Building 'S'pore home's in India


Raffles Park villa type 3 day view

India-watchers will tell you that the country's economy is passing through a rough phase. And its real estate market is not in top gear.

But a Singapore family, which has been in the property business for a long, long time, is going ahead with its first real estate venture in India.

The Jumabhoy siblings Iqbal, Asad and Mimi Nassem are developing a 15-acre plot in Bangalore's Whitefield, promising villas that match Singapore standards. The land they are developing has been with the family for several years. It was bought by Mr Iqbal Jumabhoy's father in the '90s.

Said Mr Iqbal: "In the current state of the real estate market in India, Bangalore is one of the bright spots and Whitefield within Bangalore is an even brighter spot. That is why we decided to go ahead with this project at this time."

The development named Raffles Park - consisting of 61 villas - will be built in four phases. The first phase of 20 villas was sold out even before the project was launched.

"We are doing a preview this weekend here in Singapore for the second phase," said Mr Iqbal, 56.

The Jumabhoys anticipate strong demand for this phase, which comprises 15 villas, from Indian nationals and people of Indian origin living here - quite a few of whom are among those who bought villas from the first phase.

Mr Iqbal says Raffles Residency, which is building Raffles Park, will give people exactly what they are promising. And what is it?

"What you are seeing perhaps is one of the few projects where only 19 per cent of the land is covered. It is special in its design because it is consistent all the way through. It is being put together by a developer they know. The project is being thought about not just for the way its residents live today but the way they will live in future," said Mr Iqbal, giving examples of how every villa will have a bedroom on the ground floor that can be for aged parents or for use by a guest. It will also have a lift.

The villas, consisting of a basement and three floors, will have two family rooms. This is to ensure that while some in the family may want to watch TV, the children can do their own things in the other living room.

Singapore architecture firm WOW Architects and India's Karan Grover, known for his green designs, are the architects for the development.

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