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AKD opens the door on another

KARACHI: Broker and investor Aqeel Karim Dhedhi is launching a luxury apartment project in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), just weeks after he received a tremendous public response on another housing project.

The Arkadians, being built in phase VIII on the beach, will be available for sale by the end of February 2012 when the foundations for the first two buildings are complete, Dhedhi told The Express Tribune last week.

“Initially we will be offering 270 flats to the public,” he said, referring to the project, which was previously named Creek View and Terraces. “Right now, all I can tell is that there will be two towers in the first phase. One will have 20 floors and the other 30.”

Dhedhi is also one of the investors in Naya Nazimabad project where 4,000 plots were bought by mostly white-collar clients two months into its launch, making it one of the most successful schemes in recent years.

He did not share details about the price or size of apartments but according to reliable sources a flat measuring 2,200 square feet is likely to fetch Rs18.7 million.

The offer price could move upwards as the developers are undecided on the Rs8,500 per square foot rate. But at this price, the project is even more expensive than Creek Vistas, real estate agents say.
It is unclear how many towers will be constructed but the entire project is spread over 43 acres, enough space for over two dozen such buildings.

The CEO of Citi Associates, a real estate consultancy, Shafi Jakvani, says demand for high-rise apartments in DHA has not subsided. “The appetite for such projects is huge. A flat at Creek Vista is going for Rs65,000 per month in rent. You can imagine the returns.”
Bad memories:

Arkadians, Creek Marina and Emaar are all part of DHA’s grand scheme to develop the coastal belt with high-rise residential and commercial buildings. But two projects – Creek Marina and Emaar – have already hit snags.

Investors have seen millions of rupees get stuck in two projects, work on which has been stalled for a few years – something that might make investors skeptical.

However, Dhedhi insists he has an answer to pacify those concerns. “My project cannot be compared with Creek Marina, which was being built after taking money from the customers,” he said. “I have put in equity of Rs6 billion in Arkadians from my own pocket. It is my blood. How can I let it fail now?”

The goodwill of his property ventures should also be source of consolation for investors. “We have built 100 buildings in Karachi,” he said listing the examples of Karim shopping centre, Karim plaza and Qasr-e-Yasin.

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