ASTANA, December 14 – The Highvill Construction Company of South Korea has been building a million square metre residential complex in the heart of Astana’s government area on the right bank since 2005.The complex is located next to the Palace of Peace and Harmony (the Peace Pyramid) and the President’s Park on the bank of the Yessil River. It is also close to the Ak Orda presidential palace, the Parliament, major government buildings, the Supreme Court, the U.S. Embassy, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the embassy district.
Highvill Kazakhstan is one of the most advanced construction companies in the country and it has revolutionized home building through its innovative combination of interior design, advanced technologies, planning, integrated services and landscaping and its emphasis on providing comfort and security. Highvill Kazakhstan also participates in the International Investment Forum, the Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Islamic Economic Forum.
The Astana Times interviewed Kim In, the Director General of Highvill Kazakhstan, about its ambitions for the new complex and its further plans in this country.
What is the history of the Highvill Company?
The company was founded in May 1989 under the name Dongil Construction. In 1999, it was registered under the trademark Dongil Highvill, and it is currently building luxury residential complexes in cities around the world.
In January 2001, the company signed a consulting contract with FJ, a Japanese urban planning company which has pioneered new techniques in constructing residential buildings. This laid the basis for the company’s current activities and defined a new pattern of design that applies advanced technologies to building apartments and housing complexes.
Highvill Kazakhstan was founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of the Korean parent company.
What are the goals of your company and in what countries does it operate?
Our goal is to create whole neighbourhoods that incorporate the entire infrastructure necessary for the life and business of their residents, including schools, kindergartens, business centres, fitness centres, and shopping streets. Our goal is to expand our presence in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and across Asia starting in Astana. Currently, we are also building housing complexes in Japan and Vietnam.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
The capital letter “H” in the middle of our corporate logo denotes our tradition of construction of inspiring high buildings and embodies the company’s philosophy of leadership in the field of building homes.
The oval in the middle of the Highvill logo expresses the commitment of the Dong Il Highvill to seek new achievements and a bright future. The yellow line in the logo symbolizes the close attention the company pays to its customers and its desire to build the best homes for them.
What have you included in the Highvill Astana complex?
Today, the residential complex includes three large apartment blocks identified as A, B and D that have already been built and opened. The fourth block C is still under construction – the steel framework has already been completed. The company is preparing to build the fifth E block and a business centre. Construction of the last block F with an even more advanced design will complete the complex in 2015.
The total area of the Highvill Astana residential complex is 16 hectares and it will finally include six large apartment blocks. The new neighbourhood will also include a kindergarten and a school, which will be built by the city authorities. The neighbourhood is close to the main government, business and cultural centres of the capital. It offers close proximity to the President’s Park, fresh air and a quiet atmosphere for its residents.
What advanced technologies have been included in the Highvill Astana complex?
The Highvill Astana complex offers attractive, elite homes in the heart of the capital. During its construction, the company paid special attention to creating exquisite interiors and provided the homes with the most modern engineering systems and advanced technology. The complex has a high-tech security system with continuous monitoring of the adjacent area. It has centralized water purification systems, digital code locks, wireless phones, multipurpose intercom, modern ventilation and fire fighting systems.
What function will the business centre serve?
The business centre will be developed as a new concept to serve people coming to Astana on business trips.
What are your further projects in Kazakhstan?
The company is planning to build an entire integrated suburb. We are searching for an appropriate location to build it. The city of Almaty and Western Kazakhstan are attractive areas for future projects. During his visit to Kazakhstan, Jae Il Koh, the president of our company, visited the western regions including Atyrau, Aktau and Aktobe. He focused on preparing the infrastructure, buying the land and developing a master plan to launch new construction projects in those areas. We are not going to rest on our past achievements. We have ambitious plans to continue building across the entire country.
What opportunities for business will the Highvill Astana shopping street offer?
This is an important part of our overall plan for the Highvill Astana complex. In every large city, the shopping district is one of the main attractions and they are usually extensive. Oxford Street in London is almost three kilometers (1.8 miles) long and Park Avenue in New York is even more impressive.
According to the French Presence Mystery Shopping Agency, the best streets for luxury shopping in the world are Orchard Road in Singapore, Avenue de la Liberté in Luxembourg, PC Hoofstraat in Amsterdam, Bagdat Avenue in Istanbul, Oscar Freire in Sao Paulo, George Street in Sydney and Mariahilferstrasse in Vienna.
In the cities of Kazakhstan, unfortunately, we still do not have such prestigious and clearly defined main streets for luxury shopping. Therefore, our company decided to introduce a new concept for this country – a shopping street for the Highvill Astana complex which will meet all international standards, and concentrate international brands to attract both residents and visitors to the capital. This will introduce to the people of Kazakhstan the ‘one stop’ luxury shopping concept that is so popular around the world.
Our shopping street plan will be based on the Korean model of shopping streets, outlets. An outlet means a shop that offers items on sale and is a discount centre of premium class where customers can buy stylish and expensive items at cheap prices at any time, not just during sales seasons, and combine them with hot new products from the latest collections. These shops will, therefore, sell brand products at discounted prices.
We will apply our successful experience in planning the new shopping street. Stylistically, we will keep the elements and principles of the great shopping streets around the world. Our Highvill Astana street will combine quiet, comfortable shopping, relaxation and entertainment. It will include trees and a clock tower embodying the principles of prosperity and stability. We expect it will become a magnet for tourists as well as city and neighbourhood residents.
Why did you choose Astana as the location for this residential complex?
This residential complex is being deliberately built in one of the most important centers of Eurasia – in Astana, in the centre of Kazakhstan, in the heart of its capital. Astana is a city with a unique location, great importance and promising prospects. This city of the future combines the important features of the multi-Eurasian centre. It has already become a prime example for creating a successful and happy life for its residents and for visitors from around the world. It is, therefore, a perfect location for us to construct a showcase residential complex that displays the most sophisticated requirements for elite, comfortable, safe and modern housing.