The Building Technology and Ideas Ltd (BTI) will invest up to Tk700 crore initially in adopting a new business model that caters to clients' yearning to stay connected to nature and live within a community.
It has taken up four projects – three in Dhaka and one in Chittagong – centring on the theme of "wellness community homes," where residents will get much more than just an apartment to call a home of their own. The most attractive features will be green patches of land, a garden on the rooftop, a swimming pool, a well-equipped gymnasium and a yoga studio.
BTI, one of the leading real estate companies, will officially launch the projects next month and will begin handing over the apartments in 2023.
It is embarking on this ambitious venture when the pandemic roiled demand in the real estate sector due to potential customers' income squeeze and the unpredictable future.
The scope of investing undisclosed money, loans with single-digit interest rate and a reduction in registration costs brought some relief to the market, yet it may take until January next year to return to its usual business, as suggested by the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh.
BTI's plans for expansion come as a contrast to the not-so-bright picture. In a recent interview with The Business Standard, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, chief operating officer of BTI, shared how the company's vision had shaped up in the midst of a pandemic towards promoting healthy living.
At a time when people have been coerced into living indoors to maintain social distance, "We felt compelled to think what more we can offer to take care of the physical and psychological wellbeing of our clients."
The targeted clients are people belonging to the middle-income group, who nurture a strong sense of community and wish to be surrounded by greenery.
The coronavirus taught people that human life is intertwined with nature and renewing the connection is necessary to live happily. "We don't know how long the coronavirus will stay with us and if there are similar situations awaiting us in future, but we know that we have to act to bring about a change in our lifestyle," Moniruzzaman said.
Home is where people ought to spend most of their time and BTI under the new projects is looking to ensure all the amenities they need to rejuvenate their spirit, exercise, socialize and entertain themselves.
Each of the four projects will have more than 100 apartments, and the complexes would be built on more than two bighas of land, with infrastructures having a walk-up height of 12 floors. It aims to expand the initiative by acquiring more land in the two cities and on the outskirts of the capital.
"The more the land gets bigger, the more space we will have to accommodate facilities like open air movie theatres, BBQ zones and picnic and brunch spots," the BTI executive said. The shared facilities would not push up the apartment prices much, he added.
On how the business has so far been for BTI in the economic downturn, Moniruzzaman said many clients fearing uncertainty had cancelled agreements with BTI during the two-month shutdown, but they returned when things started turning around.
Besides, he said, BTI had the advantage of being a trustworthy companion of its clients since 1984. It has always kept its promises and handed over apartments on or before time, which is why "people aspiring to own a home found us as their reliable partner in this difficult time."