Sri Lanka urban agency plans Colombo JV development

Aug 11, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority will call proposals for a joint venture commercial development in a nine acre state land in the capital Colombo, chairman Janaka Kurukulasuriya said. “We need the money urgently but we also need money in the long term to sustain,” he said.

The agency has more than 1,600 employees and monthly expenses between 90 to a 100 million. It already gets about 60 million rupees front rents and other facilities he said.

The UDA is a stockholder in Colombo Land, a listed company which owns the Liberty Plaza building in Colombo’s Kollupitiya area which it built with a Singapore based firm. The units have since been sold to the users.

UDA could raise money by selling its stake.

“We will watch the market and do it,” Kurukulasuriya said. “We feel it is too early to take a decision to sell our shares or not.”

The land, called ‘Chalmers Granary’ in Colombo’s Fort and Pettah area is now used as a parking lot.

“In another two or three weeks, we are going to advertise,” Kurukulasuriya said.

“At Chalmers Granary we have an idea to go for a joint venture rather than lease out.”

The UDA is also planning to relocate small shops arou