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Airport Hills

Airport Hills News A LOOK AT ACCRA AIRPORT HILLS Generally, housing constitutes a major component of household wealth, especially for low-income households, and no doubt, housing wealth is






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Text of Airport Hills

Airport Hills News A LOOK AT ACCRA AIRPORT HILLS Generally, housing constitutes a major component of household wealth, especially for low-income households, and no doubt, housing wealth is increasingly gaining importance in the Ghanaian economy. For many households, it is the most important form of savings as homeownership is considered a hedge against inflation in the medium term. In other instances, it is utilized as collateral for borrowing by homeowners, thereby generating funds for other investments and wealth creation. Thus, the housing industry has the capacity to both cultivate and protect wealth. Since Ghana's independence, provision of housing has remained central to the development agenda. Various policies, programmes and institutions have sought to address issues such as land tenure, land title regulation, and provision of affordable housing units to the working population. However, a number of these housing strategies were negatively affected by lack of funds, a poor macroeconomic environment and lack of private sector participation. Thus, compared with other advanced countries, Ghana's housing industry remains rudimentary. There are harrowing experiences of people who, in an attempt to have a place to lay their heads, have had their fingers burnt because of the complex nature of land acquisition in this country, especially in the nation's capital, Accra. Some have found themselves in the law courts while other unlucky ones have joined their ancestors. The irony is that the building industry is enjoying a boom in spite of all the problems of cost and land disputes. This indicates the great potential of Ghana's building industry once we commit to getting the fundamentals right. To introduce a concept that provides a new direction to alleviate these frustrations and nightmares that people go through, Finali Limited acquired a 400 acre prime land strategically nested between the northeast of the Kotoka International Airport, north of Burma Camp, south of the Tema by-pass, and east of Civil Aviation property, bordered by the Accra Tema railway and christened it Airport Hills. Finali's concept was unprecedented. Kofi and Esi Gbedema's passion was to create a modern, master planned, gated community with emphasis on safety, privacy and exclusivity, where you can design and own a home that will provide family memories for generations. Today the development, which is a 10 minute drive from the Tetteh-Quarshie interchange and the Accra City Mall, is about to open its fourth exceptional phase. It is one of the very few remaining centrally located developments where it is possible to design and build your own home. However, it is subject to a strict architectural review process within secure development, where land ownership issues including title certificates and AMA approval have all been ironed out, and infrastructure such as water, electricity, and roads precedes development. No construction of any kind is permitted without prior approval of the Hills' Architectural committee, which shows how particular we are about ensuring that standards are met. 'We do not want Airport Hills to become like any other. It is these standards that have made residents who live in other communities near the Hills try alluding their home address to it', Esi proudly told me during an hour tour of the well planned enclave. The couple belongs to the school of thought that believes that leadership is by example to inspire the workforce and it is no surprise to learn that they virtually know every Lessee that is developing a parcel of land on the enclave. For Kofi and Esi, owners and developers of the Hills and who are the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the company respectively, they are committed to creating an exclusive Estate not only of architecture and recreation, but one that really reflects an overall feel of community. Airport Hills buildings are unique as consideration is given to architectural merit, environmental issues and maintainability. There is currently 24-hour security patrol, as well as controlled access. There are however, no restrictions. Residents are permitted to have their own security personnel from reputable security companies to guard their own homes. As part of the security system, a biometric unit for domestic workers and an electronic gate with CCTV is to become operational by the end of the year to further enhance the existing access control to the estate .A community police station is also to be opened by the end of the year. Another lessee in the area is Lister Hospital , a full service world class state-of- the art health care facility open round the clock. Like the rest of the Enclave, a nine hole golf course will be designed to coexist in perfect harmony with the natural Airport Hills landscape. The Airport Hills golf club will offer platinum golf membership to Airport Hills lessees. Construction commencement dates will be announced later in the year. Kofi maintains that Airport Hills is not about creating a class society but making sure that its lessees have a serene environment to enable them to live peacefully, especially after a hard day's work. That is why there are strict rules and regulations at the enclave. The said rules enforced by the Airport Hills Management Company are intended to serve as a guide to the conduct and activities of all lessees and residents of Airports Hills, including their guests, tenants, agents, employees and pets to ensure that everyone living in and using the facilities will enjoy maximum pleasure without nuisance or interference from others. Esi insists that management is committed to making Airport Hills the must-livein community in Accra and will not lower the bar. A million dollar home in a slum is worth little. The environment within which a home is located dictates its value; 'We will continue to rigorously maintain the standards'. Lessees are happy with what they see at the enclave. One resident told B&FT that buying a custom lot in Airport Hills, the most promising of all gated developments in the country, is one of the best decisions I have made to date. Unlike other developments, the residents design their own houses, making every single home unique. The Rules and Regulations of Airport Hills assures residents that the area stays strictly residential unlike other residential areas such as Airport, Cantonments and Labone which are littered with offices, shops, restaurants and night clubs and of course the deluge of traffic making it noisy, congested and unsafe for children. The site of metal container shops and table top plantain and peanut sellers in places such as Airport and East Legon is most unsightly. Being a gated community it keeps out trespassers and ensures the safety of its residents. Airport Hills is family oriented and has a child friendly environment, she told B&FT. A few homeowners have taken advantage of the prevailing conditions in the enclave and have recently rented their homes for as much as US$3,500 and US$4,000 a month, while a couple have sold their property for as much as US450,000 and US$500,000. Industry watchers see the master planned community concept conceived by Finali as very healthy, especially, when replicated, will go a long way in bringing sanity in community planning and in removing the frustrations associated with land and home acquisition in the country. Government will do well to initiate policies that will offer incentives to real Estate Developers who adopt the concept of Airport Hills.

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