Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Location. And more of it.

Karumuttu Centre is one of those buildings that start off with aspirations of being monuments to the person they are named after. To develop on that start, it painted itself in a way that stood out from the 'half-white' and cream coloured neighbours to its north; to the south, it did not have any worthwhile building to compare itself with for a stretch of around half-a-kilometre and maybe more. The pencil-shaving kind of staircase (is that a fire-escape?) was certainly an oddity, because its neighbours do not have that kind of an external access.

It did attract some of the more swank names, especially a host of foreign airlines, who made it their flagship office in Chennai. But the building failed to capitalize on that good start; the majority of the space there is taken up by offices that are so cheered by the thought of being on Mount Road that nothing else matters to them. It is not as if the construction is bad or the rents exhorbitant; Karumuttu Centre is a perfect example for how the "three most important things in real estate are Location, Location and Location". If only this building had been a couple of spaces to the north, it would have had a long waiting list of people wanting to be housed there. As it is, being just to the left of the Cenotaph Road signal, it is a considerable pain for anyone coming in from Alwarpet or Adyar to get in - a long drive south to make a U-turn is called for. With the kind of traffic around, that is not an exciting prospect for anyone!


Lowell said...

Very interesting. We had a shop just move to what I'm sure they thought was an easier location to get to, but it really is worse, and I wondered what went through their minds.

Maybe it was cheaper but I doubt it.

Hilda said...

That's too bad. It's such a funky-looking building and I like that it's surrounded by trees.

Hilary said...

The trees seem to grow out of the building - I had to take a second look just to check this wasn't happening!

I visited Chennai a couple of years a go - actually helped on a build for Habitat for Humanity. I really had an interesting time.

Shantaram said...

@ Jacob: I remember someone telling me that McDonalds will never take a location that just before a traffic light or the first lot after.... much thinking has gone into it, obviously!
@ Hilda: You're right, it does deserve much more pride of place...
@ Hilary: That's a trick the designers didn't plan, I'm sure! Glad to hear that you had a good experience in Chennai... hope you'll be back!