Following its mega projects, the World Trade Centre, Colombo and Havelock City, Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC continues to build on its legacy creating a new coveted business address for businesses aspiring to great heights.
Pravir Samarasinghe, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC, talks about the next exciting phase of the company’s legacy of transforming the real estate landscape of Sri Lanka.
Following its flagship property, the iconic World Trade Centre that redefined the skyline of Colombo, and the Havelock City mixed-use development – a city within a city, Overseas Realty is unveiling its 50-storey office tower at Havelock City. Samarasinghe shares insights into the Mireka Tower and how it would transform Sri Lanka’s office market.
How will Mireka Tower transform the commercial real estate sector of Sri Lanka?
Twenty-five years ago, when Overseas Realty launched the iconic World Trade Centre, it transformed the Central Business District of Colombo, making it a sophisticated commercial hub for the region and a benchmark for high-rise commercial property in the country. The newest addition to the Overseas Realty portfolio, and part of the innovative $160 million Havelock City Commercial Development, which includes a shopping mall, is the Mireka Tower. A 50-storey high-rise premium A-grade office complex with 600,000sqft of leasable space built to international standards, now ready for occupation.
How was the project conceived and conceptualized?
Havelock City is the brainchild of the late Mr S P Tao, founder of Singapore-based Shing Kwan Group and former Chairman of Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC, a visionary entrepreneur who saw the potential in Sri Lanka’s real estate space many decades ago. His passion for innovation within the real estate space, saw the birth of Havelock City, a city within a city. Today, Havelock city is the largest integrated mixed-use development in the country on nearly 18 acres of land. It comprises eight residential towers with 1,100 luxury apartments, a seven-acre beautifully landscaped elevated garden, perhaps the largest in the world, a shopping mall built to international standards and the 50-storey Mireka Tower, an office complex that anchors the entire development.
Mr Tao drew inspiration from the Singapore Land Tower he built in Singapore, wanting Mireka Tower to have similar visual expressions but incorporating the latest and most advanced building systems and technology. But to realize his vision, Mr Tao expressed three prerequisites.
First, it required the most appropriate design concept, so we engaged the award-winning international design firm, Singapore-based Palmer & Turner. Second, we needed a world-leading construction company to ensure the highest built quality leading us to contract China Harbour Engineering Corporation, who had the expertise and resources to undertake a project of this scale and complexity. The third prerequisite was to have the best development management team to execute a project of this nature.
Four years after the groundbreaking and confronting many intermittent challenges due to the unfortunate pandemic and economic crisis, we completed the construction of the Havelock City Commercial Complex.
What makes this an iconic project? Can you take us through the building design, features and USP?
Mireka Tower is the most functionally and efficiently designed and built commercial property in Colombo, with the most modern building systems and technology to better serve our tenants and customers.
The Mireka Tower which sets a new benchmark for the future of office buildings combines quality, functionality, and sustainability, and is a LEED GOLD-certified building with smart infrastructure. I am confident that with all these superior features combined with our domain knowledge, expertise and experience in property management, our tenants will enjoy a world-class office environment.
The premium A-grade office complex has 600,000sqft of leasable, expansive, column-free and light-filled spaces with spectacular cityscape views. Its open floor design gives businesses flexibility in spatial design, allowing for easy and efficient subdivision of workspaces that best suit their needs. Mireka Tower also houses a gymnasium, training rooms and meeting rooms.
There are other benefits and added conveniences from its proximity to the Havelock City Shopping Mall with medical, banking, and telecommunication services and an array of fashion, food and beverage and entertainment experiences. Strategically located in the heart of the commercial capital, it is accessible by major bus routes and a proposed LRT station at its doorstep. We also have parking for over 800 vehicles. In addition, the tower has a 100% standby power supply and end-to-end fibre optic-enabled high-speed voice, data, and telecommunication facilities to address the needs of corporate offices.
How have your potential customers responded?
Since we announced pre-sales in 2019, Mireka Tower has generated significant interest from corporates, multinationals and BPO/ICT-enabled entities. HSBC Electronic Data Processing Lanka (HSBC EDPL) was one of the first to secure space as it relocates from its Rajagiriya offices to occupy eight floors at Mireka Tower, validating Mireka Tower’s high-end specifications and compliance with stringent international standards required by premium multinational.
What is your outlook for the real estate industry going forward, and what are the emerging opportunities for growth?
Despite the unprecedented challenges from Covid-19 and the unfolding economic crisis, we resiliently focused on completing our projects as scheduled.
I am a fervent believer in the Sri Lankan property market. I am even more bullish on the growth prospects for Sri Lanka. While political stability, economic growth and business confidence are crucial elements for the growth of the property sector, Sri Lanka has incredibly exciting opportunities in tourism, logistics and services over the next decade, inspiring us as a company to continue to invest in our properties. With WTC, Mireka Tower and Havelock City, I believe we have a firm foundation to build the future and contribute to transforming Colombo into a modern city by redefining living, working and business for a new age.