Site visit: Imperial Avenue, Dubai

Shapoorji Pallonji has charmed its way into Dubai’s property market with the launch of Imperial Avenue, its maiden international real estate venture

Imperial Avenue, a G+45-storey high-rise, consists of 424 residential units.
Imperial Avenue, a G+45-storey high-rise, consists of 424 residential units.

Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) is best known in the Middle East as a builder rather than a real estate developer. With its first real estate venture outside India, SP is introducing a $354m (AED1.3bn) high-end luxury residential tower in Business Bay, Dubai, with views of the Burj Khalifa.

Imperial Avenue, its G+45-storey high-rise, consists of 424 residential units comprising six villas, eight penthouses, and 410 apartments, as well as 1,930m2 of retail space and bespoke amenities.

The villas are located on the podium level of the tower, above five levels of parking. Of the six villas, two are three-bedroom units, two have four-bedrooms, and two have five. The four- and five-bedroom villas include private swimming pools, as well as private elevators at the podium level, ferrying vehicles to private car parks within the villas.

One-, two, three-, and four-bedroom apartments are available, in sizes starting at 80m2 for a one-bedroom, while the two-bedroom apartments will start at 130m2. The three-bedroom apartments will be constructed to a size of 190m2, four-bedroom units to 475m2, and the five-bedroom penthouses will cover an area of 537m2.

Jacob Joby Varghese, director –development at Shapoorji Paloonji International Property Developers, SP’s real estate arm, says: “Our apartments are larger in size as far as the district is concerned. We are 20% bigger than what is being offered in the neighbourhood, which makes our development an ideal end-user product. It is created in a way that gives the end-user priority.”

Upon completion, the 198m-high Imperial Avenue will be Shapoorji Pallonji’s first fully owned international property. It will boast a total built-up area of 13.47ha with a carpet area, or net sellable area, of 7.46ha. The plot area covers a total of 8,881m2.

When Construction Week paid a visit to the Imperial Avenue site, 15% of the project work had been completed. The early works contract had been awarded to Bauer, which was also in charge of the excavation and piling works. Bauer began the piling and shoring works in October 2016, and completed its package in January 2017, according to Varghese.

Currently, the ground floor work is being carried out, and the raft work was completed recently. SP expects the main structural works to conclude by June 2018, and the handover is scheduled for 7 December, 2019.

Main construction work, valued at $158m (AED581m), began in February 2017 and is expected to be completed in September 2019, says Varghese. Shapoorji Pallonji Mideast, SP’s regional subsidiary, is the main contractor on the project, while Arch Group has been appointed as the engineering and project consultant.

“Arch Group, architects of the 355m-tall JW Marriott Marquis and Taj Exotica on Palm Jumeirah, has also designed the building. It was initially designed to resemble a boomerang,” Varghese notes.

With a lobby area of 930m2, Varghese tells CW that, once it’s completed, Imperial Avenue will boast a very large entrance for a residential tower. The building will offer amenities across three floors. Floor six, which is the podium level, will consist of a children’s outdoor play area, landscaped gardens, and a pond.

Level nine will also offer recreational amenities, including a family zone with a pool and a 185m2 indoor kids’ play area. Level 26 will boast a clubhouse, a 25m infinity pool facing the Burj Khalifa, a multipurpose hall, a double-height squash court, a steam room, a games room, a billiards room, and a gym, as well as an audio-visual room for private movie screenings.

Varghese says that SP is offering residents a luxurious quality of life at Imperial Avenue. “Every single aspect has been looked into. From offering larger apartment sizes to aesthetic contemporary designs, avant-garde amenities, and luxury living spaces.”

Solar panels will be installed on the building’s roof, and will provide a centrally heated water supply to the units, helping to reduce electricity and maintenance costs. Varghese also notes that the development will have greywater treatment plants as a sustainable source of water for toilet cisterns, common areas, and landscaping.

SP is also utilising 6D building information modelling (BIM) on the project, which it claims is being used for the first time in the Middle East. The BIM structure will lower the cost of maintenance considerably.

Varghese says: “We’ve utilised 3D BIM on the project, and we are in the process of using 6D BIM. We have taken this to the next level, so all our assets are tagged, which means all the replacement equipment is managed efficiently.

“We, as an organisation, are technologically driven  and, fundamentally, we have got an understanding of the need for – and importance of – BIM across our projects. As far as the property arm is concerned, we are making it mandatory for all our projects to have 3D BIM, and are specifying this requirement to all our architects and consultants.”

With the construction progressing according to schedule, SP does not expect any delays to hinder the work. The project currently employs a total labour force of 350 personnel, and a further 1,150 are expected to join the development during the peak construction period.

So far, 20% of Imperial Avenue’s units have been sold, Varghese says. Although a specific investor market hasn’t been identified, he notes that the development has attracted a large number of Indian buyers. “There has also been keen interest shown by GCC investors, primarily Kuwaiti and Saudi nationals. We also have people from the UK who have invested in the project,” he concludes.

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