accounted around 31% total gross office absorption in the third quarter of this calendar year. While Bengaluru leads with maximum absorption of co-working spaces with 35%, Mumbai is fast catching up, accounting around 19% of the total.

In the last nine months, absorption of flexible offices has doubled in the financial capital from 0.38 million sq. ft in 2016 to 0.6 million sq. ft.