Interview with Koral Bozkurt
There are many reasons to why we wanted to see Koral Bozkurt who is the Chairman of the Board for both Northernland Construction, and Northernland Group of Companies. What we really want to know are details of the Grand Sapphire Resort project. At a time when most companies are thinking twice about building new projects, a project such as Grand Sapphire Resort is growing and large investments from various countries are contributing into the island.
We want to learn about the economic situation of the island, foreign investors and modern architectural aspects.
- Mr. Bozkurt, Boss at the office, Chef at construction sites, Chairman of the football club. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I graduated from EMU in 1999 from the department of architecture. After completing my military service I worked in England and North Cyprus for 2 years in various private companies. In November 2003 I established Northernland Construction Ltd. and have built about 3000 residences since then.
Over the years we expanded our services and founded Cyprus Ways, which is a car rental company and stepped into the entertainment sector with Thrones Club. We have FitPlus in the health and sports sector and Soulfood in the restaurant sector. Finally we took a large leap into the tourism sector with Grand Sapphire Resort. All of these combined, we transformed Northernland into a group of companies.
As part of our corporate social responsibility, we supported the local football team MTG and I was elected as chairman 2 years ago. With this position, I am able to serve the local residents of Famagusta. We are supporting nearly 400 children and young adults in the MTG foundation and integrating sports into their lives. This will create a healthier generation. This in the greatest gift we can give them.
- How does it feel to complete high buildings in North Cyprus and can we say you have no rivals as you won both awards for Best High-Rise Architectural Design at the Propertync Awards?
Of course we are proud to not have rivals in this category. Having won two architectural design awards for both Grand Sapphire Resort and Northernland Premier project left us speechless that night. Especially when our company received the first award of the evening. In addition to these, it is important to see other companies following our example of high buildings because it will protect green areas on the island. We can say this high-rise trend started with our Alasya Park project in Famagusta.
Nowadays, Grand Sapphire is the largest and highest project in North Cyprus. Only 19% of the land will be used for construction. The rest of the land will be green areas and social areas offering residents and their children a place to live in surrounded by nature. This has encouraged positive feedback from our investors and agencies. It must have also impressed the jury members for they believed we deserved this award.
- We can see how much you appreciate nature and the environment as a company. Another point we would like to discuss is the infrastructure. Can you share your thoughts as an architect? The Iskele Long Beach area is rapidly growing. Could you say everything is under control or should people have certain roles to play during this process of growth?
Firstly, Grand Sapphire Resort has its own infrastructure with its own solutions for drainage and purification. All water produced after purification will be used to water the green areas and gardens.
Secondly, governmental permission has been acquired to complete the main road, bridge and underpass along a distance of 50 feet between the Long Beach roundabout and the project. In addition to these, the road in front of the project has been increased to 50 feet. Also, I would like to add that the stream bed on the border of the project will be dried up and palm trees, which we are growing, will be planted. By doing this, the surrounding area will be completely green. The area will have no infrastructure problems.
In İskele, especially in this area, structuring is happening fast. This means the municipality and of course construction companies play a very important part. If companies focus on the environment, roads and underpass projects just like we are, Iskele will turn into a beautiful residential area. This project is not only an investment; it is the most important inheritance we as people who love our country can leave the future generations. As the Northernland family, this is what inspires us the most.
- Now that you mention agencies and investors, what’s the situation on the sales of Grand Sapphire?
Northernland Construction Ltd. and Mimosa Homes have come together to create Grand Sapphire Resort. At the moment, properties from Blocks A, B, E4 and E5 are for sale. In total there are 10 blocks with 1574 flats. The project was launched in June 2019 and since then; we celebrated our 500th sale in December.
Sales are continuing locally and abroad. Due to Grand Sapphire’s location close to the sea in Iskele Long Beach, its modern architecture and all-inclusive premises, we are now able to enter new markets. We used to sell properties in 18 different countries whereas this project has brought people to North Cyprus from 32 different countries. Sales and market research is an on going process.
- High buildings bring modern trends and residential services start to apply. You are one of the first to offer residential services in North Cyprus; with Viapark Residence you introduced the residential lifestyle to Famagusta. Are you promising more qualities with Northernland Premier and Grand Sapphire Resort?
With Northernland Premier and Grand Sapphire Resort we are taking residential living to the next level. Each project will be run like a 5 star hotel, residents will experience the residential concept at a luxury hotel standard. Services will run 24/7 therefore every detail required by residents and tenants has been thought of in great detail such as, security, reception area, spa, fitness centre, transfer services, concierge, market, souvenir shop and a hairdresser in order to make life easier and more comfortable for them by having all of these under the same roof. There will also be bus services to the beach and city centre from Grand Sapphire. You will be able to find everything you need without leaving the 75.000 m2 mini city complex.
Residential lifestyle has become much favoured by our society and foreign customers. Today, property built by Northernland Construction has a higher rate of rental return and property value has increased by 50 % in 1 to 2 years. This is why property owners tend to buy their second or third properties from our projects.
- In the meantime, your new office building Northernland Centre has been completed. It shines brightly on the road from Famagusta going to İskele. Congratulations. I think you felt the need for such a building due to becoming a group of companies. It has 11 floors and a very eye-catching design.
We had to think of future growth capacity of the company while building our new office. It was designed in accordance with our growing capacity. We gave each department a separate floor and included open and closed working areas to improve productivity. Our employees become highly motivated and productive in a comfortable and happy working environment. Guests can be informed of projects in private meeting and conference rooms with exceptional views.
In this day and age, working people get to spend between 3 to 4 hours at home but they are at work for at least 8 hours. This is why the working environment needed to be comfortable. This would positively affect the company’s outcome. In time, we built a strong, trustworthy team. I believe not only customers but also team members deserve the best. We made a large investment so that our young talented members could have a place to gain experience, be happy and produce work of high standards. We created a work place that everyone would want to work in.
- Would you like to talk about your other projects on sale besides Grand Sapphire?
Besides Grand Sapphire, Northernland Premier will be completed in September 2020 and is still on sale. Though there aren’t many flats left to choose from. Less than 5% of the project, which consists of 314 flats and 18 shops, is left. And if we consider previous reservations, that leaves only 3%. We are proud to have reached these numbers with only 7 months until the completion date.
We also have NorthernPark with 44 flats. This project was designed for investors. It is located close to EMU and the Salamis main road. It is an excellent opportunity for long term leasing.
Lastly, sales of the second stage of Kent Plus are still continuing. The first stage of this project was completed in 2011 and consists of apartments. But the second stage includes affordable villas located away from the busy city yet close enough to everything you would need. It has a pool, children’s park and other facilities.
For more information, come to our new office. My team and I would be more than happier to answer your questions.