After nearly a decade, the DLF project in Taramani is set to take off with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami laying the foundation stone on Thursday. The realty developer, backed by Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC, will be investing ₹5,000 crore to develop a 6.8 million sq. ft IT park in Taramani. The project, DLF Downtown Taramani, spread over 27 acres, is a joint venture with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO). With this, Chennai will become DLF’s second largest market after Gurugram.
It may be recalled that in 2008, DLF won the bid by offering ₹750 crore for a land parcel, measuring 26.64 acres, in Taramani. In 2010, DLF decided to pull out of the project and asked the Tamil Nadu government to refund its money. When the State government refused to give the money, DLF moved the matter to the Madras High Court.
Pointing out that all issues had been sorted out and the firm was betting big on Tamil Nadu, Mohit Gujral, chief executive officer, DLF Limited, said: “Tamil Nadu has always been a destination of choice for corporates and MNCs due to its talent pool. We are investing ₹5,000 crore, in phases, for developing our fourth project, DLF Downtown.”
The Chief Minister, while delivering his speech, said, “Due to the constant efforts of my government, many new investment projects are commencing successfully in Tamil Nadu.” Referring to the Global Investors’ Meet, that was held in January 2019, he said, “Within a span of one year, we were able to support the beginning of the commercial production of 59 GIM projects. Another 213 projects are under various stages of implementation.” Mr. Palaniswami also said that the government had been making efforts to improve the infrastructure at the IT Corridor. “Many new projects, like Phase 2 of the Metro, widening of the OMR Road with bye-passes at Kelambakkam and Thirupporur and flyovers at various key junctions, at a total cost of ₹1,150 crore, are being taken up,” he added.
The company will commence construction of the 2.5 million-sq ft of built up area in the first phase, and is expected to finish the entire development by mid 2021; the subsequent phases will be developed over time. Once fully operational, DLF Downtown will provide over 70,000 direct employment and over 6,000 ancillary employment opportunities.
Sriram Khattar, managing director, DLF Rental Business, said, “With DLF Downtown, we will now have a commercial presence of 14 million sq. ft. in the city. The company has identified a development pipeline of 20 million sq. ft. and construction of 5.5 million sq. ft. is under way.” He added, “This will augment our existing 32 million sq. ft. rental portfolio, and we plan to take the national portfolio to over 50 million sq. ft., once new projects are completed.”
To a query on the expected rental revenues from this new project, Mr. Khattar said, “Our current annual rental revenue from DLF Cybercity Chennai is approximately ₹500 crore. Once phase 1 of DLF Downtown is completed and operational, our stabilised rental income from Chennai will be a substantial amount.”
DLF has been present in Chennai for the last 15 years. DLF Cybercity Chennai, in Manapakkam, is the largest IT SEZ in the State, and has contributed a cumulative export revenue of ₹66,000 crore since its inception. DLF offices, today, has approximately 32 million sq ft of commercial, IT and SEZ workspaces, spread across Delhi NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh, with another 20 million sq. ft. of commercial space under development and implementation in Chennai, Hyderabad and Gurugram.