Castle Development plans to launch the second phase of Castle Landmark, the company’s flagship project situated at the New Administrative Capital (NAC) this month, with a total investment of EGP 550m, according to Ahmed Mansour, CEO of Castle Development.
This month has also seen the company launches its new 7,600 sqm commercial project, East Side, located at the New Administrative Capital’s MU23 zone, with EGP 800m in investment.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Mansour to learn more about the company’s expansion plan, and the updates regarding its current projects, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
When will the company launch the second phase of Castle Landmark in the NAC?
We are launching the second phase of Castle Landmark this month with an investment of EGP 550m. Expected for delivery by 2022, this phase will cover 70,000 sqm, and is expected to offer 378 units with sizes ranging between 120 sqm and 285 sqm, and prices starting from EGP 14,300 per sqm.
When will the company complete the marketing phase?
Marketing for phase I of Castle Landmark is now complete, and we are planning to start construction of phase II throughout the second quarter of this year. Let me add that the second phase will see a slight increase in prices, EGP 14,500 per sqm instead of EGP 13,500; this is only a result of the increasing operation costs we continue to face as developers.
When will the company begin the project construction works?
Construction will take place during the second quarter of 2019.
Tell us more about the company’s second project in the NAC.
A mixed-use development, East Side offers medical, retail, and administrative spaces covering 7,600 sqm. With a built-up area of 20,000 sqm, the development sees EGP 800m in investment and will be delivered by 2021. It is situated within the H1 Block at the MU23 zone, East Side is easily accessible through a wide network of roads; it overlooks El Amal Axis which connects Ben Zayed North Road and Suez Road. The project is developed between clusters of residential compounds residing in the area’s R2 and R3 zones, which are projected to host 300,000 residents, and within less than one kilometer from the Capital’s Central Business District and the towers zone developed by CSCEC.
What is the volume of the company’s investments throughout 2019?
The company plans to invest EGP1bn this year across its projects.
And what is the value of targeted sales for 2019?
We target EGP 2.2bn in sales by the end of this year.
What is the company’s expansion plan?
We are planning to launch another commercial project on an area of 5,500 sqm, also at the New Administrative Capital, with an initial investment of EGP 800m. Moreover, we are in negotiations to acquire two plots of land, the first of which is located in Ain Sokhna on an area of 10 feddan, while the second is a residential project outside of Cairo.
How do you see partnerships as a system?
Partnerships mainly combine the expertise of the developers involved in order to ensure better, faster, and more influential implementation of projects. Therefore, we are always ready to collaborate with other prominent developers and repeat the success we had with El Makassa, our partners in the development of Castle Landmark.
Do you plan to list your company in the Egyptian Exchange (EGX)?
The company’s initial public offering (IPO) is not currently included in our short-term plan, but we will study the decision closely and be ready within the next three years.
Do you think that the government competes with developers in New Mansoura and New Alamein?
As a developer, I do not regard the government’s decision to enter the market as a competition; this is a sizeable market with high demand and can accommodate all the products being offered. However, I see that the government is playing an instrumental, indirect role in adjusting prices for the target customer.
In your opinion, do you think that the market is currently facing a recession?
The local real estate market is quite sturdy with real demand from all segments, on account of the growing population. What we’re currently witnessing is not a recession but an adjustment, a temporary situation where the market is adapting to recent changes in order to meet customers’ purchasing power and eliminate confusion.