By March next year, the first company in SmartCity may start operations. The ongoing construction of the first building in the area is to be completed in the next few months and could be opened by year-end.

Smart City CEO Gijo Joseph said a building with 6.5 lakh square feet built-up area, spread on 11 acres, is expected to be inaugurated in December this year. He was speaking at a meeting of entrepreneurs organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), a global organization engaged in entrepreneurial activities and mentoring, here on Tuesday.

He dispelled the fear among a cross section of people that Smart City and Infopark would cannibalise each other. The emerging importance of IT gave enough scope for the two entities to grow, and the development story would be complementary in nature, he said.

A lot of companies were looking to tier-II cities. At present, 90 per cent of IT operations happen in four cities. Kochi could become the new IT hub in the coming decade, he said.

Mr.Gijo said a prominent company had expressed intention to take on lease 20,000 square feet of built-up space in the first building to come up in Smart City. A Bangalore-based real estate group is to develop 18 acres.

He said the Smart City would incorporate environment-friendly structures with the river flow and thick foliage of trees in the area untouched. Wetland preservation and conservation of forests had been given due importance in the scheme while making the master plan for constructing 13 million square feet in the Smart City land.

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