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Sri Lanka's Catalina villas to be trailblazer for retirement community industry

Jan 31, 2018 06:48 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

RETIREMENT RESORT:  How the entrance driveway of the Catalina residential development will look

ECONOMYNEXT - Catalina Koggala, an upmarket villa development targeting over-50s buyers is aiming to be a trail blazer in kindling a retirement community industry in Sri Lanka, which is expanding fast elsewhere due to ageing populations, officials said.

Granite Capital (Pvt) Ltd, a company set up by Sri Lankan and foreign investors is building the 22 villa retirement community in Koggala, in the island's south.

"Catalina fills the gap in Sri Lanka for purpose-built senior independent living facilities normally found only in top-class resorts or spas," Granite Capital Managing Director Jeevan Williams said.

The development, on 5.75 acres is surrounded by cultivated paddy land and a stream and is near the Koggala Lake where uring World War II, Consolidated Catalina flying boats coming from Australia used to land, after Singapore fell and flights to Britain was disrupted.

The 'double sunrise' Catalina flights taking over a day (27 to 33 hours) are still the longest commercial flights in history.

"This is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka," says Chairman Brad West, who has been involved with Sri Lanka for over 15 years ago helped found Amba Research, a pioneer investment research outsourcing firm.

"It is a major market in the US. It is a wide open space."

In East Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia where visa regulations are relaxed, the retirement community industry has expanded fast.

In some East Asian countries freehold is not allowed for foreigners only long leases but resident visa requirement are easier to get and renewal is not a hassle like in Sri Lanka.

Due to the hassle of getting 'my dream home' visas, the promoters are not actively targeting expats unlike fast growing East Asian nations.

The company says it is offering a 'resort style lifestyle' with activities for the home owners, with access to medical facilities in nearby Galle, and the capital Colombo 90 minutes away through an expressway and the airport about two hours.

The residential development will also have a club house, gym, pool, tennis court, a putting green where golfers can practice before going to Koggala golf course

Promoters of Catalina are mainly targeting Sri Lanka dual citizens and also locals who are looking for a relaxed living with 'like-minded' people with opportunities to interact with the local community, Williams said.

The development, on 5.75 acres is surrounded by cultivated paddy land and a stream and is near the Koggala Lake where uring World War II, Consolidated Catalina flying boats coming from Australia used to land, after Singapore fell and flights to Britain was disrupted.

The 'double sunrise' Catalina flights taking over a day (27 to 33 hours) are still the longest commercial flights in history.

The villas range from 1990 square feet to set in a landscaped gardens connected with internal pathways and a 20 foot wide roadway.

There is a common covered parking at the entrance of the development with valet parking and residents will depend on golf carts to be ferried to and fro from their houses.

The villas are priced between 272,000 US dollars to 325,000 dollars, valuing the project at around 6 million US dollars.

West says in the region retirement community units are priced from around 200,000 dollars in Indonesia to 500,000 dollars in Malaysia.

The company has started building a show villa and the club house.

Williams says Granite-Capital is now seeing interest from European and Australian resident dual citizens.

The company decided to start with a somewhat smaller project so that it will be a proof of concept, with eyes of a larger development later. (Colombo/Jan31/2018)
 


 

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