Metropolitan Real Estate is set to break ground on a new luxury apartment site near the African Union Headquarters in Sarbet. The 19-storey apartment project is expected to be launched in March with a total investment of one billion Birr.

Dubbed Central Tower Apartments, the new complex will lie on a 1,135Sqm area of land. The apartment will come equipped with a generator, water tank, security system, underground parking, common terrace, fitness centre and clubhouse. The units have already been put up for sale this month.

Three-bedroom and two-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 128Sqm to 144Sqm in size will be available in four years. Prices vary from 50,000 Br to 80,000 Br a square metre depending on the customer's preferred payment scheme and the type of unit bought.

Metropolitan, a United States-based company, has joined the Ethiopian real estate market with its Sarbet Gabriel luxury apartments project inaugurated in 2017. Following Sarbet Gabriel, the real estate company went on to launch three more projects in two years, two of which are labelled luxury apartments.

The land for the apartment was acquired almost three years ago, but the company decided to hold off on construction as land ownership issues were not settled and the area needed to go through development, according to Leul Dereje, marketing & sales director of Metropolitan.

The company also researched what kind of apartments are best suited for the area before deciding to build luxury housing, according to him.

The construction of the apartment building, like all of Metropolitan's projects, is going to be handled by European architects and engineers. The company inaugurated Bole Midtown luxury apartments, its second project, in late October of last year. The apartment was built and delivered in one year and nine months, three months earlier than the promised completion date.

It is also currently constructing its Metropolitan Tower apartments located near Bole Rwanda Embassy and its Westview standard apartment complex located in the Zenebework area. Leul says that 85pc and 25pc of sales on those projects, respectively, have already been completed.

Providing a modern living space, availing personal amenities and spatial designs crafted by high-end designers, situating them at good locations such as Sarbet, Kazanchis and parts of Bole make an apartment luxurious, according to Nega Asfeha, an expert with over three decades of property management and consulting experience.

The construction sector in Ethiopia makes up around 21.1pc of the country's GDP. However, the new 10-year Perspective Plan developed by the National Planning & Development Commission is shifting focus away from construction and expects the construction industry to have a lower GDP contribution in 10 years, amounting to 17.9pc.

"Although there are a considerable number of real estate companies in the market, strains from structural and financial problems has left them unable to attain their expected potential," he said.

The private sector is expected to build around four million housing units in the coming decade, according to the Plan, including projects done in collaboration with the government and foreign and local investors.

Nega sees the lead the private sector is going to take as a positive step forward. The exponential growth of the population coupled with the existing deficit has made living in Addis Abeba unaffordable, especially for the middle class.

The government needs to place stringent regulations and monitoring for private sector developments if the private sector is needed to satisfy housing demand, according to Nega. He also says that well-researched and competitive land provision and increasing the availability of loans are required from the government.

"Private companies can partner with local and foreign developers to contribute to the availability of affordable housing," Nega said.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 30,2021 [ VOL 21 , NO 1083]

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