Move to revive $527m Bahrain market project
Manama, March 30, 2014
Gulf investors have pledged to help revive a BD200 million ($527.4) project to modernise Manama Central Market.
They are said to be showing interest in the development, which stalled as a result of the 2011 unrest, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Investment company Tashgeel for Commercial Buildings Management was earlier given a three-month deadline to come up with designs to revamp the market or have its contract terminated.
Master plans have since been presented to Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi.
Investors from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have also come forward to fund projects in the development.
It is due to include business, residential, shopping and leisure spaces.
Four 28-storey office and shopping towers, a new central market, car parking facilities, a five-star hotel, heritage village and a park are also part of the plans.
Tashgeel was initially awarded the contract to supervise the project in August 2011 and was supposed to complete a blueprint within a year.
It was later given a 12-month grace period by the ministry because it was struggling to attract investors as the market is close to the former GCC (Pearl) Roundabout.
"Tashgeel has been facing problems since being awarded the contract in 2011 because there was no interest from investors, local, GCC or international to put their money in what they considered was an unattractive area that has been badly affected by the unrest," said Dr Al Ka'abi.
"That changed at the beginning of this year after a successful marketing campaign and the foundation stone for the revamped project will be laid soon.
"Now with investors willing to carry out projects we believe life will return to the area and go back to its premium days."
The first phase of the project involves building a new central market, costing BD6 million, relocating the traders and will be followed by the construction of an office tower.
Dr Al Ka'abi said existing shopping centres like the Lulu Commercial Complex, Ramez Trading Centre and the Marina Mall will be last to be knocked down.
"Businesses in the three shopping attractions will be prioritised when new shopping centres are built as a part of the new BD200 million market," he added. - TradeArabia News Service