Nov. 1, 2016


Dr. Gholamreza Ansar

Iran

Dr. Gholamreza Ansar

Chairman, Iran Housing Investment Company (Khanehsazi)

TBY talks to Dr. Gholamreza Ansari, Chairman of the Iran Housing Investment Company (Khanehsazi), on the company's upcoming construction projects in Iran, its plans to seek more FDI, and the state of urban development in Tehran.

BIO

Dr. Gholamreza Ansari is the Chairman of the Iran Housing Investment Company. He is also a member of the Tehran City Council, Vice-Chairman of the Social Security Supreme Council, and member of the Chabahar Free Trade Zone’s Board of Directors. Prior to that, Dr. Ansari served as a member of the Islamic Parliament, Governor General of Mazandaran province, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Turkmenistan, Head of the State Welfare Organization, and Deputy of Iran’s Sanjesh. He holds a PhD in social welfare management.

What is your competitive position in the Iranian housing market currently?

Khanehsazi is part of the Social Security Organization and is the largest housing holding in Iran, with around 5 million sqm constructed. We have 50 years of experience building hospitals across Iran and are the first hospital builder in the Middle East. In fact, more than 40% of healthcare centers in Iran are built by Khanehsazi, as well as many administration offices. One of our best projects is Milad Hospital, a 1,000-bed hospital in Tehran. Currently, we have many projects to construct houses and hospitals. For example, we will build 1,000 homes in Tabriz, 400 in Zanjan, and 195 in Chalus. Khanehsazi is a holding with six subsidiaries that covers the full cycle of operations in the construction sector; Khanehsazi Iran Tarho Ejra Management Co. manages and executes healthcare and administration projects; Khanehsazi Iran Consulting Engineers Co. designs and supervises all kinds of projects; Tamin Gostar Housing and Building Investment Co. constructs mass housing projects; Tasisat & Energy Tamin Engineering Co. supplies and installs the equipment of our projects; Sakha Pishtazan Tamin Maskan Investment Co. constructs mass housing projects; and Abnieh Pishrovan Tamin Industrial Co. produces metal constructions.

Have you seen a recovery in the real estate market after the lifting of sanctions?

Iran's capacity and volume of building construction is now higher than in previous years. We focus on building small houses for the younger generation as the government has programs to build houses that we will implement. We will use foreign financing in order to build more cheaply and at a larger volume. In addition, we are in talks with hospital builders from Austria, Germany, and South Korea that want to build fifth-grade hospitals in Iran with the latest technology. In Iran, there is a need to rebuild our hospitals and construct more residences, as many of our buildings are old. We need to use foreign materials and knowledge to upgrade construction techniques; at the same time we have a young, highly skilled, and technical workforce.

What is your opinion on the urban development of Tehran?

Tehran needs to improve in three aspects: commercial areas, hospitals, and residential buildings. We have eight projects in our pipeline to construct malls in Tehran. For the majority of them, we have received the certificates and the land and have done the feasibility studies, so all we need is the financing to start the projects. Secondly, we are ready to build four hospitals ranging between 200 and 600 beds. Finally, we have two types of projects in housing: the first is luxury housing, and in Tabriz we will build four towers of 250 units each. We also seek similar opportunities in Tehran. The second type of housing project is to build between 1 and 5 million small houses for lower-income individuals. However, the problem remains financing, and we will increase cooperation with foreign companies through our organization's affiliated bank, Refah K Bank. Moreover, we plan to enter hotel construction as we have started rebuilding Homa Hotel in Mashhad. Iran is one of the top-10 most attractive countries for tourism; therefore, we have many projects to develop hotels in Tehran and other cities in the country.

What are your plans for this year?

As our projects are ready, the most important thing now is to get the financing to start construction. We are also developing our capabilities in the green energy sector, such as setting up plants to recycle construction materials. Many buildings in Tehran will need to be renovated in the next 20 years, so it will be important to build these facilities to reduce costs. We also consider getting involved in the transport sector, with the railroads needed and the new lines of subway that are being developed. Finally, we can also start working on underground projects, like parking space construction, which will help ease the traffic in Tehran.

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