Welcome to Beirut, Lebanon.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the city, check this thread:
Beirut is a city that went through a 15-year devastating civil war which came to an end in 1990.
Just a few years later, an ambitious reconstruction effort of the most devastated area, the Beirut Central District (BCD), the heart of the city was embarked in 1994 when the $2 billion Lebanese real-estate company, SOLIDERE
was created, which stands for Société Libanaise pour le Développement et la Reconstruction
, which is French for The Lebanese Company for the Development and Reconstruction
Here is SOLIDERE's website:
I would like to add that a lot of the foreign investment that has been attracted to Lebanon can be thanked to this government agency which provides subsidies, incentives, and tax breaks:
Here is an aerial of the Beirut Central District (BCD). On the left, you can see the land reclamation in progress which will give Beirut a new waterfront. This reclamation is being done partly by expanding the Normandy Landfill, which was a big dump that was created during the civil war.
Take a good look at the marina (not the port), as the main projects in this thread focus around this area.
Now here is a map of the BCD area:
The darkest areas are areas that will involve high-rise development.
The dashed red line in the above map is the original coastline, so you can see how much land is being added. Dubai isn't the only city in the Middle East that is developing a new waterfront!
The entire Solidere project is divided into two phases:
Phase I has been completed and if you watch my Beirut tour in the following link, you will get a taste of what has been developed in the past 10 years:
Phase II focuses on continuing the completion of the new waterfront to be able to develop including the future East Marina, the continuing development of the existing Beirut marina area, the development of the 1st basin of the port into a tourist attraction, the development of Martyr's Square, and the development of numerous
Now, I will focus on the high-rise projects that are coming up around the marina
. I will go in order from left to right (from the perspective as if you were in a boat in the marina). The following highrise are popping up right next to each other to create a mini skyline that overlooks the marina.
25-story Four Seasons Hotel, to be completed early 2007:
26-story Marina Tower and shorter Marina Garden and Marina Court annexes. These are residential towers.:
The Marina Towers and Four Seasons will share an underground pedestrian tunnel (that goes below the busy road) to the newly developed Beirut Marina.
While these two projects are completely independent, they are intentionally designed similarly to add symmetry to the skyline.
The Marina Tower and Marina Gardens will be completed this April, while the Marina Court will be completed in late 2007.
For more information on the Marina Towers project, check this thread:
The 27-story Beirut Tower, also residential, to be completed this December:
The 34-story Platinum Tower, also residential, to be completed December 2007:
The low-rise pink building which appears to be attached to the Platinum Tower (and may very well be attached when the tower is completed), is the existing Monroe Hotel. A nice little 4-star hotel.
Immediately behind the Platinum Tower on another lot, a high-rise residential tower will be coming up as well, but I don't know any details. Behind that, a 27-story residential tower being built by premier UAE-developer, DAMAC Properties is to be built. The DAMAC property was announced just last November and I have not found any renderings of what it will look like, but once I do, I will post it here.
Between the Beirut Tower and the Platinum Tower, there will be a little green open space and from there, there will be a very strange pedestrian bridge that will go over the busy road to the marina.
Here is a sketch of what it may look like:
Here is a shot of the Marina Towers coming up, taken in November:
I question whether it will be completed by this April or not...seems too soon.
In this shot, you can see the Marina Towers and the Beirut Tower on the right side of the photo:
I also question whether the Beirut Tower will be completed this December or not...
Here's a shot of the overall site:
Now that I have shown you these high rise developments coming up around the marina, here is a small picture of a model showing what the entire area will one day look like, take a look at all 4 high rises, compare it to the aerial photograph I posted above:
As you can see also, the marina area has been developed as well.
The Beirut Marina was opened last April, however there is still a lot of work to be done around the marina itself. It can however already accomodate more than 300 yachts.
The marina itself will be developped to include a building with apartments/hotel, yacht club, restaurants, cafes, harbourmaster, public facilities, retail stores and Lebanese customs & immigration buildings:
The low building you see is proposed to contain apartments and possibly a small hotel:
There are plenty of other high rise developments in the planning, though details have yet to be released.
So now I will share some of the "little" projects going on, but still important. The following are from Solidere's 2004 annual report. Once the 2005 annual report comes out, I will post the projects they have. The 2003 annual report still has some projects that are under development.
Please note that some of the following are already under construction and may be nearing completion or already recently completed, while others may just be starting. I don't have any precise details. Some of these buildings are ones that are being restored (the more old fashioned designs) while some are completely new builds.
178 Saifi Village - residential:
1368 Mina El Hosn - residential:
Royal Hotels & Resorts. This is an interesting project that involves the development of a 50-room and 50-suite luxurious boutique hotel and some apartments. It takes up 3 lots and involves the construction of new buildings as well as the renovation of 4 historic Levantine houses. I am interested to see how it will unravel.
Two Park Avenue - offices:
Bank of Kuwait and the Arab World - offices, this is an old building that is being restored:
Starway furnished apartments:
Al Dalal - residential:
146 Saifi - residential:
Société Foch 94 - residential:
For more information on the above project (Foch 94), check their website:
Talon - residential:
Société Sémiramis - office:
Dana of C.C.C. - residential, this building is actually to come up immediately infront of the Beirut Tower, but it will only very minorly block the Beirut Tower's view of the marina:
45 Park Avenue - residential:
Grand Hyatt Hotel:
Lebanese Canadian Bank:
As I mentioned already, the above small renderings were taken from Solidere's 2004 annual report. Some projects from the 2003 annual report are still under development, so if you'd like to see what else is going on, check out the 2003 report:
Next to the Medgulf building which I posted above, this office park complex is being developed, the Berytus Parks. While not huge, it will have some of the best offices in Beirut:
Berytus Parks will be completed soon. For more information, check their website:
Next to the Berytus Parks and Medgulf buildings, a 170-room Hilton Hotel is under construction following a similar theme. It will be a business hotel catered for the immediate area and should be completed later this year.
And before you guys ask "Where's the office high-rises? All the high-rises are either hotels or residential and all the offices are low/medium rises."
I'll just say that there ARE numerous office high-rises planned, but not for a couple more years. The Beirut Trade Center will be a 40-story office high rise.
This photograph was taken in summer 2004, but it is relevant for the last project I will be sharing. Immediately next to the UFA Assurances building, you can see a parking lot. The UFA Assurances building is a restored building and it was attached to a building that was torn down, so that's why you see a parking lot in its place. As a result, the backside and the rightside of this building is nothing but a wall with no windows.
The parking lot is currently in development and a luxurious boutique hotel called Bab el Saray (Arabic for Door of the Palace) will be popping up. It will feature ground floor retail and a cafe/restaurant on the roof with a beautiful view of Martyr's Square:
I am not entirely sure, but a part of the building might also have offices and/or a shopping center.
This boutique hotel might become a Ritz Carlton. I know that Ritz Carlton is looking to have a property in Beirut. It however, might be a completely independent boutique hotel.
Well that's it for this post. As I find out about new projects, I will add them. I am waiting for the 2005 annual report, which will hopefully include a rendering of the new 27-story residential tower being built by DAMAC Properties.
In a few days, I will be making a thread about another, big and exclusive project being developped in the heart of the Beirut Central district called the Souks of Beirut