An Omani Government investment arm has shown initial interest in the property on which the Air Force Headquarters is situated in Colombo 2 and the Urban Development Authority-owned Chalmer’s Granary land in Colombo Fort, official sources said.
The party has signed a non-binding agreement with the UDA, committing to send a team to do due diligence for the mixed development projects it envisages building on the properties. The contract expires in two weeks.
The UDA has opened out many of its lands for leases–30 to 99 years–to investors and is actively seeking investments. Qatari parties have shown some interest in areas flanking the Beira Lake on D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, the officials said.
The Chalmers Granary land has been available at least since 2010.
The Authority has drawn up a master plan for Colombo and it envisages the demarcation of areas for heritage, transport hub, financial city and commercial city. Forty-two parcels of land have also been identified around the country for specific purposes such as high, middle and low-rise mixed development projects; hospitality and leisure; residential and office towers; IT-based development; logistics hub and business park development; and multi-story car parks. There are prospects, too, for Beira Lake waterfront development offering five blocks of land.
Some of the properties available for lease in the Western Province are the Welikada prison land in Borella; the Tractor Corporation, Agriculture Department and Milco land in Narahenpita; as well as the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre, C. W. Mackie PLC, two CWE properties and the People’s Bank Training Centre, all at D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha.
Earmarked for hospitality and leisure projects are Visumpaya at Union Place; 80 Club at Torrington Square; and a space in Sir Baron Jayatilleka Mawatha in Colombo 1. Lands in Norris Canal Road, Colombo 7, and Battaramulla have been taken over for multi-storey car parks.