Azizi Developments has taken a liking to the Meydan precinct … so much so it went ahead and bought 180 plots there in one go. These plots are being “amalgamated” into 76 buildings, ranging between ground plus six-storey (G+6) to G+9 structures. The developer is now working on a suitable timeline for the full-fledged off-plan sales launch. “These buildings will be closest to the mall and racecourse … the [Meydan One] mall project was very much a necessity in creating sufficient push for the Meydan location,” said Farhad Azizi, CEO. “It helps that Meydan is one location in the middle of the city and still virtually untapped. It’s so close to Downtown and Shaikh Zayed Road.” The Meydan investments came through just when Azizi was mulling strategies to expand on its current land bank. “We were even considering land in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman,” the CEO said. “That’s when the Meydan possibility came before us and we took six plots, smaller ones next to Meydan Hotel. “We started getting more comfortable with the masterdeveloper and then upgraded our association into a strategic partnership. “We have received the initial approval on the concept. It’s an almost self-contained destination, with some commercial and three hotels. We are now in discussion on how many stars these hotels should be, whether we need a five-star or not.” The Meydan district itself is part of a sprawling MBR (Mohammad Bin Rashid) City, comprising 11 districts and “going all the way to Bab Al Shams”.
The recent launch of construction at the mall site has garnered a lot of developer and investor attention. According to market sources, there has been a spike in level of enquiries for properties there, including for projects that are complete or very near the finish line. Azizi is not waiting around to kick-start construction. It has already awarded Dhl billion worth of contracts for the main works on-site. As to the launch of sales, “It would be after summer — that’s a better time,” Azizi said. “We are already informing a lot of clients about the project, which will have units between 500-2,000 square feet and going up to 4,000 square feet for the duplexes. Prevailing price And what would the price range be? “We need to look at the prevailing market price and depending on what the situation is can undercut to sell quickly. Or sell at the prevailing price,” the CEO added. It’s an exercise we are planning right now “Every building has been contracted out separately … that’s as per the Dubai Municipality project mandate where every building is treated as a separate entity. “As a developer it helps me as well — if any one building project has a problem, the others will not be affected. Each of these has a construction timeline of 12-18 months. “We got contractors for the first and second phases and discussion are on for those to handle three and four. It’s good to have alternative contractors available if you need to build something to a different time frame.” The developer already has a full book in terms of projects. The combined sales value of ongoing and handed over projects is valued at just under Dh20 billion, with the handed over component being around Dh2 billion. Construction is key Of its project on the Palm, Azizi said “We had three plots that were amalgamated into two. Sales started slow and then picked up when construction progress was there for all to see. “As far as I am concerned, construction is key. We changed the contractor on the second and now the work is progressing. And when potential buyers saw work happening, sales picked up.” On whether it plans to tap the debt markets for its current projects, Azizi said “The Azizi Group has been helpful with the funding needs for the development activities. And a lot of the land was acquired in 2007 before the financial crisis. “The good thing about that is a lot of the land we own is already paid for. In 2013, we had 20 plots that were fully paid and the only thing needed was the start-up funds. When we focused on construction, sales came by itself. In case sales are down, the Group is there to fund. “If we need to look for outside support, we have overdraft facilities and can use them when needed. There may a time when we need bridge financing … some of the local banks have been very positive to that.” Image(s) text: -11111_1-3—4 =Mr Clint Egbe /Gulf News Archives Farhad Azizi at Cityscape Global 2016. Azizi said sales started at a slow pace but picked up as construction progressed. These buildings will be closest to the mall and racecourse … the [Meydan One] mall project was very much a necessity in creating sufficient push for the Meydan location.” Farhad Azizi CEO, Azizi Developments.
Source: Gulf Newspaper