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Representational image
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Realty major Embassy group on Tuesday said it has partnered with US-based Columbia Pacific group to foray into senior living housing segment, and will together invest Rs 1,000 crore over the next four years to develop multiple projects for the elderly across various cities in the country.

Bengaluru-based Embassy group, which already has presence in housing, commercial, hospitality, co-working, co-living, warehousing and facility management segments of real estate, is venturing into the senior living space to tap rising demand in this asset class, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Embassy group has formed a joint venture with Columbia Pacific Communities, which is part of the Seattle-based Columbia Pacific Group. In India, Columbia Pacific has nine operational senior living projects.

"We at Embassy are always bullish on residential sector, and senior living is going to be a big part of Indian residential segment. Senior living is at a very nascent stage. No developer is doing at a very big scale," Embassy group Chief Operating Officer Aditya Virwani told PTI.

Embassy group has expertise in real estate development and land buying, while Columbia Pacific has know-how of housing for senior citizens, he said.

Virwani said the company has formed an equal joint venture with Columbia Pacific. "It's a 50:50 JV. Investment will be also 50:50." He said the first project would come up in Embassy group's 300-acre township in north Bengaluru.

In the first project, the JV will develop a total of around 400 units in two phases with an investment of about Rs 400 crore.

The JV plans to develop 900 units, covering one million sq ft space by 2024 across various cities in India with a total investment of over Rs 1,000 crore, Virwani said.

The current pandemic situation has furthered the necessity for self-sustained, safe and secure communities for all, especially for our seniors, he said.

Mohit Nirula, CEO of Columbia Pacific Communities, said: "We are entirely committed to building and nurturing communities for seniors, as we believe that community living, and social engagement is the strongest antidote to loneliness and a wonderful enabler of "positive ageing".

Columbia Pacific group has partnered with Embassy group to build an environment that encourages senior citizens to remain physically fit, mentally alert and emotionally stimulated, Nirula added.

Reeza Sebastian, President-Residential Business, Embassy Group, said: "There is a huge demand-supply mismatch in senior living segment".

She mentioned that only 20,000 units are operational in this segment while the demand is more and is expected to rise further in coming years.

"Because of the pandemic like COVID-19, we know how important it is to take care of senior population," she added.

Sebastain noted that senior living requires expertise of real estate, hospitality and healthcare; and therefore the company has tied up with Columbia Pacific Communities.

She said the first project will be launched mid-2021 after taking all necessary regulatory approvals.

Carsten Belanich, Lead, International Senior Housing, Columbia Pacific Management, Inc, said the strength of two partners will complement each other.

Stating that India will be home to 500 million senior citizens by 2050, Embassy group said there is an urgent need to cater to this segment with well-designed and fully serviced facilities.

The two partners will create communities that offer the highest international standards in design, facilities and services.

Besides senior friendly amenities and medical support, the projects will be fully serviced including food, housekeeping and 24-hour assistance.

Columbia Pacific Group has over 40 years of experience in building, managing and operating senior living communities in USA, China, Canada, the UK, and India.

Columbia Pacific Communities entered into senior living housing in India in 2017 with the acquisition of Tamil Nadu-based Serene Senior Care. At present, it has nine senior living projects, while the tenth one being constructed in Bengaluru.

In August, it tied up with Nyati group to develop senior living housing projects in Pune.

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