Dubai: Got a project that needs a push on to see it past the finish line? Bring on the project managers. That is what the developer, Tanmiyat, has done for its Living Legends development in Dubailand. The project was launched in the heydays of the first Dubai property boom, then went through the excruciating phase that was the downturn, and is now making a determined bid for completion. This is where Property Solutions is helping out.
“While Tanmiyat will be handling all of the funding and marketing needs, Property Solutions assumes the role of overseeing the construction cycles, the sales programme, payment collections and the rest,” said Saleh Tabakh, the company’s chief executive. “What it did was bring down the number of agencies that were handling the various requirements.”
Another developer, Rufi Properties, is another to have a project specialist — Redefine Real Estate Developments — on board to handle its slate of revived projects in Dubai Sports City.
“The role of the project manager has become key is achieving projected revenues,” said Simon Townsend, Business Development Manager at the consultancy DTZ. “Earlier, in a market where revenues were climbing perhaps the role on cost performance was, potentially, not as aggressively monitored. Now, any deviation to the cost and delivery time frames has a very noticeable impact on what is sometimes a fragile profit line.”
But Tabakh emphasises that Living Legends — with a 15 million square feet canvas located near the Al Barari community — and a build cost of Dh7 billion — never stalled, and that work was going on even through the worst phase of the market dip, though at a slower pace.
“A large percentage of the original buyers have stayed committed,” he said. “The masterplan was changed and that was more of an upgrade to the quality and the look of the buildings after the market picked up in 2012. There was no downsizing.
“We have 4,000 workers on site working though two shifts to meet the upcoming completion schedules.”
The size of the retail offerings was raised, and the process helped by Carrefour signing up for a location. A boutique hotel has been confirmed, and would tie in neatly with a nine-hole golf course.
On the residential side, 500 villas are nearing completion before the year-end, while the apartment buildings will start the handover process from June next and go up to March 2016.
“We have started thinking about adding to the residential offerings, most likely through townhouses.”
Townhouses have been one of the best-selling residential categories in Dubai’s property transactions of late. With their relatively lower floor sizes compared to villas, developers have been able to push these units to a certain class of buyer. In contrast, villa transactions have dropped drastically in recent quarters.