Site visit: Indigo Sky, Dubai

Boasting a prime location on Sheikh Zayed Road, Indigo Properties’ commercial development, Indigo Sky, has been racing towards the finish line, and is slated for completion in August 2016

Indigo Sky will be completed in August this year.
Indigo Sky will be completed in August this year.

Yet another addition to the current spate of commercial buildings on Sheikh Zayed Road, Indigo Sky has seen a huge demand for its prime location and fast delivery time, claims its Dubai-based developer Indigo Properties. Precisely, the company says that it has been at the forefront of delivering commercial buildings in locations that have high demand and supply ratio in the emirate.

A low-rise development on Sheikh Zayed Road next to Noor Bank metro station, the Indigo Sky is a G+1 commercial building, with large office and retail spaces. The project boasts 2,044m2 of retail spaces, taking the total leasing area to 3,092m2. Overall, there will be 10 offerings, which will be divided into four retail, and six office spaces.

In an interview with Construction Week, Sumeet Khubchandani, sales and marketing manager for Indigo Properties, says: “Our commercial buildings on Sheikh Zayed Road are a minor part of our diverse portfolio, but it is the most visible one.

“We get more enquiries for these buildings rather than any other projects. On the same lines, we have already completed eight buildings a few years ago, and now they are fully occupied. We boast tenants like Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Reem Al Bawadi, to name a few, for our commercial developments.”

With completion due in August 2016, the developer has just started to hunt for tenants. Khubchandani claims: “We have just started looking into tenant enquiries from May this year, because now we know that the completion timeline will be within the next three months.”

He adds: “We feel this is basically the right time, where we get approached by tenants. We already have one confirmed company, which will be occupying two blocks. We have had enquiries from a few groups, comprising interior design and furniture companies.”

The development has one floor dedicated to basement parking, which will accommodate up to 50 cars. Considering the retail offering, the project will feature mostly large showrooms, spanning 464 to 557m2, which, according to Khubchandani, “can be leased to either big car brands or banks”.

He says: “We have just begun marketing our product from May. We have been getting inquiries, but we do not start leasing it until it is ready. Pricing will be competitive; for offices, we are looking at $51.7 (AED190) per m2, whereas for retail spaces, it will be priced at around $122 (AED450) per m2.”

Khubchandani also claims that the costing is much less than the current prevalent price in the market for such products. “For all our commercial projects, we follow a modus operandi of leasing to big names first. Then we look at financial institutions, which expect returns on investment (ROI) for the paid price.”

Sharjah-based construction firm, Mzoon Building Contracting Company, is the main contractor for the project, and Al Saraya is the engineering consultant. Elevators for the project have been supplied by UAE-based Nasco Trading, and Mzoun Mechanical Services is the HVAC contractor.

Khubchandani says: “We have worked with these people on our previous projects. We tend to repeat the companies, that have worked with us in the past.”

Currently 125 workers are present onsite, working around the clock to complete the project within the next three months. Khubchandani points out: “Typically, you could make do with fewer workers for a project of this scale. But since we wanted to accelerate construction, and finish it as soon as possible, we have increased our numbers.”

Construction on the project began a year ago and, presently, the walls are being completed, and finishing touches are being added. The developer claims that even if finishing works continue, it would not hamper the leasing. “Typically, the lifeline of such buildings are 14 to 18 months, it’s been a year since we started.

“We will offer semi-fitted office spaces, unlike other developers, who leave it at shell and core. But for retail, we generally leave it at shell and core, since every company prefers having its own showroom designs.”

Khubchandani adds that most of the raw materials used in the project have been sourced locally without any major difficulty. “It’s a standard office building, hence raw materials have been supplied locally. The scale of the project is not that big for us to worry about saving money in terms of quality.”

Having nearly reached completion, the developer says that products such as this will never see subdued market demand. “Companies always want visibility, hence demand for this kind of product will never witness a slowdown. For this project, we are looking at large and stable clients, with whom we can sign leasing agreements for three to five years,” says Khubchandani.

Apart from Indigo Sky, Indigo’s current portfolio of commercial projects includes two buildings currently under construction on Sheikh Zayed Road, and a 23,225m2 development in International City. The developer says that this year has had a slow start, but expects it to pick up in the second half.

Having an optimistic outlook for the second half of 2016, Khubchandani concludes: “2016 was a bit slow from the beginning, but we expect things to turn around from winter of this year. Overall, the macro picture of the economy seems to be improving, there seems to be more liquidity, and we are keeping our hopes up.”

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