Tameer to trim Seef tower height
Manama, June 28, 2009
Al Khaleej Development Company (Tameer), the developers of a proposed 72-storey tower in Seef, have agreed to reduce its height by a quarter in a bid to reverse a council decision to block the project.
The Manama Municipal Council gave developers a lifeline last month when it agreed to reopen the issue, saying that it was willing to negotiate.
Councillors originally gave the BD100 million ($265 million) development the go-ahead but area councillor and council technical committee chairman Hameed Al Basri contested the decision, leading to its rejection in May last year.
At the time, he claimed that the council's technical committee, chaired by councillor Abdulmajeed Al Sebea'a, had failed to properly review the project after it emerged it had been based on an old traffic impact assessment.
Al Basri argued that the study, by Tameer, had not been accurately portrayed in terms of the level of congestion the tower would create.
Now, the investor will be obliged to present a new traffic assessment that tackles all of the problems the area may face, plus real solutions to them.
'We told the investor that he can have the same privileges as other investors in the area, with his tower being in line with the highest, the 47-storey Almoayyed Tower,' said Al Basri.
'The investor has been also given a three to eight-storey addition with the maximum height being 55 storeys,' he said.
'This means that the height would be now reduced by around a quarter but the traffic problem remains and the investor has to present us with real solutions.'
'The location (opposite Seef Mall) is crowded most of the time and we are not willing to approve it unless there are solutions to ensure people are not affected.'
The study presented by the developers in May last year stated that the road network would require expansion, so the project would not adversely affect other motorists.
It said that the only solution would be to take space from the Seef Mall's car parks or the mall itself.
Al Basri claimed that the developers had presented the study without looking into the traffic problems associated with the building.
'Their study was full of inaccurate data and after revising it, the council decided to stall the project,' he said.
'The study says the traffic increase in the area after construction will be just 21.2 per cent, which is completely wrong.'
Original plans for the new tower included parking space for 800 cars but around 1,658 would be needed when the tower's shops and offices open to business, said Al Basri.
Al Basri pointed out that he was always against building more skyscrapers in Seef because the area cannot accommodate more. 'I am forced to accept it because the development is in line with Vision 2030. But I still have a say on developments schemes,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service