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GREATER NODIA, INDIA-Trikona Capital has won approval to create a Special Economic Zone near Delhi, India, to develop a 76-acre mixed-use development. Trikona Capital has already invested $56 million in the Tech Oasis project, which will include 10 million sf of IT, residential and commercial space.

The creation of the SEZ is a boon to Trikona Capital, a fund management firm for institutional investment in Indian real estate and infrastructure assets. “For all practical purposes, [an SEZ] is considered a foreign territory, so we will not pay taxes there,” Aashish Kalra, managing director of Trikona Capital, tells GlobeSt.com, noting that the tax benefit extends to imported materials as well as income derived from rent. “The whole thing has been set up in essence to promote exports.”

Tech Oasis is the second SEZ that Trikona owns in the Delhi area. The first is the Luxor Cyber City, an 8.2-million-sf, 67-acre IT development, which it owns in partnership with a local Indian developer. Trikona owns 100% of the Tech Oasis project.

Outside the nation’s capital, Tech Oasis is located in the rapidly growing city of Greater Nodia in a specially designated “Tech Zone,” which promotes the development of the IT services industry. It is also near the site of newly proposed international airport. Since acquiring the project in March, Trikona has actively managed the investment, from developing the project’s master plan to working closely with the Ministry of Commerce and the Government of Uttar Pradesh to receive formal SEZ status. Final project plans will now be submitted for approval.

The master plan for Tech Oasis is unique, according to Kalra. It was designed to attract young IT professionals, and includes housing facilities for them to entice workers to remain on site. The plan also includes approvals to build the tallest building in Delhi, a tower of 150 meters, or nearly 500 feet.

According to Trikona Capital officials, the SEZ has the ability to dramatically boost the value of its investment. Prior to SEZ approval, the project had increased to a net asset value of more than $162 million, based upon a valuation by real estate services firm CBRE. In November, Trikona sold an 8% stake in Tech Oasis at nearly three times the purchase price to an affiliate of SachsenFonds GmbH, a subsidiary of the German public sector bank Sachsen LB.

“The SEZ designation reinforces Trikona Capital’s position as one of most established real estate fund managers in this region,” Kalra says. “This approval is another example of our ability to execute institutional transactions through the entire investment lifecycle and navigate the complexities of this emerging market.”

Tech Oasis is one of 12 developments that Trikona has undertaken in India. With offices in New York, London, Delhi and Mumbai, it also manages Trikona Trinity Capital PLC, a $500-million fund listed on the Alternative Investment Market in 2006. Starting with the public Trikona TC fund, Trikona Capital plans to invest $10 billion of public and private equity in India in the next 10 years.

“We didn’t build a company to invest in opportunities in India,” Kalra tells GlobeSt.com. “We built a company to invest in India’s growth.”

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