Jam-packed! After eight happy years, we have really outgrown our current office in northern Quito. With the relatively quiet summer months ahead, this is the perfect time to look for a new location.
Speaking about ‘jam-packed’, it doesn’t just apply to our office. It applies to the city, too. Quito’s geographical location, in a valley, makes for a city with limited space, which has nearly all been used up. The only possibility left is to build upwards and that development has clearly begun. Tower blocks are springing up like mushrooms, one even flashier than the next. Architecturally, the city has caught up with other top cities in the world during the past decade.
And when it comes to the sales of all these vertical projects, no matter where you go, the magic word seems to be ‘plusvalía’. In other words: return on your investment. We, Dutch people, prefer a nice, quiet spot with a south-facing view, whereas the Ecuadorians tend to go for somewhere on a busy road, in the heart of the city. Despite all traffic jams, air pollution and noise pollution.
The latest trend is that project developers are trying to attract potential buyers with extraordinary facilities such as a kids’ club, climbing wall, bowling alley or a roof terrace with a go-kart track. All exclusively for residents of course. I don’t think everyone would be able to afford it, but apparently there’s a growing market for this kind of thing.
Since 2009, the local building regulations state that at least 10% of any new construction project must consist of recreational and communal spaces. How exactly that requirement will be met, is left up to each individual architect, though.
As a result of these building regulations, many of the latest office buildings have also been equipped with communal facilities such as state-of-the-art meeting rooms, squash courts and gyms. I couldn’t resist finding out how much an office like that would cost. Over $3,000 per m2! I couldn’t believe it. That’s a chunk of change, for a few empty walls.
Looks like our search for a new office will take a while. Somewhere with a rose nursery on the rooftop would have been really great, though!
Victor van Dijk,
Manager South America, FleuraMetz