“The core strengths of any builder are the three Ds; development, delivery and dealership and we focus on all three”
Published in Nov-Dec 2021
UZMA KHATEEB NAWAZ: Tell us something about the Park View City projects in Pakistan.
FAREED ZAKA BAJWA: Park View is a real estate property brand. Park View is our mother brand, under which we provide several real estate property options, including residential and commercial. Our projects include Park View City gated communities in Lahore and Islamabad. We have various options for buyers and investors, including built property in the form of villas and vacant plots. Islamabad Park View City was launched in 2014 and our Lahore project in early 2000. Park View Golf Estate is another addition to our flagship residential block, with amenities such as a golf course, lakes, parks, and other premium amenities.
UKN: What makes Park View unique compared to other property options in Pakistan?
FZB: We have a unique customised payment plan. If customers wish to pay in two years’ time, we will design a payment plan accordingly. Similarly, if customers wish to extend the payment period, we can accommodate that too. Furthermore, customers only have to pay a 25% down payment and they can start construction work. Another important point is that our setup in Islamabad is the only CDA project that offers property in instalments. No other project in Islamabad under CDA offers instalment plans; they require a lump sum payment instead. Another aspect is location. Our Lahore project is only three kilometres from Thokar Niaz Baig Road and all the other gated communities with a similar setup are almost seven to eight kilometres from Lahore. All our residents in Islamabad can enjoy the views of Murree and Margalla Hills. We offer terraced cottages, so it is like buying a house on the hills. In Lahore, we are situated near the Ravi, which makes the air clean for our residents. The air quality index in our project is better compared to any other area in Lahore.
UKN: Who are your target buyers?
FZB: Anyone who wants to be surrounded by a scenic environment. We have different options to suit the pockets of different socio-economic groups. Hilltop properties target the higher income groups. However, for the middle- and lower-middle class segment, our five marla property option is suitably priced, coupled with easy-on-the-pocket payment plans. A major chunk of our clients are overseas Pakistanis. The core strengths of any builder are the three Ds; development, delivery and dealership and we focus on all three.
UKN: What size of residential property is more in demand and why?
FZB: The five marla properties are in great demand because the concept of living is changing in Pakistan. Earlier, big houses were preferred, but buyers are now more interested in smaller homes. There are two driving forces behind it. Land has become very expensive and lifestyles have changed. People are too busy to maintain and manage a big house. Even our overseas buyers prefer to invest in five marla plots; they are their second homes which they use when they visit.
UKN: What facilities do your gated communities offer?
FZB: We have an affordable state-of-the-art school. We offer parks, playgrounds, shopping malls and golf course grounds. In Islamabad, we are building the biggest shopping mall in Pakistan. Our commercial project ‘Downtown Islamabad’ will be the best in Pakistan, with fountains and lakes. We call it Downtown Islamabad because it is based on Portuguese architecture and inspired by Dubai Downtown.
UKN: Your brand promises an eco-friendly ambiance. Can you elaborate on this?
FZB: It all starts with our location. In Islamabad we are surrounded by 15,000 kanals of botanical gardens; they have been earmarked as forests and there will be no development on that land in the future. To add to this, we have planted about 250,000 trees within our project in Islamabad. We have planted pine trees that have attracted different bird species, and they also stabilise the mountain slopes. We are using solar panels to generate 60% of the electricity requirement. Park View City has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Most Eco-friendly Housing Society of Pakistan’ by the UK-Pakistan Business Council.
UKN: Are you using eco-friendly construction material?
FZB: The entire country lags behind in this field and we have limited options in regard. We are maximising eco-friendly elements in all areas of construction and development.
UKN: Who would you consider to be your competitors?
FZB: In Lahore, it would be Bahria Town. In Islamabad, there is no competition because all the properties come under Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), which is not exactly Islamabad.
UKN: What is your marketing strategy?
FZB: We are active on social media. We are also doing out-of-home promotions. We have signed up a partnership with the Pakistan Cricket Board and are the official sponsors for PSL. The umpires’ shirts will be sponsored by Park View City. Furthermore, we are associate partners of T20 Pakistan. Our agency is The D’hamidi Partnership and they handle the creative side of the brand.
UKN: What has been an impact of Covid-19?
FZB: There has been no negative impact. In fact, we did the best business during Covid-19. We accelerated our development so that we were able to improve our delivery.
UKN: What are your future plans?
FZB: We are about to launch projects in Murree and Naran. There is a lot of beauty in our northern areas, but when it comes to high-class resorts, there is a gap. We believe that it is our responsibility to improve the image of Pakistan by building hilly resorts to boost tourism. The trend of traveling within the country has increased and there is huge potential to build property in the northern areas. We will also be launching resorts in Karachi soon and high-rise buildings in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. In Karachi, we plan to build the tallest building on I.I. Chundrigar Road. Our resorts in Karachi will be built near Hub. The plan is to offer beach resorts along the coastal belt. There is a dearth of such facilities in Pakistan and we are planning to build the first world-class beach resort.
UKN: What are the real estate trends you see unfolding in the future?
FZB: We foresee cities within a city. In the future, there will be mini-city like developments with all the amenities present, including schools, hospitals, offices, community clubs, shopping malls and recreation.
UKN: What ROI can customers expect from buying a Park View City property?
FZB: I will give you an example. When we started our Islamabad project, one of our five marla plots sold for 3.5 million rupees, today the same plot costs around Rs 10 million; an almost threefold increase.
UKN: What has been the impact of the construction relief package announced last April?
FZB: The relief package sky-rocketed the real estate industry. The entire chain of industries is benefitting from a positive impact; a lot of jobs are being created, supply of material is increasing, providing a boom to related industries such as cement and steel.
UKN: What are the challenges in the real estate industry in Pakistan?
FZB: From the regulatory point of view, there is bureaucracy; the approval processes should be expedited and if the approval comes from four different windows, it should be done through one window.
UKN: What is the potential of Pakistan’s real estate market?
FZB: Pakistan’s economy has kick-started and the major boost has come from real estate and 40 to 50 allied industries are linked to it and are benefiting from it.
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