The Quarterly O c t o b e r  -  D e c e  m b e r   1 9 9 8
A functioning city center
Infrastructure in the traditional BCD and in the original landfill area is one of the major deliverables of the agreement with the State. Its completion on November 15, well ahead of schedule, falls within the Company's policy to quickly develop a functional, modern city center.

An extensive road system has been installed, efficiently connecting the BCD both within itself and to the rest of the city. In addition, SOLIDERE is providing new utility networks and infrastructure services. The Company was granted a build-and-operate license in September for a fiber-optic telecommunications web within the BCD.

SOLIDERE has upgraded street furniture and landscaping, both in design and materials, beyond the scope of the agreement with the State. Traffic lights were operational by October, as were the modern lamp posts manufactured by Hess (Germany) and Eclatec (France). Samples for ornamental street lights destined for the historic core area to be submitted by the French GHM (Générale d'Hydraulique et de Mécanique) by early January. Street furniture, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte (France), will be installed during the first half of 1999.

Landscaping took on a visible turn this quarter, infusing life and beauty into the BCD. Streets were planted with more than 800 trees, ranging from the traditional olive, pine and palm trees to revived local species such as magnolias and imported varieties as the Brachychiton silk tree.

Along The ring road and in surrounding areas, the harshness of cement is softened by more than fifteen species of trees, all fast-growing and evergreen. Riad El Solh square, now beautifully landscaped, provides a pleasant setting for the restored statue and for the strollers. Works have started in three other open spaces: The Ghalghoul garden facing UN House, due by February 1999; the second phase of the Roman Baths and the space under the Serail, the latter two planned for delivery in April 1999.

SOLIDERE signed a contract in November with Michel Macary (France) for the design of the 'heritage trail' and the archeological park, which will include a 'garden of forgiveness'.

BCD visitors

Secretary DaleySecretary ShalalaDr. Bruntland
Mr. Mill

Visiting the BCD in the course of his November mission to Lebanon, US commerce secretary William Daley stressed the importance of the project as the 'the key to the Lebanese economy'. Back in Washington D.C., he gave a presentation on SOLIDERE in a lecture at the Brookings Institute, and called for more substantial US involvement in Lebanon's reconstruction. The establishment of a US commerce department office in Beirut, announced during Mr. Daley's mission, falls within the current move of fostering increased US-Lebanese business relations.
CD visitors during the last quarter also included US secretary of health Donna Shalala, accompanied by ambassador David Satterfield; US congressmen Nick Rahal  and Ray Lahood; British transport and environment minister Alan Mill, with ambassador David McLennon; German economy minister Walter Doring; a WHO delegation headed by the general manager Gro Bruntland,accompanied by Lebanese minister Sleiman Franjieh; Dutch foreign affairs secretary-general Derek Vandenberg; a Children official delegation headed by the foreign affairs regional director Jorge Iglesias, with ambassador Mario Hamuy; Citybank regional director Alan Hirst; Lego vice-president and manager Thorkild Knudsen; Baccarat general manager Pedro Alves Pires; and a number of academicians, including a delegation from the Sorbonne and American University of Beirut President John Waterburry.
New BCD Projects
Interest in the BCD as a quality business and financial environment continues to translate into property sales. Agreements signed by SOLIDERE during the last quarter of 1998 involve, among others, Saudi Cables for office space in Maarad street, Verdun s.a..l for a lot in Minet El Hosn, the family of Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz for a building in Bachoura, Arab Reinsurance for a restored building on Maarad street, Lebanon and Gulf Bank for land on Allenby street, and buyers for 75 shops in the Jewellers' souk. Alamco s.a.l. bought land in Minet El Hosn for a residential development.

q11.jpg (11012 bytes)A lease agreement was signed with GITCO general manager, Mr. Jamal Staytiyyeh, for office space in Riad El Solh.

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Property services
q12.jpg (11436 bytes)Messrs. Taher Al-Jaffal, George Rizkallah, Imad Hokeymi and Mohammad Mehio, owners of buildings in the Foch-Allenby and Maarad areas, have signed agreements with SOLIDERE, entrusting it with leasing, management and maintenance services for their properties.

These services may involve, depending on clients' wishes, drawing up budgets, arranging insurance, collecting rents and paying taxes.