Plan to restructure Bahrain’s landmark building
Manama, April 28, 2013
Fresh negotiations are underway to reach an out of court settlement to continue with the demolition of a landmark building in Bahrain and rebuild it with a shopping complex and apartment, said a top official.
in the hope of reaching an out of court settlement six years after a landmark building in Bahrain was ordered to be demolished, a report said.
Authorities earlier offered to bulldoze the Kuwaiti Building, in Gudaibiya, for free after the Manama Municipality claimed it was unstable and had to be torn down, added the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
It was once a prestigious address favoured by Western expatriates, but has remained empty since tenants were evicted amid safety fears in November 2006.
Manama Municipality director-general Shaikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Khalifa confirmed a recent meeting took place between municipality officials and a legal representative of the building's owners to try and come up with out of court settlement.
"The meeting was held with the owners' legal representative in hopes of reaching a solution to the issue," he said. "We want the problem to be sorted by having the owners demolish the building and reconstruct it with a shopping complex and apartments."
Shaikh Mohammed revealed the proposal had been raised with the legal representative, who would take it back to the owners.
"The court case will continue unless a solution is found which can allow it to be dropped," he said. "We hope to demolish the building as it was found to be dangerous."
A case has been ongoing at the High Administrative Appeals Court combining three suits, one filed by the municipality and two by the building owners.
The municipality claims the building is unstable and has to be torn down.
In one of the two other cases, the building owners have demanded compensation of over BD2 million ($5.23 million) for financial loses they claim to have suffered since the shopping, office and residential complex was condemned and its tenants ordered out.
They claim the property is safe and the money would cover losses resulting from the eviction of families and business in November 2006, based on a court-backed order by the municipality.
The owners have also filed a suit claiming the municipality intentionally refused to give them a permit to carry out maintenance, remodelling and repair work, to sway earlier court verdicts in its favour.
Shaikh Mohammed previously earlier argued the building was in such a bad state that it would cost as much to renovate it as it would to demolish and rebuild it.
A court ruled in August 2006 that the building should be bulldozed. However, reports from engineers claimed it simply needed renovation and the decision was successfully appealed in May 2009.
The Cassation Court later combined all the cases and referred them to the High Administrative Court.
The 11-storey building was built in 1978 and housed shops and offices on the first three floors and flats in the remaining eight. – TradeArabia News Service