||The Project will develop in two phases:
This phase marks the launching of the project and involves major
expenditures on primary and secondary infrastructure, underground parking, marine works
and landfill treatment.
During this phase, over 650,000 square meters of preserved build-up area will
have to be refurbished before the end of 1996. The development of new buildings will, at
first, be focused on two major urban magnets able to bring life back to the BCD: the
traditional Souks area extending to Khan Antoun Bey, and the historic core with its
traditional banks sector extending to Riad al Solh Square and including Place de l'Etoile
and Maarad Street.
In addition to these two major magnets, the first-phase new developments will
also include the completion of the Hilton and Starco areas as well as the Saifiand Wadi
Abou Jmil sectors.
At the end of this phase the western marina, with a capacity for 750 boats, will
also be available.
As the sea protection and landfill treatment works progress and
are being finalized, the first years of this phase will be mostly dedicated to complete
the development in the traditional area of the BCD. This will include, at the very
beginning, the final renewal of the Martyrs' Square sector and areas surrounding the First
Basin, as well as the new hotel district near the western marina.
The completion of the marine works and landfill treatment will allow SOLIDERE to
launch the new developments planned on the reclaimed lands. This will provide an
opportunity for Beirut to extend its international business center to the north, as well
as to create new attractive areas along the seashore for international tourism, cultural
activities and housing.
Depending on the rapidity of the country's economic recovery, the corresponding
figures of developed built-up area during these two phases will be as follows:
||Main Areas Concerned
||Built-Up Area in Square Meters
Wadi Abou Jmil
|1,400,000 to 2,450,000
|2,240,000 to 3,290,000
ASSESSMENT OF DEMAND FOR BUILD - UP
Assessment of the demand for build-up space in the BCD
has been done in reference to a number of macro-economic, demographic, and urban planning
considerations at a time of marked need for new activity poles in the city, such as Souks,
financial, cultural and recreational centers.
The development and reconstruction of the BCD accompanies an expansion of
the Lebanese economy which makes the project the more interesting. Lebanon's GNP, valued
at $5 billion in 1993, is expected to double during the coming 10 years, with an
impressive growth rate of 7 to 8 percent.
As the country's economy continues to readjust to peace conditions, expected
investment in expenditures during the coming 10 years, according to the government's Plan
2000, will be $19 billion in the private sector and $11 billion in the public sector. Bank
deposits, currently estimated at $10 billion, are expected to increase substantially as
Plan 2000 is implemented.
An increase in banking resources from new deposits will result in the
availability of finance for the purchase of homes and the leasing of shops and commercial
establishments. This is particularly relevant given the acute shortage of housing due to
war-related destruction and population influx to the capital city. The population of
Greater Beirut, today at 1.5 million, is increasing yearly at a rate of 2.5 to 3 percent.
In the next 10 years, it is estimated that there will be a need for 400,000 housing units.
attractive outdoor environment, rich in pedestrian areas, parks and squares is certain to
make of the BCD a competitive area in a city generally lacking such amenities. At
current figures - 12 million square meters were constructed in Lebanon in 1993 -
SOLIDERE's entire built-up area of 4.69 million square meters, to be built over a number
of years, represents only a small percentage of total construction in the country.
The return of peace to Lebanon and the dawning of a new era in
the Middle East are certain to create a business expansion, more particularly as Lebanese
entrepreneurs and representatives of foreign concerns return to Lebanon. Before the war,
some 80,000 foreign families resided in Lebanon and this figure is expected to rise to
100,000 in the coming years, all of whom will be utilizing residential and office space.
The BCD will be offering them, and the Lebanese at large, a choice location.