Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chennai : Pacifica launched first IT project in India

CHENNAI: US based real estate company Pacifica has launched its first IT project in India at Chennai. Pacifica's 1.1 million sqft Tech Park is expected to be ready for occupation by April this year, making up nearly 12% of estimated IT space to come up in the city this year.

Mr Vikram Agnihotri, Regional Head - South, Pacifica told reporters in Chennai on Friday that the company has invested about Rs 150 crore to Rs 175 crore in the tech park, and expects the project to break-even in three years. The IT park is located on Old Mahabalipuram Road on a 7.29 acre land in Navalur.

So far, Pacifica has signed up with four players, who would be taking up a total of two lakh sqft in the park. Two of them already have presence in the city, and are expanding their operations here. The other two are from Bangalore, he said, without disclosing their names. The company expects the IT park to be fully occupied in three to five months time, he added.

Real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield's Ravi Ahuja said the total demand for IT space in Chennai this year is expected to be about five million sqft, against an estimated supply of eight to nine million sqft. "This (8-9 million sqft) is under construction. We would not know how much of this would fructify," he added.

Mr Agnihotri said the company expected a rental of Rs 35/sqft, which was the going rate for that location last year as well. Mr Ahuja said, in Chennai, rentals for IT space was over Rs 50/sqft near Tidel Park, the city's first IT park located right at the begining of OMR. "The rentals drop as you go down the road", he said.

Pacifica also plans to get into residential housing in Chennai. "We will be focusing on middle and upper middle segments," Mr Agnihotri said. The $2billion San Diego, California based company, which started its Indian operations in 2005-06, has two residential projects spread over five acres each in Ahmedabad, besides hotel and mixed-use projects in Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore. It's investing about US$200 million in the country, the company said.

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