Due to the well-organized nature of the area, the neighbourhoods are still full of fresh air and serenity
When an opportunity comes knocking at the door, you must answer immediately or regret later. Thousands of people who missed the opportunity to invest in Aftabnagar, or as it is officially known as Jahurul Islam City, way back can attest to that. To them, the seemingly ordinary land project was just that, another private project that seemed to have sprung up like mushrooms during that period — with the only gleaming factor being it was undertaken by the renowned and respected Eastern Housing Limited. But the people who let the opportunity slip away gravely misjudged how valuable the “city within a city” would become in the coming few decades — not just in terms of monetary value but also for the city.
In all fairness, most of Aftabnagar was once but a backwater place that was mostly farmland and water bodies. By comparison, even the Meradia area could have been considered a “developed” area — to the surprise of many who have never witnessed a pre-developed Aftabnagar. And that “once” is not too far in the past either. If you visited the area even during the early 2000s, you could have enjoyed a fresh clean breeze while walking on a mud road with wide open fields as far as the eyes could see.It is still possible to get that feeling now by heading over to the edge of the Aftabnagar project.
The landscape, though, has gone through an immense transformation,from top to bottom. Mud roads have given way to asphalt. Much of the farmland and open fields have been replaced by multi-storied buildings. And the noise from construction sites can be heard all throughout the project where nothing but the sound of cattle grazing could have been heard before.As soon as plots were handed over, developer construction activity ensued. Many people began building their homes and even one of the most respected private universities, the East West University, began constructing of their permanent campus in the area, which has since become a notable icon of the area due to its rustic look, immense size and its domineering presence near the entrance of the area.
The modern Aftabnagar area is a sharp contrast to the once “rural” area. Even though the housing project is still in the process of being developed, it adorns a vastly modernized and homely outlook as well as holds huge potential in terms of what the final product will be. To get a peek into how that will be, all one needs to look at the other side of the canal to Banasree which was, like Aftabnagar, once a budding, developing residential area. The current Aftabnagar is just a decade or so behind the hugely popular Banasree project but on the same track. It is following a similar blueprint and aiming to provide the same level of comfort and convenience to its residents.
Similar to Banasree and even Bashundhara Residential Area, Aftabnagar is divided into blocks and is meticulously planned to avoid giving off that “haphazard” feeling that most of the places in Dhaka have. The roads and houses are neatly organized — not to mention spacious — so those can easily be found. Buildings of all sizes can be found in the area, either already developed or being constructed. However, due to the well-organized nature of the area, the neighbourhoods are still full of fresh air and serenity. Residents take advantage of the quietness and the au-natural aura of the area to hangout or jog.Bazaars still sit on a particular day and motorized rickshaws can be seen buzzing to and from Jahurul Islam Avenue, the main road of Aftabnagar.
The rapid, and commendable progression, of Aftabnagar as a residential housing project thrust the area into the limelight and the demand for real estate there grew exponentially. Once the availability of land for purchase became rarer, people began to buy flats that became available and that continues to this day. It has become a popular place for real estate among the middle class. According to Bproperty data, Aftabnagar received more property requests than several usually more popular places such as Rampura, Moghbazar, Basabo, Kalabagan and Niketan. This year is not much different either.These places are usually the preferred choice for middle to upper-middle class families but as we are seeing, Aftabnagar, due to the quieter and more secluded lifestyle it offers, has become more of a focal point for housing.
Renting demand is also equally high for properties in Aftabnagar. Many Gulshan and Banani office-goers consider Aftabnagar a primary location to live. There are also the students of East West University and other nearby educational institutions who prefer this area due to affordable rent. Aftabnagar is full of retired government and non-government officers who had invested their pension or life savings into real estate there. The conglomeration of peace-loving residents of the area creates a truly wonderful and harmonized atmosphere that is oh-so-rare in any urban landscape.
Since Aftabnagar is geared for the middle-class, it is no surprise that most of the apartments in the area are small-to-mid-sized. In 2019, 46.73% of all properties that became available for rent and sale in Aftabnagar ranged between 1,000 square feet to 1,400 square feet. Only 10% of properties that became available in 2019 were equal to or larger than 1,800 square feet. The reason for an abundance of small-to-mid-sized flats in Aftabnagar can be attributed to two things: 1. Many of the people looking for homes in Aftabnagar have a budget that is fit for similar sized homes, 2. Most of the apartment buildings are privately constructed by retirees or by people with their lifesavings. Private apartment project developers used to be few in Aftabnagar previously. However, that number is quickly growing and more and more modern high-rise apartments with spacious units can be seen in the area.
As a result, investment opportunities in Aftabnagar are still plenty with more surely coming along in the future. But there was a time when people were being offered plots in the area for very cheap, yet, many turned them away in moments of misjudgement. People today understand the value of investing in Aftabnagar, be it a plot or an apartment. That is why they do not easily let go of an opportunity if they come across it.With each passing day, Jahurul Islam City flourishes and becomes closer to what is envisioned for the place.
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