Bahrain plans $2.65bn city
Manama, January 3, 2010
A company will be hired in the next few days to map out the BD1 billion ($2.65 billion) redevelopment of the Manama Central Market area into a city within a city.
The Manama Municipality and Municipal Council have already selected the company out of two bidders in the summer, but were not totally pleased with the initial winning offer.
However, the selected company - Tashgeel for Commercial Buildings Management - has now come up with a modified plan on how to kick off the project, during a presentation made to municipal officials.
It will work on a five-phase strategy over the next 18 months, after which a company or companies will be contracted to run the development project.
The five phases include determining the best way to handle investment, marketing the project, coming up with criteria for investors, selecting the best bidders and supervising the creation of artist's impressions.
Before Tashgeel can officially start work, councillors must take a vote at their meeting on Wednesday.
The development project will turn the area into a business, residential, shopping and leisure city within a city.
Designs for the project include a new BD120 million central market, which will be renamed the Capital Trade Centre. An initial model of the proposed project has been already set up for investors to see, at the council's meeting hall.
'We still don't know the exact date when the bids will be open, but it will be all up to Tashgeel to finish everything required from them on time,' said council chairman Majeed Millad Al Jazeeri.
'Tashgeel will have 18 months to complete a five-phase plan it has presented us with and if things go according to plan, then work on the project could begin as early as the end of 2011.
'I know that we wanted the project to go ahead in a fast manner when we first announced it in January 2008, but things took swerves here and there that have led to the delay.
'But from the presentation given to us by Tashgeel representatives, it seems that they have exerted more efforts to ensure the success of the project.'
The proposed development as announced in January 2008, comprise four 28-storey office and shopping towers, with the new central market planned to take up the basement and ground floors.
Floors one to six would include car parking and a massive shopping mall, while the remaining 20 floors in each tower would house offices. The main development also includes four other massive skyscrapers, housing offices and apartments, swimming pools, multi-purpose halls, gyms and other facilities.
It would also feature a five-star hotel, a Green Plaza heritage village and park, and a bus station promising to 'link Bahrain with the world' through routes via Saudi Arabia.-TradeArabia News Service