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If you have a tower to sell, do it in full now

Waiting around to launch in phases will only give some other developer a chance, says IGO chief

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Anas Kozbari, CEO of Invest Group Overseas, with a scale model of IGO’s 101 tower at Cityscape Global.
Gulf News

Dubai: The old rules of launching a project and selling units in phases do not apply any longer — sell everything in one go is the only rule to follow in Dubai realty.

“The competitive scene is not getting any easier; if a developer is thinking of keeping things aside, there will always be someone selling his property first and taking away money meant for you,” said Anas Kozbari, managing partner and CEO at Invest Group Overseas (IGO) and part of the MAG Group.

Kozbari is sticking to his word. IGO launched a G+39 storey tower — IGO 101 — and placed all its 449 units in the market a fortnight ago. To date, it has sold 18 per cent of the stock, with prices at an average of just under Dh1,300 a square foot and a one-bedroom going for Dh795,000.

Ahead of announcing the main contractor later in the year, the infrastructure works at the site are “almost done”. IGO 101 occupies one of the last plots available to private developers in JLT (Jumeirah Lake Towers). The project is due for completion in the first quarter of 2020.

By the end of 2020, IGO’s development portfolio in Dubai is expected to be around Dh2 billion, which includes the investment on the IGO 101. The score to date is Dh800 million.

The site for another high-profile tower launch is being negotiated and should be ready to launch in first quarter of 2018. The location will be in Business Bay.

“And yes, every unit will be put to sale as soon as the launch happens,” said Kozbari.

IGO has another ongoing project, in Meydan, where it delivered the Polo-branded townhouses late last year and will start on that of the apartments by year-end. The 875 apartment units are “almost sold out”.

But with MAG Group also having another property development arm — MAG PD — how does the division of labour work out for IGO?

“We never do these things arbitrarily — each development opportunity is placed on the table and then decided who does what,” said Kozbari. “There was an occasion recently when both IGO and MAG PD were talking about projects at Meydan [not the Polo one].

“In the end, it was felt that two projects would only cannibalise both our sales. It was decided to have them launch an upcoming project at Meydan and we concentrate on JLT.”

IGO meanwhile also has interests in the US — a massive mixed-use community in Dallas on a 42-acre site. The project has another seven years to go before it reaches the finish line.

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