Business as usual in Istanbul

Business as usual in IstanbulSeapearl Atakoy / Image Credit: Kuzu Group

Despite the recent wave of terror attacks in Turkey and a coup attempt in July to overthrow its President, Ozen Kuzu, board member and CEO of Kuzu Group, is confident about wooing investors to his country. The Turkish developer behind the $2.7-billion (Dh9.91 billion) Seapearl Atakoy, the only sea front super-luxury project in Istanbul, spoke of his intentions of targeting foreign investors on the sidelines of the recent Cityscape Global in Dubai.

''The biggest proof that things are normal in Turkey is our presence at Cityscape,'' says Kuzu. ''If there was a problem in our country, we wouldn't have been here. We trust in our nation and our government. The Turkish government is very strong and Turkish construction companies have come here to promote high-level projects because they have the support of the government.

''Even though the situation has been difficult in the last few months, we have overcome the odds and by doing that we set an example. We sent a strong message in the region.''

Istanbul, Kuzu says, is still a hotspot for investment. ''We are here to invite people to come and see our project. I don't think the failed 15th July coup attempt will affect investor decisions in Turkey. Yes, it was a turning point for Turkey, but afterwards Turkish people and all political leaders came together and showed great solidarity. This also reassured the foreign investors regarding Turkish political stability.''

The Seapearl Atakoy stretches 1.2km along the Bosphorus coastline and has been described as the ultimate address of super luxury. The entire project has 1,400 residential units and a hotel that will be operated by the Jumeirah Group. The first phase of the project, in Istanbul's Ataköy district, will feature 631 residences and will be delivered next year. The rest of the units, together with the hotel, will be delivered by the end of 2018. The private residences cost between $8,000 and $11,000 per square metre.

''When we launched the project in 2015, we had a positive response from foreign buyers, especially from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE. Our project has also been ranked by Forbes as the most prestigious revenue-generating project in Istanbul. It means the project has the potential for high returns on investment.''

Speaking about the 202-room hotel that will also have 62 serviced residences, Kuzu says, ''We invited the Jumeirah Group to come and see our project. We wanted to start a partnership with Jumeirah, it's a huge brand in the region. The location for Seapearl was one of the greatest attractions for the Jumeirah Group.'' The project is Jumeirah's third in Turkey, the other two being Istanbul Pera Palace Hotel and Jumeirah Bodrum Palace Hotel in Bodrum.

The project also boasts of a fascinating architecture reflecting the spirit of the sea and waves. The residential buildings reflect the blending colours of the horizon, starting with earth tones on the lower floors, changing to grey and then flowing to blue towards the top floors. On its façade facing Atakoy, modernised Seljuki motifs add a genuine mood to the magnificent entrances designed with world-class materials.

''When we planned for Seapearl, we didn't just have Turkey in mind. We thought of everything from the point of an international investor. So the materials we used are all of an international standard,'' says Kuzu, adding that the project has a lot of unique selling points. ''It's right on the coastline with uninterrupted views of the ocean. Also, Atakoy is one of the most distinguished districts of Istanbul. It is in the heart of the city, only 13 minutes from the historic peninsula where Istanbul's famous tourist attractions are and with easy access to the airport.

''The central location and ease of access make it a great investment opportunity. The project will also have a marina, which makes it accessible by boats as well.''

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Source: Esha Nag, Editor, Property WeeklyPW

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