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Wednesday, Sep 14, 2005

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Ascendas to hike investment 4-fold — First phase of tech park in Chennai completed

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Mr Goh Kok Huat (left), CEO, Ascendas India Ltd, and Mr Jonathan Yap, Head-South, at a press conference in Chennai on Tuesday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , Sept. 13

ASCENDAS India, a provider of business space solutions, plans to quadruple its investment in the country to Rs 2,000 crore in the next 12 to 24 months, said Mr Goh Kok Huat, CEO, Ascendas India Ltd.

Mr Huat was speaking to newspersons at the completion of the first phase (of 555,000-sq. ft.) of the International Tech Park here. International Tech Park, Chennai (ITPC) is a joint venture between Ascendas and Tamil Nadu Investment Development Corporation (TIDCO).

It is spread across 15 acres and will have about 1.7 million sq. ft. of built-up space in three phases of development. The investment for the first phase was Rs 130 crore and the total investment for all three phases is about Rs 450 crore, Mr Goh said.

He said that the park had set new benchmarks in creating corporate environments and would have a fitness centre, a food court, a coffee bar, a travel agency, a health club, a medical centre and banks.

ITPC will also focus on Ascendas' corporate social responsibility and all the phases will showcase artistic talent from Chennai. In the first phase, there is a display of outdoor sculpture and paintings done by artists from India and Singapore.

ITPC has pre-lease commitments from multinationals such as Amazon, Catepillar, iNautix, ProfitLogic Software, Technosoft and Visual Graphics (a fully owned subsidiary of McKinsey & Co Inc). Mr Goh said that 80 per cent of the space had been committed.

He added that the company had plans to develop another three million sq. ft. of IT space in Chennai. This would consist of 1.7 million sq. ft. in ITPC, followed closely with nearly one million sq. ft. in Mahindra City and other projects in the city.

The company, with a presence in Bangalore and Hyderabad, plans to develop IT parks in Kolkata and Pune. Ascendas has also set up an IT Park investment fund of Rs 1,000 crore to fund its real estate development in India. Mr Goh said that it is likely to double in the near future.

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