Central Business District is the commercial and the  retail hub of a city. It is high on economic activity and  is provisioned with adequate infrastructure. Most  generally, it geographically coincides with the city centre and is the focal point for transportation networks  of the city. In a metro, new CBD zones are ever  emerging as the boundaries of the city continues to  expand. Modern day CBDs not just include offices and  retail spaces but also entertainment hubs, restaurants,  hospitals and also residential areas. Classic examples  are Nungambakkam and T.Nagar in Chennai.


Buildings are most generally classified as Grade A, B and C.

Grade A – Most generally identified with the location(centrally located), best in class facilities, latest  designs, efficiency standards, elevator capacity and speed, HVAC, modern facades, power backup  among other factors. These are predominantly recently developed buildings and command higher than  the market rent.

Grade B – These are relatively old structures compared to Grade A buildings and the building finish  varies from fair to good. These may not be centrally located and don’t have sophisticated features as  Grade A building. These buildings most generally go for discounts of 25-30% as compared to Grade A  buildings. They are maintained well, have higher area efficiency than newer buildings and offer good  value for money.

Grade C – These are very old, nearly run-down structures and the rentals are much below the market  average. They compromise on features such as security, parking, facilities, maintenance etc. These are  typically suited for back-end operations of companies where there is no or very little client interaction.


Properties are broadly classified as cold and warm  depending on the work that is completed and the work  that remains to be done.

Cold shell –This is basically a space which has no  furnishing, infrastructure, HVAC units etc. This is  effectively just a skeleton of the building

Warm shell – These have minimal interiors, HVAC systems, drop ceilings, basic flooring etc.

Fully/ partly furnished – As the name implies partly  furnished buildings have immovable furniture and  fixtures, including electrical and ceiling fixtures. Fully  furnished comprises of nearly everything that is  required for an office to function apart from machines/  machinery.


Amenities are useful features and facilities in a  building. These may range from coffee shops,  restaurants, gyms, client lounge, WiFi, ATMs, lounges/ lobbies, day care facilities, sporting  activities etc to name a few.


Carpet area is the usable area excluding all common areas  and portions occupied by walls and is the portion of area that  is usable for all office purposes on which a flooring carpet  can be laid. This includes private amenities including toilets 

Super built up area is the built up area plus proportionate  area of common areas such as the lobby, lifts shaft, stairs etc 

Loading – It is the percentage difference between the super  built up area and the carpet area. For instance if a property  has a carpet area of 1000 sqft and the super built up area is  1200 sqft, the loading is 20 percentage

Efficiency – Percentage proportion of a building’s super built  up area, not counting the common areas occupied by  elevators, equipment, hallways, lobby, restrooms, etc. For  instance if a property has a carpet area of 800 sqft and a super  built up area of 1000 sqft, the efficiency is 80 percentage.


It is important for a tenant/buyer to thoroughly  evaluate the physical condition of the building  structure. These include civil, electrical and  plumbing at large. This is mandatory as failure  to do so will lead to expenditures on repair and  maintenance at a later date. Age, building  maintenance and good strong association with  co-operative neighbours will ensure better value  in the long term.


This is an important factor as offices generally have visitors  from other cities and countries. An office space located in the  vicinity of the airport and hotels is highly preferred in such  cases. In the case of Chennai, Guindy is a classic example. It  not just boasts of a plethora of grade A office buildings but  also is located within 10 kms of the airport and has several  hotels in its vicinity.


Few offices look for entry facing and other basic  vaasthu for their premises. The most commonly  preferred facing is North and East. Also certain  offices may be very specific about the placement of  cabins and furniture and also accommodating the  team that handles finances.


Power back is very critical for all businesses as they  need to be prepared to handle frequent power outages  which are common in most parts of our country. Power  back ups come in various power ratings and it is  imperative that every commercial business has atleast  the most basic level which powers up its critical  systems. Additionally power back up maybe setup to  power up certain, if not all, segments in an office space  which are critical for an unhindered daily operation.  Also there are back up systems which provide 100%  backup and these are available in all Grade A buildings.


Most offices these days have workforce with almost an  equal gender mix. It is imperative that each office has  adequate male and female restrooms. It is also  important for a corporate setup that the restrooms are  separate for each office and the staffs don’t have to  share toilets with other occupants in the same floor or  building.