According to the original plan, the condos and villas were to be homes to dignitaries, CEOs and foreign individuals
Imagine a place that looks more like the suburbs seen in American movies or TV shows than the other locales you see every day — a place that has rows of bungalows, villas and two-story houses. That is what the Bashundhara Residential Area was supposed to be, a place for those who can lead the “upscale” life. But if you know anything about Dhaka, you should understand that the city has a mind of its own. It does not yield easily and becomes what it chooses to be.
And for Bashundhara R/A, it chose to make itself a place where people from all walks of life can come together and lead their lives in peace and harmony.
When the idea of the Bashundhara Residential Area was thought up, the developers — East-West Property Development Ltd — intended it to be a place unlike any other areas in the country. They planned on making the area resemble the suburbs of the United States, full of condos and villas. These houses, according to the original plan, were to be homes to dignitaries, CEOs and foreign individuals —similar to Banani, but on a much grander scale.
While Banani already had the “aura” of an important zone even back in the 1980s, the size of the area limited its potential for a permanent residence for upscale society. Gulshan, even though being larger than Banani, was on its way to becoming more of a commercial zone rather than residential — not to mention land prices there were already quite high.
As a result, none of the areas were equipped for hosting many luxury bungalows and villas — and that is what Bashundhara R/A was supposed to do.
When East-West Property Development Ltd. began promoting and selling plots in Bashundhara Residential Area, they underestimated the demand the land would have. Even though the plan was to market the project to the more affluent people of the city, the price of land was kept more or less reasonable – about Tk1 lakh per katha.
As a result, the plots were well-within reach of not just well-off individuals, but also to the middle-class families with savings. And even when the price of land in the front sections (Blocks A to D) were starting to rise, sales in the rear sections (Blocks E to G) was also picking up — with the majority of the buyers from the middle class.
As time went by and the Bashundhara R/A project continued to expand, the original vision was expanded with the addition of more modest homes where people from all walks of life could live.
However, during the evolution of the Bashundhara R/A, the primary intent of the area was not completely unfulfilled though. From luxury homes to condos and high-rise apartments, Bashundhara has it all. Having such a variety of properties in the area was never the goal but it was, nonetheless, inevitable.
The area was planned to be almost self-sufficient. The developers promised, and delivered, a serene environment, modern comforts and the utmost security. And that is why people did not waste any time in building their homes and began as soon as the plots were allocated. Buyers did not see Bashundhara as an investment made to profit, but instead a place where they can ensure a secured future for their future generations.
That is why even today, only a handful of plots are resold in the Bashundhara area. The homes throughout the area come in all shapes and sizes. The owners of land in Bashundhara had the luxury of creating whichever type of property they desired due to the quality of the land. Some created modest homes of few stories, while others decided to build extravagant houses.
An area with variety
Apartments have become the predominant type of housing in Dhaka, and Bashundhara R/A has a number of such types of properties. Even some of the private homes from the earlier years were replaced with apartment buildings that, along with providing convenient housing, had financial benefits as well. So as a result, there are always more than a handful of properties to rent or buy, matching every taste and requirement.
Among the many homes with three to four bedrooms, there are places that cannot be called anything but luxurious. These places have swimming pools, gymnasiums, jogging tracks and even playgrounds within their compounds. Such places, however, are not limited to the front blocks. The rear blocks have a number of such properties too due to greater seclusion and security. That is also another reason why many prospective home buyers are actually looking for places in those blocks, instead of ones at the front of Bashundhara R/A.
The unintentional evolution of the Bashundhara Residential Area has been a godsend for many people of the city. Living in a place that is devoid of constant sound and dust pollution seemed like a fairy tale for a long time. Since people had the chance to live in that fairy tale, they grabbed the opportunity while they could. Even the increase in property prices is not slowing the real estate demand of the area.
But it was the original venture, the original reasonable pricing that helped Bashundhara R/A to be more than just a real estate project. People from every background had and have the opportunity to be a part of this community. The features, facilities and promises of Bashundhara are helping the residence of all type of people coexist in unison.