There are several major new development projects taking root in Erbil. In what ways would you argue that Arbil Mass City is unique? What amenities will it offer?
Arbil Mass City is a large-scale luxury villas project. This development is not just a residential project, but a high-end gated community designed to foster a superlative, luxurious lifestyle with outstanding commercial facilities. Our goal is to make the development a vibrant and independent city, and a safe, comfortable environment to raise a family. The 1457 villas will benefit from diverse amenities, including clinics, retail spaces, supermarkets, a nursery, restaurants, cafes, sports facilities and many other entertainment outlets, among other features. Perhaps most importantly, Arbil Mass City is naturally blessed with over one million square meters of hilly topography that was kept untouched by our architects, which will provide each villa its own charm, privacy and view. Furthermore, Arbil Mass City is the only project in Kurdistan of this mammoth scale that has beautiful landscaping, parks, and green areas that account for more than third of its total surface area.

Can you tell us about the collaboration between Trillium Group and Mass Group Holding on this project? How did this venture come about?
The values and ethics that Mass Group Holding and Trillium Group share have been central to the success of this venture thus far. Mass Group has, for years now, been a prominent, ambitious, and well respected actor in the Kurdistan Region. Trillium Group has an excellent reputation for being leaders in real estate development and construction of landmarks across the region. This track record of successful projects has distinguished us from other developers as pioneers in our field. Trillium Group hopes to make Arbil Mass City a reference point in Kurdistan in terms of quality, credibility, and creativity. We intend to set the new standards in Erbil for others to follow. Mass Group shares our ambition and vision, and as such has been an excellent role model with which to collaborate.

The first zone, of around 400 villas, will be completed by the end of 2016. Total capital expenditure for the project will reach over $1 billion.

Can you give us a timeline for the completion of Arbil Mass City? How much is the project projected to cost?
Arbil Mass City is divided into four different zones, in addition to the central amenity area. Each zone has its own completion and delivery date. We broke ground in mid 2013, and the first zone, of around 400 villas, will be completed by the end of 2016. Total capital expenditure for the project will reach over $1 billion.

How do you foresee the real estate market in Erbil and Kurdistan developing over the medium and long term?
With the ongoing political and economical challenges in much of the MENA region and specifically in Iraq, the emerging economy of Kurdistan is attracting increasing attention from the international business community. The Region’s stability makes it an attractive base for business, and Erbil is the epicenter of such interest. We believe that Erbil is the next regional destination. This is not just a personal opinion, but the result of many studies, reports, and research conducted by our international consultants; this city has all necessary strategic ingredients to attract foreign and local investment across diverse industries spanning oil and gas, retail, tourism, manufacturing, and real estate. We are confident that the real estate market will blossom in the medium and long run, despite the current challenges facing the broader region.

As an international construction and development firm, what expertise and value-add does Trillium Group bring to the local market?
Trillium Group has left its mark in each market we have penetrated. We are raising quality standards in the Region by using international expertise in project management, quality assurance, creative designs, and global procurement. We are perfectionists, and as such, we do not compromise on quality. Our standards cascade from the very top to the smallest element of our project. Our management philosophy is to employ international specialists at the leadership level, while extensively sourcing and training local employees to become core members of our team. Adding value to the Kurdish community at large is a major key to the long-term success of our Group. Additionally, while Trillium is currently focused on the real estate market, it is part of a larger group that has affiliations with other sectors, including energy services. Our board’s vision is to expand and diversify our presence to take an active part in the broad growth of Kurdistan.