CBD Business Centre in Fort, hosts official opening; ready for new tenants in 2021

CBD Business Centre, the landmark corporate edifice in Fort, Colombo 01 is all set to welcome new tenants at the start of the new year following an extensive Rs 609 million renovation by its owner Cargo Boat Development Company PLC (CBD). The iconic 38-year-old building, is now ready for occupancy by companies looking for contemporary office spaces centrally located in Colombo’s business district at an affordable rent.

Long-standing director of the CBD Company Merrill J. Fernando, Founder of Dilmah Tea, declared the building open in his position as honourable chief guest at the official opening. Attendees gracing the event included other prestigious members of the CBD Board of Directors, including its Chairman Ravi Thambiayah, Deputy Chairman Nirmalie Thambiayah, Managing Director Niruja Thambiayah, Managing Director of ID Lanka Mohan Tissanayagam, Joint Managing Directors of Renuka Hotel and Renuka City Hotel Arnila Thambiayah and Shibani Thambiayah, Maya Jayawardena and Thiyagarajah Dharmarajah.

Distinguished personalities at the ceremony also included Dilith Jayaweera, Chairman of George Steuart & Co., and the first tenant of CBD Business Tower, Dharshan Munidasa, Director of Crab Corp (and co-founder of Ministry of Crab alongside Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara). The Consultants from Avant Garde Urban Design Partnership and the Contractor for the Project, Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd were also in attendance.

“This building was first built and opened by our chairman Ravi Thambiayah in 1982. It was the first UDA approved project in Fort and one of the first high rise buildings in Fort,” said MD Niruja Thambiayah at the event. “ABN bank was the first tenant to sign a lease in April 1980, one and a half years before the building was even ready. Bankers Trust, Swiss Air, Julius & Creasy, the Central Bank, and other prestigious tenants including the Presidential Secretariat and Ministry of Defence were quick to follow.”

“This building was initially constructed in 1982 on the land which housed the offices of CBD’s original parent company – Cargo Boat Despatch Company, a Greek Shipping company (formed in 1866), which was acquired by my Grandfather Alfred Leo Thambiayah in 1939, which he grew into one of the leading shipping companies on the island, responsible for most of the functions of the port of Colombo at the time of nationalization of cargo operations in 1958.” A. L. Thambiayah was also a MP for Kayts from 1947 to 1956.

“We have now re-launched the CBD Business Centre with a contemporary look and an upgraded suite of facilities and services,” she added. “At a time when potential tenants are becoming increasingly discerning about their office spaces, we wanted to ensure that with this refurbishment, we tick all the boxes with respect to design, sustainability, functionality, and convenience.”

Slated to be Colombo’s most enviable commercial address, the newly-renovated CBD Business Centre holds its prime Fort location at 41 Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 01, with building access from both Hospital Street and Janadhipathi Mawatha. Located right opposite the Central Bank and within walking distance of the World Trade Centre and Port City, this flagship development of the CBD company (an associate company of the Renuka Hotels Group) currently houses a total of 54,400 sq. ft. of newly refurbished, modern, rentable office space, spread over 11 floors with panoramic views of Colombo city, Port City, Colombo harbour and ocean.

For companies looking to rent out smaller spaces, every 5,700 sq. ft. office floor can be subdivided into two separate office areas of 2,800 sq. ft. each. The rent is currently being offered at special introductory rates of Rs.195 per sq. ft. (+ taxes) for office floors 1 to 9, and Rs.220 per sq. ft. (+ taxes) for the ground floor.

The CBD Business Centre has already secured its second tenant, Hoist Global SL (Pvt) Ltd., the Sri Lankan arm of Canadian-based IT company Hoist Global Tech Solutions Inc.

In addition to superior new masonry and cutting-edge electrical & plumbing infrastructure outfitted throughout the entire building, the CBD Business Centre also boasts energy efficient central air-conditioning and LED lighting systems, with separate electricity, water, and BTU meters for each office. With a brand-new entrance lobby with reception, newly-installed passenger and service elevators, upgraded fire detection and protection system, 100% backup generator, new sanitary facilities and pantries, the tower also affords additional services including an on-site building management service, 24-hour security, and CCTV in the common areas and a basement car park.

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