In early November, a square, green logo started appearing on billboards and pole signs across Karachi. It was the teaser campaign of the Naya Nazimabad housing project. Launched in mid-November, Naya Nazimabad is a gated housing development located about two kilometres (or approximately 20 minutes away) from Sakhi Hasan Chowrangi in Karachi and is the brainchild of the Javedan Corporation – a consortium of three players from the financial services sector: AKD Investments, Arif Habib Group and Ghani Usman Hum Group.
Muhammad Ejaz, Director, Javedan Corporation says the vision of the project, as the name suggests, is to make a new model city within a city.
“We want to create a good, safe place for the citizens of Karachi to live and where there are no issues with the basic amenities.”
Naya Nazimabad is set on a total area of 2,000 acres. The first phase, launched in 2011, covers an area of 350 acres and offered the general public 2,500 single and double storey units on 120, 160 and 240 yards. Ejaz estimates that the first phase of development will be completed in a little over four years (51 months to be exact). In a country where real estate developers rarely ever meet their deadlines, this may or may not happen, but Ejaz says Javedan wants to take a page out of Bahria Town’s book in terms of timely delivery.
Based on the vision of building a model city, Naya Nazimabad was targeted towards a group Ejaz calls ‘urban strivers’.
“The progressive middle income group. The typical Karachiite who wants a good home as well as a community that contributes to the character building of the individual.”
Therefore in addition to homes, the Naya Nazimabad area will include schools, sports facilities, banks, fast food restaurants, a hospital and about 21 parks. However, instead of communicating all these facilities via the standard formulaic real estate advertising, the Naya Nazimabad team along with Orientm McCann Erickson (the creative agency) decided to create an emotion-based campaign.
Asma Nabeel, Creative Director, Orientm McCann Erickson explains that the TVC was entirely insight-based and played on the idea of ‘mark of pride’; a home is a mark of pride for the owner and in the larger scheme of things, the Naya Nazimabad development is a mark of pride for the Javedan Corporation.
Syed Masood Hashmi, President & CEO, Orientm McCann Erickson adds that the TVC did not mention plot sizes or prices (essential additions to all real estate advertising).
“When we communicate with people we tend to forget that we are operating in a multimedia environment and TV can do one part of the job. The TVC was a good mix of emotional and rational marketing, but then we used other media to give out information.”
Although Naya Nazimabad’s marketing campaign has managed to stand out, the location of the project, with its proximity to Karachi’s troubled Kati Pahari area has been the subject of some concern.
In addition, the developers’ claims of being able to provide basic amenities have been questioned, considering the privations of electricity and water faced by the rest of the city.
Ejaz shrugs off these concerns.
“The approach to Naya Nazimabad is slightly difficult because the roads are not very good but the government has agreed to improve them. For water, we will have both overhead and underground storage tanks and if electricity becomes a problem, we can generate our own.”
The fact that all 2,500 units offered in phase one were sold out within weeks of the launch shows that despite the security issues, people were willing to invest in the project. Naya Nazimabad’s real test will come in about five years when the development will (hopefully) become habitable.
Another city within a city
In early April 2011, Millennium Land Development, a partnership between the Zaitoon and Rafi Groups, launched phase one of New Lahore City. Located about 3.5 to four kilometres away from Bahria Town, New Lahore City is a 20-year long project which aims to create a city within a city.
Ayaz Anwar, Partner & Director, Millennium Land Development, explains that even though Lahore’s real estate market is at a low ebb, there is a group of people who are still willing to buy property.
“In the last boom there were plenty of people who couldn’t afford to buy anything, so we are offering property at very cheap prices.”
As a result, at the launch of the first phase, instead of heavily marketing to the public, the developers focused on institutional sales to entities such as NADRA, FBR, LESCO, etc., which could potentially use these homes as low-cost housing for employees.
However, Anwar is adamant about the fact that this is not cheap property, it is merely being offered at cheaper rates and the plot sizes are smaller because that is the current demand in the market. He explains that the developers plan to launch an ‘overseas sector’ within New Lahore City in 2012, which will be a gated community and is likely to attract investment from overseas Pakistanis. Anwar adds that because the property borders Bahria, residents will be able to enjoy all the facilities available to the latter’s residents. However, New Lahore City will also have its own universities, hospitals and maybe even a hotel chain. The idea is not just to develop the area but to also create a city that is habitable and self-sustaining. – MLA