Small Tokyo for 1,44bn to appear in Kazan

A Japanese villa community is going to be built on 23,5 ha in Soviet District

Small Tokyo for 1,44bn to appear in Kazan Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Iida Sangyo Rus and the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency were to sign an agreement on intentions to implement a construction project of a low-rise residential complex in Kazan on 3 June. The Japanese developer entered the market of the countryside realty in the capital of the republic two years ago building two demo frame houses in Salmachi settlement. In the new project, the developer will begin to erect 180 frame houses in the city’s Soviet District this year. According to the experts surveyed by Realnoe Vremya, success depends on a reasonable price for the turnkey house and trust of citizens of Kazan that the Japanese frame house developers will withstand our freezing cold weather.

Japanese houses for Russian winter

The construction of Small Tokyo residential complex with 180 low-rise houses will begin in Kazan this year. The total area is 23,5 ha, of which 2,5 ha will be used to beautification and public spaces. Now lands with engineering mains are prepared in Soviet District, claimed the TIDA's press service but didn’t name the exact location of the parcel.

The land parcel, the construction of engineering mains and the construction of the first stage of houses fully ready for sale, according to the TIDA, will cost Iida Sangyo Rus 450 million rubles. The project in total is evaluated at 1,44bn rubles. The company is a subsidiary of IIDA GROUP HOLDINGS holding 30% of the low-rise development market in Kazan. There will be a kindergarten and school on the territory of the settlement.

Three-year probation

The Japanese began to test the Japanese JWT technology in the republic as early as 2016 when the first demo house was built in Novye Salmachi settlement. The official sale of houses began on 1 June 2018, the agency specifies.

According to the information the company had spread is that the technology is adapted to Russian conditions. The house’s value is from 42,000 rubles per square metre. The claimed lifespan is 90 years.

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“Tatarstan as well as Japan is a quality seal. The reliable half-timbered construction technology, high energy efficiency and durability, certified materials and high-quality standards, diversity of ergonomic layout with scrupulous attention to detail are the advantages of the company we appreciated during the assessment of the project. We have good relations with Japan, plenty of joint projects, including investments. Yokogawa, Sojitz, IIDA Group, Soramitsu are among today’s Japanese partners of Tatarstan. We try to expand the cooperation and are very glad that Small Tokyo will grow precisely in Tatarstan,” head of the TIDA Taliya Minullina commented.

“They will have their own purchaser”

In November 2017, President of Iida Sangyo Masashi Kanei said in an interview with Realnoe Vremya about plans to erect “from 5 to 10 houses a month, or 100 houses a year. In the third year, we plan to commission 1,000 cottages, and then, while I am alive I will seek to the volumes of 10,000 houses a year in Tatarstan” during the first two years in the Tatarstan market. It is unclear if Mr Kanei joked then or was serious, however, since then it has been the first big project of the company in the Kazan countryside realty market. The head of Iida Sangyo explained he chose the republic due to geographical advantages: “Kazan is located in Central Russia, where half of the population live — it is potentially a large market. Besides, I'm sure that your people will give preference to individual houses soon”.

However, according to the experts surveyed by Realnoe Vremya, people at the moment don’t trust frame houses as an idea of the all-year-round and long-term dwelling; in contrast to beams and coating, brick is a more understandable material with guaranteed protection of weather conditions.

However, the Japanese assure that their frame houses are no match for Russian, and purchasers’ fears have no foundation. “When I see how Russia builds conventional frame houses: timber is placed how they can, I think this is unprofessional work, for example, when a consumer builds a house himself,” Kanei noted and put an example of Petersburg’s example that began to build better frame houses as a good example, “but it is an influence of Finnish technologies”.

“If a house with the parcel will cost 5-6 million rubles, this project will be highly claimed — it is an alternative to a three-room flat,” says Director of Happy House realty agency Anastasia Gizatova. According to her, with this price category, frame houses won’t scare anyone — they will have their own purchaser, especially considering that it is ready to move in.”

“The only deterrent will be that the houses there are likely to be sold before the kindergarten or the school are built. This is why those who bought a house can just hope this will be done,” the expert notes.

However, the choice of school for car owners in Soviet District will depend not from the place of residence but the quality of education. “Yes, one wants a kindergarten in the vicinity, but one should understand this kindergarten will be commercial, that’s to say, it will cost from 18 to 30,000 rubles a month,” the interlocutor reminds that if it is a municipal kindergarten, the purchasers of houses shouldn’t wait for privileges, as it will be the local kindergarten.

According to Gizatova, with this price category, frame houses won’t scare anyone — they will have their own purchaser, especially considering that it is ready to move in.” Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

“Audience isn’t ready to purchase frame houses”

Gizatova supposes that the settlement can be located in the vicinity of Tsaritsyno settlement. Director General of Flat realty agency Ruslan Khabibrakhmanov is for Salmachi: “Big land parcels are available only there. The location isn’t bad, the place is interesting and claimed in the Economy and Economy+ segment. As I understand, such houses will be built.” However, the TIDA says that the parcel will be Soviet District, while Salmachi is in Privolzhsky District.

In any case, they will have to care about infrastructure on such a big territory, Khabibrakhmanov noted. However, the realtor has doubts that the Japanese product will be in high demand. Even considering that the house is ready to move in, “the audience isn’t ready to purchase frame houses”, the interlocutor says, “In general, as the price per square metre isn’t high, there will be found a client, of course. If technologies are met, the houses will be warm. But a brick house is a brick house. A frame house is another story, another price, and there will be difficulties when reselling. Despite the long lifespan, people don’t get used to buying such houses.

According to the expert, such houses are built in Kuyuki, sales are underway, though not so actively. But the company has prospects: “People don’t start to have more money, on the contrary, everything is going up in price, including the mortgage. I think demand will anyway grow.”

By Leysan Nabiyeva
Analytics Tatarstan