Hafeez Contractor debuts in Nepal

June 21st, 2011 - 3:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, June 21 (IANS) Renowned Indian architect Hafeez Contractor is making his debut in neighbouring Nepal with a high-end apartment complex in Kathmandu, targeted for completion by 2012.

The 60-year-old, who has designed the tallest buildings in India, the Imperial I and II, arrived in the Nepali capital Tuesday for the official announcement of his partnership with Nepal’s Golyan Group that owns real estate businesses as well as Nepal’s largest spinning mill, the Reliance Spinning Mill in eastern Biratnagar town.

Contractor’s firm Architect HC is designing the Westar Skyliving project located near the Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Nepal’s first five-star hotel.

The project will consist of two blocks, 13-storeyed each, with sprawling apartments of 3,000 sq ft and 4,400 sq ft, priced tentatively at NRS 3.5 crore and NRS 5 crore.

“The project is intended for the elite, used to living in their own bungalows but now seeking other options due to security reasons,” said Vijay Agarwal of Westar Properties, the real estate arm of the Golyan Group.

“The Group’s chairman Pawan Golyan himself has booked an apartment in the new project.”

Spread over 50,000 sq ft, the project will leave 77 percent space open, as Contractor’s green signature, meant for landscaping and water bodies.

A unique feature will be a 35-seater mini cinema that will screen films regularly, changing them every Friday like the commercial theatres do.

The deteriorating security situation, including regular abductions, threat calls and even shootings in the capital city itself, is now being used to their advantage by entrepreneurial builders who are highlighting the security features they are offering as the reason for millionaires to leave their mansions and move into apartments.

The inclusion of gyms and a cinema would cut down risks further. Nepal still remembers the murder in broad daylight of cable TV mogul Jamim Shah who was gunned down in his car while returning from a health club in a five-star hotel.

The project is expected to be completed by December 2012. Contractor’s team had already flown into Kathmandu earlier this month to work out the design and construction has started.

Westar Properties, which is building a second project for the middle and upper middle class buyer - the Westar Residency in Lalitpur district - also plans two more projects in future for the creme de la creme as well as the economy group.

The project for the super rich, which could be corporate guesthouses, would include a golf course.

Westar Properties, which also began construction in Dubai in 2004 and now has 12 projects running there, is keen to explore further tie-ups with Contractor, both in Nepal and India, Agarwal said.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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