A spacious way of living
Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC, senior barrister at the Supreme Court, has a home in Dhaka, but he lives in a flat at Rangs Waterfront – one of the country’s first luxury condominiums.
The seasoned lawyer bought the flat in 2008 for around Tk 16 crore as it is very difficult to find such a large open space, swimming pool, garden and walking space in his home in the capital.
“I was interested in buying an apartment in the condominium because it is spread over a large green space. There are almost all kinds of civic amenities here,” lawyer Ajmalul Hossain QC told The Business Standard.
The number of condominiums – building complexes containing individual apartments – across the country has steadily increased over the past two decades. Affluent buyers love these complexes because they leave a significant portion of the project area for open spaces.
According to the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), developers have built 184 condominium projects over the past 16 years across the country, accommodating about five lakh people.
The largest number of condominiums are in Dhaka (80), Chattogram (34) and Sylhet (14).
REHAB Chairman Alamgir Shamsul Alamin (Kajal) told TBS that about Tk2 lakh crore has been invested in these condominiums.
REHAB director Naimul Hassan told TBS that many of these projects are called “city within a city” because they provide all the necessary civic amenities within their perimeter.
Apartments in condominium projects are more expensive as they offer more facilities than typical housing projects. It is mainly businessmen, politicians, bureaucrats and expatriates who buy and live in these luxury apartments, people involved in this sector have said.
There are two types of apartments in the capital’s condominium projects – luxury and ordinary.
One of the property developers said that luxury apartments in condominiums cost around Tk 15-25 crore while regular apartments cost around Tk 1-5 crore depending on the areas they are in.
Japan-Bangladesh Joint Venture Company launched the first condominium project in the Mohammadpur area of Dhaka in 2004.
Later Building Technologies and Ideas Ltd (BTI), Concord Real Estate Limited, Navana Real Estate (NREL), Sheltech (Pvt) Ltd, Nakshi Homes Ltd (NHL), Sanmar Properties Limited, Rangs Properties Limited, ASSURE GROUP, ABC Real Estate Company, Artisan Real Estate Company, Dom-Inno Real Estate company, Alliance Properties, Epic Properties Ltd, Edison Real Estate, Regent Design and Development Ltd (RDDL) have started building condominiums in the city.
Sanmar Properties was the first to implement such a project in Chattogram, while East Valley Development Ltd built the first condominium in Sylhet.
Former Rajuk Chairman ABM Amin Ullah Noori told TBS: “Condominium projects are very suitable for citizens as they have all the facilities that are expected to be available in a residential area. Hence, the government is encouraging such projects private.”
Development of new condominiums
Housing companies have recently embarked on new condominium projects in different parts of the city including Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Rampura, Malibagh and Kanchpur as they are becoming increasingly popular. Some companies build three condominiums simultaneously.
Rakeen Development Company has started a large scale condominium project called Bijoy-Rakeen City in Mirpur. The company is constructing 1,950 apartments in 36 buildings on 16 acres of land. The project includes several playgrounds, swimming pools, walking areas, congress halls and schools, and leaves 62% of open space inside the project area.
The company has also embarked on a new condominium project on 150 bighas of land in Kanchpur as it has received a huge response from customers for their apartments.
Navana Real Estate company is building a condominium on 30 bighas of land just next to Bijoy-Rakeen City. It is building 1,475 apartments, leaving 52% free space inside the project area.
The company has also started developing new condominium projects on 10 bighas of land at Mirpur-11 and eight bighas of land at Mohammadpur.
Sheltech has built its first condominium called “Sheltech Bithika” with 184 apartments on 70 kathas of land on Mirpur Mazar Road. He is currently building another condominium named “Enclave Tower” with 135 apartments on 36 kathas of land in Malibagh.
His project “Renu Kabir Tower” is underway on 48 kathas of land in Badda. He has already started selling 115 apartments in the project. They are also constructing two other projects in Panthapath and Mohammadpur regions.
According to the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk), property developers have submitted applications for seven more condominiums in the capital. About Tk 20,000 crore will be invested in these projects.
Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel, Chairman of Sylhet Apartment and Real Estate Group, told TBS that a large number of people in the Sylhet region live outside the country.
“A large number of people from Sylhet live abroad. They are very keen to provide accommodation for their relatives or supporters in a peaceful environment near the city. Thus, the demand for condominiums in the division of Sylhet has increased,” Shafiul Alam said. Chowdhury Nadel.
Some problems in condominiums
Condominiums are attracting buyers with modern amenities, but some of them haven’t lived up to their promises.
Japan Garden City, the first condominium in Dhaka, is one such project which has already erected 20 buildings on 10 acres of land and constructed six more. About 1,440 families live in the housing project and more will come to the new buildings.
Architect Iqbal Habib told TBS that there are no gardens inside Japan Garden City and there is no water in the swimming pool.
“There is no trace of life around these concrete dwellings,” said Iqbal Habib.
Furthermore, the residential area does not have adequate facilities for the large number of people living there.
“There are so many condominiums in the country, but buyers often complain that they don’t get the promised facilities. Relevant authorities should work on these issues,” he added.