Indian Mum, 81, Sells Ancestral Land to Save Son’s Dubai Building;

Triveni sells units at throwaway prizes;

Cementing relationships in a real estate slump;

La Fontana steadily under construction despite slowdown

Dubai- When a crisis confronted Ashok Galgotia during his first foray into real estate, he didn’t panic. Indeed, the dapper CEO of Triveni Builders, a Dubai-based property developer behind La Fontana, the AED80 million, middle-income residential building, appeared unflappable.

Triveni’s six-storey, low-rise development in the Arjan Master Community in Dubailand was strategically put on hold for four months last year due to no fault on the part of the developer.

Galgotia explains: “We received a letter eight weeks after our launch from master developer, Mizin, which revealed their delays to put in permanent power facilities. We launched La Fontana in February last year and, by August, we needed to start construction. We went to the Land Department and said ‘Here is a letter from our master developer – saying we will have no permanent power or electricity – or water until 2010.”

He dismisses claims that there were ulterior, financial reasons behind postponing the development. “We had an adequate sum of money – in fact too much money in our Escrow Account – at the time. Our enabling works contractor had been signed and was ready to start.”

Ideally located within close driving distance to the Mall of the Emirates, the Gold and Diamond Park and the Global Village, La Fontana offers units ranging from AED 498,600 for studios to AED 1,315,900 for two-bedroom apartments. For any real estate project to succeed 3 most important factors are – Location, Location and Location.

Ironically, the unforeseen delay in construction benefitted prospective owners and investors as well as the developer once the local economy began to slow.

“There are three types of construction speed: fast mode, medium mode and slow mode,” says Galgotia. “We had to drop down to slow mode. Even now, our 80 investors want their payments to be phased out a little more.” Triveni estimates it will take another 15 months to complete the development and two more months for the utilities to be completed. We will be ready when the economy starts booming again.

In answer to criticism that trading company Triveni had no concrete experience in regional real estate prior to launching La Fontana, Galgotia is candid. “Whatever we do, we do well and we do with passion. I am an avid golfer and when you learn golf you take several lessons, but it is not over. You go away and practice, then take some more lessons. When I started Triveni way back in 1993, I was not from business family. Unlike any other trading company, it was managed passionately and efficiently and it soon became No. 1 supplier of Packaging Machines and Materials in the entire Middle East. We provided niche service and our customers and bankers were happy and satisfied. Our cash flow was always positive and we delivered goods and services with a smile.”

Then in 2003, Triveni ventured into manufacturing. “People said ‘what are you doing in manufacturing? You’re not a manufacture.’ We were not. But we were going step-by- step and now the manufacturing company employs 80 laborers, is doing well and is a success story.”

Our decision to enter the burgeoning real estate scene was luck by chance. During December 2006, I went to Tatweer Corporate office to see 2 tigers and the models of Planned Dubai Projects such as Universal Studios, Six Flags, Tiger woods Academy and Mall of Arabia. Impressed with the vision of Dubailand, I ended up buying a plot in Arjan. La Fontana has been my passion since then.

When we launched La Fontana, it was sold out within two weeks. People said ‘we trust you’. We said ‘don’t trust us but trust Escrow, we have no experience we will learn as we move ahead step by step’. Despite all the ups and downs of 2008 and challenges ahead, we’re very happy that we are involved with La Fontana project. It is a small development but it is beautiful. It is challenging but it is fun.

‘La Fontana’ Breaks Ground at Dubai Land;

Dubai-15th December 2008: Triveni Builders and Promoters Ltd (TBPL), a Dubai-based developer wholly-owned by the Triveni Trading Group, announced today that it has broken ground on its much-awaited, AED100 million, middle-income residential building, La Fontana. La Fontana is a six-storey low-rise building located in the Arjan Master Community in Dubai Land, a one-of-a-kind community that promotes nature, greenery and a family-first, amenity-rich lifestyle.

Strategically located within close driving distance to the Mall of the Emirates, the Gold and Diamond Park and the Global Village, La Fontana is targeting genuine home owners and the investor who is looking for guaranteed and best rental returns, should they decide not to move in themselves immediately on getting possession. Prices for units range from AED 498,600/- for studios to AED 1,315,900/- for two-bedroom apartments.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Mr Jaffer Abdulla Abdule, sponsor and partner of Triveni Group of Companies and Ashok J. Galgotia, CEO of Triveni Builders and Promoters Limited in addition to more than 60 homebuyers.

“This is a project promoted by a tenant for tenants. We are very pleased to have genuine end users as our buyers who look at La Fontana as a sound and a long-term investment. The project was strategically delayed just by few months to match the Master developer’s requirements. However, now that the construction has begun, we shall work continuously to ensure timely completion of the project,” said Galgotia. “This is our pledge to all are keen on moving into their new homes by mid of 2010 despite the current slowdown in the real estate market, we are committed as ever.”

La Fontana is part of the Arjan Master Community that includes residences, schools, parks, hotels, offices, retail and community spaces designed for leisure pursuits. Mizin, a member of Tatweer – a subsidiary of Dubai Holdings – is the project’s master developer, while Arkiplan Consulting Engineers are the project’s designer.

La Fontana offers a range of finance options to individual buyers and investors in cooperation with Mashreq Bank and HSBC, for conventional financing, and Badr Al-Islami Bank, for Islamic financing.

Triveni Builders is a subsidiary of Triveni Group, which was founded in 1993 in the UAE as a developing engineering company involved in electrical and mechanical engineering products. Recently, Triveni Group has subcontracted with Stromek Emirates Foundation LLC, the subsidiary of M’share wholly-owned by Dubai Investments, for the execution of shoring and excavation works for La Fontana.

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