BEIRUT: Two major luxury real estate developers said Wednesday that their Lebanon projects were still on track in spite of economic challenges facing the country and a period of uncertainty in real estate market.
Real estate developer Majid Al Futtaim Properties said in a statement Wednesday that it had awarded a Lebanese joint construction venture a $225 million contract for the first phase of Waterfront City on Dbayyeh seaside.
Designed by SB Architects, Waterfront City, a nearly $2 billion investment expected to generate 10,000 jobs, will be executed in four phases over the next 15 years.
It will cover 250,000 square meters of land and include a wide range of residential apartments, a large retail mall, two international hotels, a business park, public spaces and a marina.
Arabian Construction Company and Matta et Associés SAL won the contract which covers an expanded first phase of the project, the United Arab Emirates-based developer said in an emailed statement.
“ACC-Matta was able to show a full understanding of the developer’s vision, an understanding of sustainable practices, along with a solid track record of delivery on projects of similar scope and scale,” it added. Phase 1of the project will offer residential and retail properties, restaurants and new public spaces. Handover is expected in early 2015, the statement said.
“It is another substantial investment into the Lebanese economy both in terms of money spent and job creation during construction and permanent roles on completion,” Samer Bissat, senior project director at Waterfront City commented.
ACC’s CEO Maher Merehbi said the two companies will bank on experience in big-scale, fast-track projects in Gulf Cooperation Council states to meet the time and quality requirements for the development.
In a separate statement, the management of Sama Beirut, which is the highest tower planned in Lebanon, announced that 40 percent of apartments have already been sold two years ahead of delivery.
In a statement, the project management said construction of 50-floor tower is approaching halfway.
“Demand for units in Sama Beirut did slow down but never stopped even though the market is going through a lull period,” said Massaad Fares, manager of Prime Consult in charge of Sama Beirut sales. “To date, sales amount to $130 million, 40 percent of Sama Beirut’s value,” he added.