Al Attar Properties, a Dubai-based developer, has served legal notices to investors in its The Skyscraper, a commercial tower in the Business Bay development, seeking payments to continue with construction, a senior company executive said.
"We have already linked our payment plans to construction milestones and investors were required to pay after we completed piling. Only five to 10 clients have paid… we have an outstanding of about Dh68 million on the project," Bipin Tavarool, Projects Manager – Head of Projects & Finance, Al Attar Properties, told Emirates Business.
The first installment of 15 per cent was due on completion of shoring and piling.
"We have served them [investors] with notices through authorities concerned and are requesting them to pay the dues."
The developer claimed it has invested Dh60m to Dh70m to continue construction of The Skyscraper and Polaris, a mixed-used development, also in the Business Bay development.
Tavarool said: "We have sold up to 55 per cent of the project and expect completion by 2011. So we have invested more than Dh60m-Dh70m from our own pocket to continue construction."
An option the developer is considering is offering "genuine" buyers in The Skyscraper an option to move their investments to Polaris.
"We are considering transferring our [The Skyscraper] investors, who have continued to pay, to Polaris. Those who haven't will not be given this offer."
Tavarool added: "Clients need to pay. We were not collecting any money from clients on any of our projects for the past 18 months… now we are starting and so they should pay."
Meanwhile, the developer is also offering investors in its three International City projects the option to swap their properties for units in its Vue Du Lac and Vista Del Lago in Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT) development.
"We haven't cancelled the projects in International City; we have put them on hold."
Tavarool said the company had a lot of space in its JLT towers when it had started the swap offer.
"We had about 45 per cent with us as we usually offload only 50 to 55 per cent in the market.
"The rest is kept with us for sale after construction is completed."
According to the developer, it had never sold a unit at the market's peak when prices in JLT averaged at Dh1,600 per square foot.
"We never sold after June 2007 and during the peak. Our current price is Dh700 per square foot net, with a nominal price increase on floor rise. We have got all no-objection certificates; Dubai Multi Commodities Centre is co-operating and we intend to go fast."
The developer's International City projects – Global Point, Vancouver Tower and Toronto Tower – were launched in 2005-2006.
"We will keep the land and not return it. Whenever we get an opportunity to construct we will construct, but we are not sure when we will get this opportunity… this is the reason we are giving this swap offer."
International City clients will also get the option to select residential units in the Polaris tower in Business Bay.
"Our main aim is to settle the issue… if our clients want commercial units then too we are open for that… we have a specific price at which we will offer this deal."
Al Attar has no plans to launch any new projects anytime soon and if anything is launched it will be an addition to its leasing portfolio.
Tavarool said they were in talks with some banks to provide end-user mortgage for all its projects.
"A majority of our clients are cash buyers… but after this crisis we are trying to tie up with certain banks to offer them a financing option," he added.
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