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Sumitomo to enter India's burgeoning housing market

Straight-line facade and Japanese gardens are sales point for condos

Nikken Sekkei, which designed this condominium in Tokyo's Jingu district, created the master plan for the Krisumi City project near New Delhi. (Courtesy of Nikken Housing System)

TOKYO/NEW DELHI -- Japan's Sumitomo Corp. will build and sell condominiums in India, applying construction and design techniques honed in Japan to meet demand for modern housing from India's rising middle class.

The trading house will take part in the Krisumi City development project through a 50-50 joint venture with Indian conglomerate Krishna Group. Sumitomo will build two condominium complexes totaling 430-440 units.

"We are really excited about this project," said Masahiro Narikiyo, chairman and managing director of Sumitomo Corp. India, at a media event on Feb. 22 in New Delhi announcing the start of the project. "Real estate has been one of our core businesses historically, and we had been looking for an opportunity to get into this area in India."

The master plan for the project was created by Nikken Sekkei, which shares common corporate roots with Sumitomo. Nikken Sekkei is the designer of Tokyo Skytree, a futuristic broadcasting tower that has become a landmark in Japan's capital. 

Sumitomo hopes to attract buyers with features that are common to Japanese condominiums, but rare in India. These include a clean looking straight-line facade and Japanese-style gardens with fountains. 

The massive, eight-phase project includes 5,000 residential units, commercial complexes and office buildings to be buit on a roughly 26-hectare site in Gurugram, in the northern state of Haryana. Sumitomo will participate in the construction of the condominiums in the first phase and may take part in later phases.

Sumitomo, Narikiyo said, has developed 300 real estate projects globally, including in Japan, the U.S., China, Singapore and Indonesia.

Gurugram is a newly developed city in the National Capital Region of Delhi and home to many technology companies and overseas concerns. Office buildings and high-rise condos are under construction in the city.

Nikkei staff writer Kiran Sharma in New Delhi contributed to this report.

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