How railway changed Dantata’s estate design
Alh. Alhassan Abdulkadir Dantata is the Chairman, Dantata Town Developers, an Abuja-based real estate development company. He explains the progress of works on the Kubwa housing estate being developed in phases.
When did the Kubwa housing project commence? The project started in June 2012 with about 630 units consisting of twobedroom, three-bedroom and duplexes. In Phase one about 90% of the houses has been completed and about 50 families are presently occupying some of the houses.
Did you encounter any challenges during the construction of the phase one?
When you are doing this kind of project you must encounter some challenges but mostly our challenges have to do with external factor like electricity which is supposed to be provided by government, also water. In case of electricity, we had agreement with NDDC who were doing some substations and were looking for a place to build them. We entered into agreement with them to give them land and they in turn wanted a place to build their substation, but up till now they have not fulfilled their own part of the agreement which cost us some additional unbudgeted costs.
For water we have connected all the houses but sometimes getting water from the Water Board is a challenge.
Also, we have challenge with the railway which passes through our estate. They wanted to have a station there which meant having us re-design houses affected by the station. But they have compensated us for some of the infrastructure we have built there. But we have managed these challenges and it is now almost completed.
What about infrastructure, have these been provided?
Yes, electricity and water. Also the road network has been built by our sister company Dantata & Sawoe but there are still some roads that have not been finished maybe in the next couple of months.
Are some buyers buying purely for speculative reasons?
Yes, some bought our plots and houses and are now selling same in the secondary market at a higher rate. When we started, we sold some of the plots at N3.6 million including infrastructure but they are now going for N7 million.
What about phase two, have you started work?
We have not physically started phase two but due to pressure and demand from the public, we will hopefully start in the next few weeks. We have about 200 houses and we have started taking deposits. The area is about 60 hectares for both phases one and two, but the houses in phase two are not as many as those in phase one. In phase two there are two bedrooms, three bedrooms and duplexes just like in phase one.
The payment for the houses could be done in installment, you can pay a minimum of 30% and the balance could be spread within 18 months, it’s a tailor made arrangement so clients can pay at their convenience. Corporate bodies who are also interested can of course come forward.
What are the prices of these houses?
The minimum is about N13 million and the highest is about N35 million, we have carcass model houses where you buy just the shell, you do your finishing according to what suits your taste, we are introducing this in our phase two, it didn’t happen in our phase one. For those that want our standard finish as an option we do it for them.
Will the rail terminus really affect the estate negatively?
The estate have been dissected by the railway but when you look at what is happening in Europe and other developed countries railway adds to the advantage of any residence, residents don’t need to bring their cars into Abuja, you just leave your car behind and walk to the station, the rail adds value to the estate, in Europe the value of houses go up in such areas. Our remaining land that was affected by the railway we are converting it into commercial activity.
Alhassan Abdulkadir Dantata