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Sports facilities are the newest USP for offices and co-working spaces

On offer are indoor golf clubs and air-conditioned multi-purpose arenas.

real estate Updated: Jan 23, 2018 01:55 IST
Lavina Mulchandani
It’s become a matter of prestige for large companies to boast of a sports club within their office complexes.
It’s become a matter of prestige for large companies to boast of a sports club within their office complexes.(iStockphoto)

The commercial real-estate sector is fast catching up to the demand for exclusivity and luxury in sports services. Cricket, badminton and football bouts have moved from playgrounds to air-conditioned indoor arenas.

Anuj Ghai, 29, a businessman who plays cricket and football in an indoor turf in Powai, now prefers this alternative. “The membership fees include benefits such as being able to host a movie night every month at the venue,” he says. “And I do not have to cancel my match because of rains or gets unburnt in the heat.”

The spaces, because they are highly priced, are typically multipurpose, says Mazhar Nadiadwala, managing director of Dome Entertainment for Dome@NSCI, an indoor events venue in Worli. “You get luxury seating, air-conditioning and ample parking with a booking at the venue.”

The spaces also provide for socialising. “There’s a well-maintained, well-staffed café,” says Ghai.

Join the club

Essentially, the idea is that you shouldn’t have to compromise on comfort, says Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD at Hiranandani Communities, the company division that develops integrated townships. “The amenities are hence marketed with Stay Healthy, Work Better tags — as an integrated part of healthy living and working.”

As the luxury commercial spaces segment grows, the idea is to incorporate world-class sports amenities, says Sahil Kapoor, regional director for real-estate brokerage company RE/MAX India. “The market exists; people are ready to pay for an upgraded work-life product.”

It’s become a matter of prestige, for instance, for large companies to boast of a sports club within their office complexes — just as it used to be a matter of prestige to have a gym and later a swimming pool. “Commercial real-estate in India is, after all, catching up with that in developed economies such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai,” Kapoor adds.

Even co-working spaces are adding recreational facilities to their offerings. “At the TCS Olympus Centre in Hiranandani Estate, Thane, we offer a sports training block, clubhouse and indoor sports arena,” says Hiranandani.

Employees and users of the coworking space can bring their kids in too, book part of the space for private parties.

“Part of the attraction also is that clubs demand you have a membership, while these spaces can be accessed on a pay-per-use basis,” says Dharmesh Jain, chairman and managing director of the Nirmal Lifestyle group. “You can hence indulge in a range of sports all year round, or just use the services once. With the added advantage that the amenities are right next to your office.”