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Taurus kickstarts first investment in India with 'Downtown' in Kerala

Gireesh Babu/Chennai 12 Oct 18 | 08:51 PM

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US-based real estate private equity major Taurus Investment Holdings (TIH) has kickstarted its first investment in India, in collaboration with Embassy Group and Asset Homes, through a $200 million project to create IT space and social infrastructure in Technopark, a government-owned IT Park in Thiruvananthapuram. This is one of the major infrastructure development projects in Kerala, focusing on the IT sector.The project was launched on Friday by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who on Thursday said that IT firm Fujitsu is exploring the opportunity to set up shop in the State, after Nissan Motor's digital hub and Tech Mahindra's plans to set up its office in the State.

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Taurus's JV project, named Downtown Trivandrum, has been designed as a mixed-use project with 5.5 million sq ft of built-up space in 20 acres located within Phase-3 of Technopark. The project will consist of Embassy Taurus Tech Zone (ETTZ), a 3.3 million sq ft office complex of IT workspaces, Taurus Zentrum, a 1.2 million sq ft retail and entertainment centre and Asset Taurus Identity, with 315 units of serviced residences and a 200-key business hotel.

ETTZ is expected to offer space to technology firms even before the construction of the first phase of SEZ office building gets completed in 2020. With about 800 seats on two floors, companies are expected to kick-start their operations in ETTZ as early as March 2019. ETTZ is expected to generate 30,000-plus direct jobs. Major co-working service provider WeWork is also likely to establish a facility in the zone. Taurus and Embassy are in advanced discussions with several technology majors to take up space in TechZone.

Preliminary work, including test piling, is already underway and construction work is expected to start by the first week of November with an expected completion date in mid-2020, said the company.

Meanwhile, the investment by Nissan Motor India for its first digital hub in Kerala continues to help the state to attract IT firms, with Fujitsu the latest to explore an opportunity to set up its facility. Earlier, the Nissan investment got its supplier Tech Mahindra to set up shop in the state.

Fujitsu is also a supplier to the Japanese automaker. The management of Fujitsu met Kerala government to take forward its plans to set up shop in the state.

"Fujitsu, an IT giant, held talks with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan about commencing operations in the state. A Global-500 company, Fujitsu is one of Nissan's major suppliers," said the Chief Minister's office.

Fujitsu's global VP and India head Shrikant Vaze, senior executive Manoj Nair and the Chief Information Officer of Nissan Motor Corporation Tony Thomas visited the Chief Minister for the discussions, it added.

Earlier, Tech Mahindra, another supplier to Nissan, picked up 12,000 sq ft in the city to set up an IT centre, which will cater its global clients.

Nissan Motor earlier this year announced a digital hub in Thiruvananthapuram. The company has signed an agreement with the Kerala Government to set up a new global digital hub at Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala, which has been rebuilding a large part of its infrastructure following the once-in-a-century deluge destroyed the livelihood of thousands across 12 out of 14 districts, is back to the job of attracting investment, said the government officials.

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