|J u l y - S e p t e m b e r 1 9 9 8|
|LIFE IN THE BEIRUT CENTRAL DISTRICT|
u l t u r a l l i f e
SOLIDERE is contemplating a number of projects destined to enhance cultural life in the BCD.
As of December 1998, Planet Discovery will offer children between the ages of 3 and 14 an interactive tour through scientific and physical experiments relating to the school curriculum and enriched by historical presentations in French, English and Arabic. Facilities will be offered for the handicapped and for the visually impaired. including tri-lingual braille.
Covering 1,200 sq m on Omar Daouk Street, in the Starco area, Planet Discovery will accommodate a cafeteria and gift shop, as well as additional space for special events.
Other cultural projects
The Company is also envisaging:
| Public Art
As part of encouraging public art, SOLIDERE has commissioned Salwa Rawda Choucair to create art work for the public space in front of UN House.
The Company has also commissioned the restoration of the Martyrs' monument, which will be reinstalled in Martyrs' Square on Lebanon's Independence Day on November 22.
The statue of former premier Riad El Solh returned to its place after restoration.
|A t i m e
f o r l e i s u re
The BCD hosted during the thir quarter a number of events. Two photo exhibitions, by Roger Moukarzel and Clara Gebrane, took place in July, as part of the Lebanese Photography Month. Another event was the 1998 Elite Model Look on August 6, during which a candidate was elected to represent Lebanon in the Miss Elite Model Look World 1998.
From August 27 to September 26 on Thursdays, the Jazz and Blues nights featured some of Lebanon's best bands, as well as the Berlin-based quintet Jazz Indeed, performing live in Foch-Aleenby. On three of these days, street art completed the ambience, as Danish artists painted views of the BCD reconstruction.
Awaiting the fashion show, enjoying jazz and strolling in Foch-Allen by, in the Roman bath garden and the Serail hill.
Awaiting the fashion show, enjoying jazz and strolling in Foch-Allenby, in the Roman bath garden and the Serail hill.
|R e a l E s t a t e
| Beirut Trade Center
The construction, pre-leasing and financing documentation for the development of the Beirut Trade Center was completed during the third quarter, with the closing of all agreements expected in October 1998. The development is due for delivery by mid-2001.
The design-and-build contract is being finalized with the joint venture Binladin/Al Mabani. The US company Turner/Steiner is teaming up with the joint venture, contributing its expertise in high-rise building and co-managing the construction operation.
The method of demolition of the existing structure, presumably using the explosion technology, is being assessed jointly by the project consultants and specialized firms to whom the work will be subcontracted.
To be developed, SOLIDERE has formed an SAL with a total funding of US$130 million, comprising equity and debt finance. Debt finance will consist of a US$60 million senior loan, already secured, and of a US$20 million 15-year subordinated loan.
60% of the office space space has been pre-leased, with Société Générale Libano-Européenne de Banque, Binladin/Al Mabani and SOLIDERE as anchor tenants in the development.
Saifi residential complex
The Souks of Beirut
SOLIDERE has awarded GENECO (General Construction and Contracting Company) the contract for the construction of the northern car-park and its superstructure, the department store and the multi-use building. Works were launched beginning of September. Bids for the entertainment center are currently being reviewed.
|New projects in the BCD
rental market is quickly emerging in the Beirut Central District. In addition to a core of
1,811 former tenants having declared their intention to recuperate their leases, new
tenants are expressing interest in the buildings being delivered by SOLIDERE and others.
|L a n d D e v e l o p m e n t|
Infrastructure in the traditional BCD
A Levantine hilltown: Wadi Abou Jamil
|V i s i t s
|During his stay in Lebanon between August 3 and 6, UN General Assembly president Hennadi Oudovenko declared: "The UN plays a very important role in Lebanon, which has been translated into the ESCWA's return to Beiut, a city that is being increasingly transformed into a regional center", later adding that he was "impressed by the speed of reconstruction. And it is important not only for Lebanon but also for the entire world."|
|Prince Albert of Monaco maintained a
similar standpoint when he said, during his September visit, that he was happy to witness
the country's dynamic reconstruction, especially during his tour of the BCD.
Other visitors to the BCD during the third quarter include:
-Armenian prime minister Armin Darbinian.
-Romanian prime minister Rado Vassili.
-Kuwaiti minister of information Yousef Al Samit.
-Tunisian minister of finance Mohammed El Jari.
-Omanin minister of environment Khamis bin Moubarak al Alaoui.
-Bahreini minister of commerce Saleh Saleh.
-Ghanian minister of commerce John Frank Abou.
-US senator Gary Hart.
-A US delegation headed by senator Chuck Hagel.
-Canadian minister of public affairs Alfonso Ghaliano.
-Parliamentary delegations from Australia, Ireland and Switzerland.
-Senegal first lady Elizabeth Diouf.
-Mohammad Hasanein Heikal, former editor of Al Ahram.
-A US business group comprising Thomas Barrack, president and CEO of Colony Capital, David Bonderman, chairman of Teaxas Pacific and of Continental Airlines, in addition to Mr. Simon-Xavier Guerrand-Hermès.
-A number of businessmen from Europe and Africa.
-Various UN agencies officials.
-250 German musicians from the Stuttgart Orchestra.
-A number of European and American journalists.
|B e i r u t a n d
B C D i n t h e w o r l d
Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA)
6,000 years of civilization in Lebanon will be the main theme of Liban, l'autre rive, a 6-month exhibition starting on October 26 at the IMA in Paris. One room will be devoted exclusively to excavations in the Beirut Central District. A film will be presented featuring BCD reconstruction and excavations.