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New Zealand firm wants to build houses in Iraq

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A company from New Zealand says it wants to spend $100 million to build a housing development in Iraq's northern Kurdish region.

Atconz Real Estate Development said Monday it plans to build the residential project just to the north of the regional capital Irbil.

Plans for the "New Azadi" project call for the creation of 1,565 houses ranging from modest, low-income homes to luxury villas. The project, announced at Dubai's Cityscape property expo, also envisions schools, a hotel, a supermarket and other facilities.

It says it has the backing of Kurdish authorities, who oversee a semiautonomous region in the north but maintain tense relations with the central government in Baghdad.
   
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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