Kuzu optimistic about investors for Istanbul project

The Turkish developer behind a US$2.7 billion project in Istanbul that will feature a Jumeirah hotel expects to attract strong investors interest despite a recent wave of terror attacks in the country.

Kuzu Group is building the mixed-use SeaPearl project, with the first phase scheduled for completion next year, according to Ozen Kuzu, Kuzu Group’s chief executive.

The first phase of the project, in Istanbul’s Ataköy district, will feature 631 residences. It will be complete next year. About 45 per cent of the units have been sold, with 70 per cent of the sales made to Turkish investors. Of the foreign buyers, the majority are from the Arabian Gulf, Mr Kuzu said.

The second phase, which will include the hotel and 740 residences that will go on sale next year, is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

The private residences cost between $8,000 and $11,000 per square metre.

The $450 million, 202-room hotel that will also have 62 serviced residences – from one to five bedrooms, will be managed by Jumeirah.

“We are targeting foreign investors,” Mr Kuzu said. “There is a little hesitation about investing [due to the recent incidents], but we are trying to explain the situation to the investors, that the Turkish government and the companies are strong.” He was speaking on the sidelines of Cityscape Global exhibition in Dubai.

The SeaPearl project is 60 per cent owned by Qatari Diar and the rest by Kuzu Group.

Foreign investors’ appetite for Turkish property has dipped during the first seven months of the year. The number of home sales to foreigners dropped to 10,535 from 12,475 during the same period last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Turkey experienced six terror attacks between January and August, including a gun attack in June at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport that killed 40 people. Tourist arrivals have since slowed.

During the first half, Turkey received 3.8 million tourists, down from 4.3 million a year earlier. There was also an attempted coup in July.

Jumeirah operates Istanbul Pera Palace Hotel and Jumeirah Bodrum Palace Hotel in Bodrum.


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