The Quarterly O c t o b e r  -  D e c e  m b er   1 9 9 8
S m o k i n g   c e s s a t i o n   c o n f e r e n c e
Following SOLIDERE's successful smoking-cessation policy launched last November, the Company is encouraging other Lebanese institutions to follow that trend. Adressing over 50 executives on this subject on February 2, Company Chairman and General Manager Nasser Chammaa said: "To bring about a decline in smoking, which is widespread in Lebanon, there must be a development and implementation of policies banning smoking in the workplace".
UN  c o n f e r e n c e s
UN House hosted on February 2-3 February, 1999, what was dubbed the "largest business-oriented conference" in Lebanon, a forum organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Investment Development Authority for Lebanon (IDAL). Geared towards promoting foreign investments in the private sector, it provided over 300 participants with the latest relevant information on the conutry and shed light relevant information investment opportunities.
Street finishing and landscaping
The BCD is enhanced by high-quality public space where street finishing and landscaping are radiating a pleasant atmosphere throughout the city center

Ghalghoul Garden
The Ghalghoul garden, facing UN House, will be ready in the spring.

Foch-Allenby street finishing
Foch-Allenby street finishing
Street panels

Street Panels

Construction sites are cloaked with panels, another manifestation of street art in the BCD. Artists are giving free rein to their imagination with themes inspired from the city center's rich cultural history, ranging from antiquities to Arab divas.

Property management
SOLIDERE is providing, as a free-of-chare service, the marketing of properties in the BCD, prior to undertaking their management, operation and maintenance. The Company is confirming its solid capability in the marketing field, and in the last quarter has assisted in leasing sections of restored buildings in Foch-Allenby, hence accelerating space occupation in this sector.

SOLIDERE thus arranged the conclusion of lease agreements between Messrs. Mohammad and Jamal Mehio, property owners, and each of:
-Mr. Bilal Yamout, who plans to open an optical center.
-Mr. Khalil Charara for a commercial office, which opened in March;
-Al Idarat Investment Holdings for space to be turned into a bakery.

Another lease agreement was arranged between Mr. Imad Hokeymi, property owner, and Geahchan Bros., for a gift shop.
Also during this quarter, Mr. Emile Chahine, Mrs. Sursock and Mrs Tamari entrusted SOLIDERE with the management of their BCD properties, located in Allenby street and in Bab Idriss, starting with their marketing.

Saifi residential project

SOLIDERE launched the marketing of the Saifi residential complex this quarter after finalizing its pricing policy in February, and is currently preparing the sale documentation for the development.
The 16 buildings offer 139 new apartments, conveniently located at the southeastern entrance to the BCD, between Georhe Haddad street and Debbas Square.

Their design draws on traditional Lebanese architecture which characterized the Saifi neighborhood. An atmosphere of peace and serenity will be enhanced by landscaped gardens and walkways.
The residential facilities are characterized by effenciency and confort and will benefit from SOLIDERE's professional property management.

More retail and service activities move to the BCD
A number of retail and entertainment outlets are preparing to open in the BCD.
Four restaurants, of which La Brasserie de l'Orient, will soon become the heartbeat of Foch-Allenby, with a Jaxx club and an Irish pub enlivening its night life. The trendy international restaurant Planet Hollywood, together with its shop, is due to be inaugurated in June in the Starco building, where a health club is also planned to open.

Foch-Allenby is soon to welcome two chic clothing stores, If...Boutique and another boutique owned by Eid Group, while a flower shop, Vert et Ciel, has already opened its doors.

Further south, in Riad El Solh square, Crédit Libanais is the latest bank returning to the BCD. Federal Express, the rapid courier service company, is establishing itself in rented premises, also in Riad El Solh square. Reuters News agency is locating its offices on the corner of Maarad and Emir Bechir streets. Diwan Ammar antiques is setting up shop on Emir Bechir street. Vert et Ciel Flower shop.

Vert et Ciel Flower shop.

Crédit Libanais

Crédit Libanais


The visible reemergence during the past months of entire neighborhoods, forming a conservation area in the BCD, is a stirring testimony to the city center's rich heritage.

The Foch-Allenby, Maarad, Nejmeh, Saifi and Wadi Abou Jamil areas are regaining their traditional look and former beauty, as many buildings prepare to welcome returnees or new occupants.

In addition to twelve restored SOLIDERE buildings located in Maarad and Foch-Allenby, 90% of recuperated properties have already been renovated, thus refreshing the real estate market.

All religious and state properties are likewise being restored. Works on the Beirut Municipality started this quarter. Seven places of worship are drawing oncreasing numbers of peoplem thereby reviving the spiritual life of the BCD.

Building on Martyr's square
Building on Martyr's square
Building on Nejmeh square

Building on Nejmeh square
Foch street façades

Foch street façades

The BCD in the world
Melbourne 'CityEdge' conference

The Beirut Central District was one of three major case discussed, in relation to the Melbourne docklands project, at the 'CityEdge' conference held in the Australian city in March 1999. The experience of SOLIDERE in reconstrucing and developing the BCD was presented, along with those of hte Berlin city center planning and the Barcelona new waterfront development. In a keynote address entitled "Beirut city center renewal: private sector rogue or role model", Angus Gavin, planning advisor to the Company Chairman, offered an extensive description of the BCD reconstruction and development and its unique institutional framework.
The project received a very positive response from the participants, and subsequently attracted significant media exposure and requests for further interviews and discussions.

Foch street computer design wins award

The computer rendering of a beautiful restored Foch street building won the prizcomputer design wins awarde for the Still, Presentation Professionals category at the 1998 CADALYST Image Awards ('Caddies'). The rendering, by Lebanese architect Moustapha Majzoub, appeared on the cover of the CADALYST magazine November 1998 issue, after having been displayed at the Autodesk Design World exhibition in Philadelphia in October 1998.


BCD visitors

German foreign affairs minister Joshka Fischer

Peter Levene, Lord Mayor of the city of London, and Lord Hurd

Belgian foreign trade minister Ruffin Drijp

Swedish industry and communications minister Anna Extrome

Italian health minister Rosaria Bindi

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Rome mayor Francesco Rutelli

Malta vice-president and foreign affairs minister Guido de Mario

North Rhine Westphalia parliament speaker Ulrich Smidth