Visakhapatnam is one of the fast-emerging tier III cities of India and is in a position to be the next IT destination in Andhra Pradesh.
Availability of skilled labour, infrastructure, and comparatively cost-effective real estate in the city makes Vizag the next emerging IT-ITeS hub after Hyderabad. It is expected to be one of the next growth drivers over the decade, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM).
JLLM (formerly Trammell Crow Meghraj) is a real estate services provider in India. The firm services international investors, corporates and local clients.
The JLLM report on Visakhapatnam indicates strong investments across sectors in the city. The total grade A commercial space in the city is about 150,000 sq ft with present rentals ranging from Rs 20-25 per sq ft a month. In the pipeline are three ITTeS SEZs, and a biotech SEZ.
On the retail front, the city currently has no operational malls, but there are six malls under various stages of construction expected to be operational by 2010. Of these, three malls totaling a built-up area of 4,00,000 sft will be operational in the next 15 months to 18 months.
The city is also witnessing rapid growth in the residential sector. Large residential projects are being constructed in new areas such as Madhurawada and Rishikonda. These include KSR-Jurong Sunny Isles comprising 54 villas and another integrated township project with villas and apartments in Yendana. Hyderabad-based Maytas Projects and IVR Prime are also setting up residential projects in Madhurawada and Veduruvada respectively.
With proactive measures by the government and overall development, JLLM says, the city is providing compelling investment opportunities to ITTeS companies. Besides, due to the development of a greenfield international airport and a new seaport at Gangavaram, Vizag is expected to have a well-balanced economic activity.
The state government has proposed the development of a greenfield airport in Rayavaram, about 60 km from Vizag. The city authorities have also planned a bus rapid transit system, which is expected to be operational by 2009. Visakhapatnam has a population of 1.45 million with a decadal growth rate of 37 per cent. It has a land area of 1,721 sq km under the jurisdiction of the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA).