Good connectivity, a ready residential catchment and large land parcels will act as enablers for the office market along the Noida–Greater Noida Expressway.
Ankita Sood, Consultant – Research, Knight Frank India
It is an established fact that the two stalwarts of the Delhi-NCR office market are Gurgaon and Noida, and they monopolise 75% of the current office stock of 140 mn sq ft. Both these micro-markets are magnets for employment and infrastructure in NCR and their prominence is evident from the fact that they absorb 85–90% of the total annual offtake of the city. Good connectivity and robust infrastructure attracted occupiers to set up base in these markets, thus creating a plethora of white-collar employment opportunities. Gurgaon took the lead from Noida in terms of supply and absorption of office space in NCR in the last few years, with zones such as DLF Cybercity, Golf Course Road and Sohna Road leading in transactions. Noida, on the other hand, did not attract the same interest from occupiers.
Over the last year, both Noida and the Noida–Greater Noida Expressway’s fortunes have been on the upswing. The expressway, in particular, is slowly emerging as a new commercial corridor in NCR. The 24-km, six-lane highway connects Noida to Greater Noida and links it further to the 165-km Yamuna Expressway.
The singularity of this corridor is its seamless connectivity with Delhi through the Delhi–Noida–Direct (DND) Flyway, which will be augmented further by the upcoming 30-km Noida–Greater Noida Metro link. Construction work on this metro route is in progress, and it will add immense value to the connectivity between Noida and Greater Noida once the route is extended from the existing Noida City Centre station to Pari Chowk, in Greater Noida. This long-awaited metro link will draw companies looking to set up base in this corridor but were previously discouraged by the poor connectivity. The link will now provide an alternative mode of travel for the workforce.
Apart from seamless connectivity, competitive rentals in the range of Rs 35–55 per sq ft gives this corridor an added advantage over other similar locations in NCR, such as DLF Cybercity, where rentals are in the range of Rs 110–120 per sq ft, and Noida, where the rentals range between Rs. 45–70 per sq ft. These factors have drawn some large MNCs close to the expressway in the recent past. The growing occupier interest in the corridor is evident from the fact that of the total 1.3 mn sq ft of office space transacted in 2015, 38% was along the Noida–Greater Noida Expressway. Companies such as SafeNet, IGATE, Genpact, Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd, NEC, Dell and Newgen are some of the major occupiers, with transactions ranging between 60,000–90,000 sq ft.
Good connectivity, a ready residential catchment and large land parcels will act as enablers for the office market along the Noida–Greater Noida Expressway. The Uttar Pradesh Information Technology Policy for IT/ITeS companies will boost the sentiments of the market further, with incentives such as land registration waivers for IT companies to stimulate growth. The Noida authority has reserved approximately 3 lakh sq m of land for development along the expressway and has made allotments to 15 companies, including IT major Infosys, to set up campuses on one lakh sq m of land. Once operational, the Infosys IT hub is expected to employ approximately 25,000 IT professionals. Going forward, we believe that the Noida–Greater Noida Expressway will establish itself as one of the prominent office corridors, not only in Noida but in NCR as well.