K Raheja Corporation’s Chalet Hotels is back in the Kerala capital with plans for an Rs 900-crore business hub. The hospitality player is picking up the threads of a public-private partnership (PPP) with the state government, formed 10 years ago, to set up an International Conventional Centre Complex (ICCC), near Akkulam lake and Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram. Because of the Kerala legislation that doesn’t allow conversion of wetlands or paddy land to any other form, the land acquisition for the project had been complex and time-consuming. The state government has 26% stake in the PPP, which was formed with K Raheja Corporation, under BoT terms. The onus had been on the state to ready the land for the project.
“With land acquisition complete, Chalet Hotels is readying to start construction on the Rs 200-crore first phase of the project, as soon as the current spate of monsoon is over,” state government officials told FE. Besides the entry of Chalet Hotels, the creation of a premium grade lakeside convention centre is counted on to buoy the meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) tourism segment in Kerala. The location adjacent to Technopark, which hosts 350 IT companies, is likely to help the ICCC business.
Singapore-based architectural firm SRSS has conceptualised and created the master plan. Once Kerala Tourism Infrastructure (KTIL) has evaluated the detailed project report, Chalet Hotels can start the work in full steam, officials said.
The first phase includes a marina, a 150-room four-star hotel and a 1,500-seater convention centre. This will have a built-up area of 16,503 sq mt.
The second phase is larger, with an additional 1,500-seater convention centre, two hotels (one five-star and another four-star), a wellness resort, retail area, commercial space, food courts and amphitheatre, among others, according to the concept diagrams. All the hotels will have a jetty to give tourists access to water transport through the Kovalam-Kollam waterways.