Has it been difficult to get people interested in buying apartments because they aren’t used to them?
SHS: It’s a cultural difference. The people here prefer to live in villas as opposed to apartments. As a result, some people have been slow to come around to the idea of making a home in an apartment building. Some of our clients are purchasing the apartments as an investment. However, the majority of our clients are buying them for personal use.
AI: It has not been too difficult for the apartments here at Park View for a number of reasons. Firstly, when people take a tour of our sample apartment and see its quality, they can better understand how nice the lifestyle here is. Secondly, many of our customers are actually Kurdish people who lived abroad, usually in Europe. For them, living in apartments is a bit more natural. So, some people may be hesitant, but for the most part people seem excited by Park View.
When do you expect Park View project to be completed?
AI:We are actually ahead of schedule. Construction will be completed in three phases, and the first one will be completed in early July 2014. The first phase includes four apartment buildings. By the end of the project, we expect to have 76 shops located at the base of the apartment complex. Some of the facilities will be completed in the delivery of the first phase, as will the sports club and the pools. The second phase should be completed in January 2015. The third and final phase will be completed in July 2015.
There are lots of projects in the Region, so what sets Park View apart?
SHS: The most important thing is the quality of the project in regards to both the materials used and the services provided. We analyzed the other projects to see what worked, what didn’t, and what was missing. We incorporated those ideas into our project. Overall, I would say that the defining feature of Park View is its quality. This relates to the architecture, the buildings, the details, and the services. Everything is of the high possible quality.
AI: The shape of the buildings is different from the other projects that I have seen. The design is more circular, which gives the entire facility a smoother, more modern appearance. The interior of the apartment itself is not rounded, so there aren’t any wasted spaces. You are still living in a rectangular apartment, even as the building itself is rounded. So, I think there’s certainly some uniqueness in the design. The same goes for the individual apartments. Many other residential projects have units that are all the same size or style. We have 15 different types of apartments that range in size from 124 m2 to 610 m2. So, there is also more variety at Park View.
SHS: Then there are the actual services that will be offered. We have a large reception area in each of the 12 buildings, and we will also offer luxury-shopping facilities. We will also have a sports center, Park Club.
Can you tell us about Park Club?
AI: Park Club will consist of two different sports centers; one for men and one for women. This is a very important feature because of the culture of Kurdistan. We don’t simply have a sports center just to be able to say that we have a sports center; we have a sports center to provide options that others do not. We will offer two indoor swimming pools. Again, one for ladies and one for men. We will offer squash courts for men and for ladies there will be a special area for children, which will allow them to better utilize the facilities.
The first phase of the project includes four apartment buildings. We expect to have 76 shops located at the base of the apartment complex. Some of the facilities will be completed in the delivery of the first phase, as will the sports club and the pools. The second phase should be completed in January 2015. The third and final phase will be completed in July 2015.
Sounds like you are very interested in accommodating the culture here, rather than simply providing luxury.
AI: Park View is indeed designed to accommodate the culture here. We have included guest rooms in the apartments that can also function as living quarters for a maid. Similarly, the kitchen opens into two different living rooms: one for the visitors and one for the family. The culture here requires ample space for visiting, and we have done everything in our power to accommodate those needs. So, with these ideas in mind, I think you can certainly say that Park View is tailored to this particular culture.
Another aspect that we noticed was the emphasis that seems to have been placed on making the entire complex green.
SHS: I would say that the development of green areas was also of the highest importance to us when we were in the design phase. The Kurdistan Region is in need of more green areas, so we wanted Park View to serve as an example of what is possible.
AI: The total land size for Park View is 50,000 m2; the current plan calls for 35,000 m2 of that space to remain green. Our hope is that if someone were to take an aerial photo, the entire area would appear green. To do this, we also focused on the individual buildings themselves. There are small green areas or gardens in front of the individual apartments, which we believe makes the entire facility more aesthetically appealing. This translates to the name “Park View” as well. If we had simply used our name or the name of a person, it wouldn’t be as effective of a brand. Park View gives a better idea of the apartments, the commercial facilities, and the entire complex as a whole.