Cochin Port Trust's plans to optimise the use of land under its command on Willingdon Island include developing a business district at the south end of the island on about 85 hectares.

The business district will have a hospitality node, which will include a five-star hotel, convention centre, commercial complexes, budgeted hotel, shopping areas and a Kochi Haat as well as space for the public.

The business district is being planned with the growth in tourism industry. The growth in and preference for organised retailing is another factor.

The proposal is to develop an “investment grade” central business district, which will cater to the growing need of corporates for conventions, meetings, conferences etc.

The port authority also plans to relocate the business offices of companies in port-related activities to the south end of the Willingdon Island. This will increase the demand for office space in the business district being planned.

Along with the land available on Willingdon Island, the port authority will also put to commercial use the land available to it near the Goshree Islands Development Authority (Gida) area. A total of 3.7 hectares are under its command near the Gida area. Being close to the heart of Kochi, the area can be developed for commercial purposes.

The Port's perspective land use plan 2012-27 is in keeping with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Shipping in early last year. The land requirement for future development under proposals in the XIIth Plan has also been kept in mind while the plan was being drawn up.

The total land area available to the Cochin Port Trust is 385.82 hectares on the Willingdon Island; 5.44 hectares on Ernakulam mainland and 2.06 hectares near Fort Kochi. Besides, the port has also land on Vallarpadam, Puthuvypeen and Bolghatty islands, adding to a total of nearly 900 hectares.