Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) announced that it has a buyer for the first of eight plots in its US$600 million mega-project in the centre of Beirut.
Rashad Janahi, CEO of ADIH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) (yesterday, Saturday October 28 2006), just two weeks after the official launch of the landmark project. Janahi is also chairman of the recently-formed holding company for Beirut Gate.
He confirmed that the flagship deal is valued at some $30million and indicated that interest has been rife since the mid October inaugural event, with the strong possibility of two more plots being sold before the end of the year.
“We have another great project in Beirut Gate, one that has fast attracted mature investor interest,” he said, referring to the earlier success this year with the Lagoon Bahrain project which was 60 per cent contracted within four weeks of launch.
The first plot MoU at Beirut Gate has been snapped up by STAR Property & Tourist Development S.A.L. The managing partner of the Lebanon-based company, Imad Nesnas, said that his team is thrilled to be at the forefront of one of the first new era developments in the Lebanese capital.
“We have every confidence that this development will provide a major boost for the people of Beirut and the economy of Lebanon, and we want to be part of this,” he said.
“Beirut Gate will be an exceptional project and we are confident that it has long-term value, which will deliver healthy and sustainable returns to our investors, as well as building a legacy in commercial and residential activity for Beirut.”
When complete, Beirut Gate will be an integrated commercial and residential seaview project in the Beirut Central District, commonly known as Solidere - a renovated historic area developed by Societe Libanaise Pour Le Development et La Reconstruction (Solidere).
Nesnas also shared that this is his company’s second foray into real estate development in the Lebanese capital, within Solideire. STAR is also an investor in Solideire’s Beirut Garden project, where demand has been high.
The deal between ADIH and STAR was brokered by Bahrain-based, real estate developers and contractors, Bonyan International.
According to Bonyan’s business development manager, Abdulwahid Al Ahmed, Beirut Gate provides an excellent investment in a forward-thinking project.
“At Bonyan, we have worked on numerous new era projects across the region, and I can state with authourity that the vision for Beirut Gate is completely in keeping with the demands of a forward-thinking capital city in the Middle East,” he said.
This is Bonyan’s second activity with ADIH. They were recently appointed as the project management company for ADIH’s Lagoon Bahrain, the region’s first commercial freehold project on the Kingdom’s Amwaj Island development.
Al Ahmed cited the architectural excellence of the Beirut Gate master plan as one of the project’s outstanding key success factors.
According to ADIH’s Janahi, a team of four world-class architects have been commissioned to work in tandem on the vast, master-planed project. These include French architect Christian de Potzempark, of New York’s legendary LVMH towers fame; Arquitectonica, a highly-applauded US based architectural firm; Nabil Gholam, a popular Lebanese architect; and Erga Group, another sought-after Lebanese firm.
Nesnas confirmed that it was such attention-to-excellence by ADIH that further cemented his firm’s decision to be first in on committing to the project : “We are convinced that ADIH with the Beirut Gate project are set to bring a new meaning and definition of inner city, urban development.
“The four design houses – all best-of-breed - are a sure sign that the tangible proof will be revealed by new levels of architecture and design. This is truly a landmark project.”
He also revealed that STAR had acquired the centre plot of the eight (Plot 1525), and that the mixed-use residential/retail tower has been designed by Arquitectonica : “We have a footprint of 1,350 square metres, equating to a finished, built-up area of 13,608 square metres over 13 floors,” concluded Nesnas.
The Beirut Gate development comprises eight plots spread over 21,448 square metres and a built-up area of 178,500 square metres overlooking the famous Martyrs’ Square of Lebanon, downtown Beirut and the Mediterranean.
The project is also close to the highway, which provides access to the airport. This area, located near Foch-Allenby, is famed for its historic and diversified architecture, blending Ottoman, Italian and French styles, Place de L’Etoile, and the main shopping district.