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Experts are expressing concerns that the new construction permit rules, related to the 10th Addis Ababa Master Plan, ratified late this week, could affect the construction boom in the capital city. According to the new rules when a road is over 30 meters wide 60 percent of new construction must be mixed use residential apartments.
According to experts, this system does not take into account the urban development experience of other countries. They argue that it is difficult to build residential houses on major roads because they are noisy and unsuitable for residents. “These kind of residential plots will not be preferred by the potential dwellers, because the same building will have markets, bars, hectic businesses and vehicle noise which affects the mood of the residents in the area,” an urban planning expert said.
“To comply with the rule developers will take into account the new construction permit rules and develop their buildings with mixed residential apartments along the main roads. But when the consequences occur and the buildings become vacant they will lose money,” the expert added.
Experts argued that this will affect the construction boom, which has contributed to the fast economic growth in the past few years, because the real estate developers and other builders will stop wanting to include residential apartments with offices and other business facilities on the main roads.
Experts said that the city administration plan should be appreciated since it aims to expand adequate residential houses in every corner of the city but it has to consider the social economic lives of the inhabitants.
“Residential areas downtown are required but it would be better to build homes on the other side of the major roads,” an expert said.
“The city administration must consider having developers build buildings with a significant amount of residential spaces on the roads other than the main roads like the second or third roads behind the main road,” a real estate developer said.
“If you provide me an apartment at one of the buildings alongside the Tele Medhanealem road it would be difficult for me to accept but if the house is behind Tele Medhanealem I would like it since it is calm,” a real estate investor said.
“Resident houses are also not preferred by parents as a place to raise their kids,” a developer that demanded anonymity told Capital.
“Residential apartments constructed at Bole main road that are being used as offices are a good example to show the coming situation that will occur from the new city regulation,” an expert said.
Sources said that some of the real estate developers have suspended their projects because of the new directive. They added that there are currently apartments along major roads in Addis but that many of those are being used for offices which has caused their design and structure to be changed and at times some of the building to be demolished.
One expert said, “this will damage the country’s economy.”
Developers also expressed their concern to the city administration. They argued that it will be hard to attract home buyers to the main road. “Hotels and other residential businesses like hotel apartments will end up being build along the main road since their customers stay a short time but residents do not want to live near the main roads and this is the trend in other developed states,” real estate developers that Capital interviewed complained.
Capital’s effort to check if the recently ratified master plan addressed these concerns was not successful.
During its annual meeting which ended on Thursday July 13 the Addis Ababa City Council ratified the 10th master plan that was supposed to be in place as of 2014.