Two US-based private equity real estate firms, Walton Street Capital of Chicago and Starwood Capital of Greenwhich, have joined Sriram Properties to develop a Rs 5,000 crore integrated township, called Bengal Shriram Hi-Tech City in Kolkata.
The project is being developed on a 314-acre plot, part of a 700-acre that was previously part of the Hindustan Motors Plant in Uttarpara, a 20-minute drive from Kolkata Airport. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created for the purpose, is also planning to apply for special economic zone (SEZ) status for its information technology park intended to house IT/ITES companies.
"We are taking part in the project with one-third stakes each. However, we are yet to work out details of equity contribution, as we are yet to firm up details of the debt component," said Sourav Goswami Managing Director of Walton Street Capital India.
The private equity partners, which have over 10 years of experience of investing in real estate projects globally, will also bring in expertise in planning and construction of world class integrated township. "We want to make it one of the best integrated townships in Asia," Goswami said.
"The self-contained project consists about 20 million square feet of residential, retail and office spaces, with all the civic infrastructure and amenities included. The project, to be developed and sold over the next five to seven years, is expected to fetch approximately Rs 7,000 crore," S Venkatraman, Director of the SPV, told Hindustan Times.
In the light of the difficulties faced in traffic movement in cities, this is being planned as an integrated project, in which facilities will include schools and recreation avenues.
This is the second investment by Walton in India, while it is the first for Starwood.
"According to a study about 38 per cent of employees working in IT/ITES (including BPOs) are from West Bengal. So this project is banking on the strong employee base and lower cost that Kolkata can offer," said Balaji Rao Managing Director of Starwood Capital.