[Beirut, Lebanon, September 5, Monday, 2016]: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, today announced structural work is imminent on Lebanon’s groundbreaking Waterfront City Business Park – the country’s first dedicated business hub.
John Ward, Project Head,Waterfront City-Dbayeh said: “This project will transform the life/work eco-system.”
The start of structural work is imminent on Lebanon’s groundbreaking Waterfront City Business Park - the country’s first dedicated business hub, which is set to transform working environment benchmarks in the region.
The 29,000 sq. m, landscaped Business Park in Dbayeh – which is a third larger than London’s Olympic Park – will be the region’s first ‘Grade A’ business hub in terms of design, green build-ing and office optimization. It will have 12 buildings occupying 72,000 sq. m and comprising 400 + units, strategically located between the WFC Boulevard and the Dbayeh coastal highway. Each building façade, designed 50% of glass and 50% solid to meet sustainability criteria, is individual bringing aesthetic diversity to the design.
Almost two-thirds of the secure, ‘campus style’ park will be green and open spaces in line with the acclaimed Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification criteria, which is evaluated on water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, in-door environmental quality, and design innovation.
The Park has been designed as a lively community hub leveraging Lebanon’s Mediterranean climate allowing those working there to make the most of its waterfront and mountain back-drops and the great outdoors. It will have business related retail services and will be dotted with ground-floor cafes and restaurants while owners and tenants will also benefit from life-style assets in the nearby residential sector.
“This project will transform the life/work eco-system,” said John Ward, Project Head, Water-front City. “In this - the country’s largest business hub under the shadow of Mount Lebanon - we are delivering a professionally managed, employee centric, and pedestrian-safe environment with ample walking space, ample car parking spaces, reliable internet accessibility and a host of support services including convenience stores, restaurants, cafés, relaxing green spaces and easy access to a 3,000 sqm state-of-the-art gymnasium. The Business Park has been designed with excellence in mind and to take advantage of the area’s uninterrupted natural daylight with advanced facilities to ensure low maintenance costs. Our high quality services
standards will be exclusive and the gold standard among commercial development in Lebanon” he further expanded.
“Where you do business is just as important as how you do business. The wellness impact of waterfront destinations, particularly those abundant in green space, is well documented – places to relax, to enjoy leisure, to heighten concentration and focus and where inclusive, net-worked communities flourish and their sustainability are strongly associated with solid
resale value. The Business Park will significantly raise the bar on working environments in Lebanon and will be a watershed in the country’s development industry within just 10-15 kilometers of the capital, just a short drive from Jounieh and with easy access from the Dbayeh coastal highway. The abundance of business and residential services bring unparalleled convenience to those who choose to live and work here or in in the vicinity – walking from home to work and able to enjoy the many events we plan to stage here, including public art exhibitions”.
The Business Park is an integral part of the groundbreaking Waterfront City, which is the biggest construction project in Lebanon in the past two decades. It will have allocated parking including valet parking and a drop-off and pick-up zones and is selling at US $3,600 per sq. m. “This is a destination ideally suited for private offices as well as fully-fledged corporate bases,” added Ward.
Designed by New York’s multi-award-winning architects L.E.FT, which operates a satellite office in Beirut, the Business Park is a hybrid of a business and social community, which has made the most of open spaces between the buildings to create an active, outdoor environment.
“One example is the entrance to the parking which has been covered with stadium-style bleachers. It transforms to become a seating area for small conferences still within a Wi-Fi environment, while the roof gardens have been enhanced with seating and again, can be used as event space,” said Makram El Kadi, Principal, L.E.FT.
“Working outdoors is becoming a trend internationally and Lebanon’s climate lends itself so well to this. It allows people to work while being more at ease with their environment,” added El Kadi, whose firm is engaged in research with U.S. universities, including Yale, MIT, UPenn, Cornell and Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. “This is going to be the coolest place to work in Lebanon and is a truly unique project where work-life balance has influenced the design. For instance, we have also incorporated roof gardens in each building and nursery on the ground floor.”
The positioning of each of the 12 buildings has been set in a ‘staggered dance’ to get the best views of the parkland, La Marina Joseph Khoury and Mount Lebanon. The entire campus has pedestrian ‘streets’ between each building enhanced by landscaping. Air-conditioning
throughout the buildings incorporates variable refrigerant volume, which adapts to the envi-ronment helping to reduce overheads.
“This will be a vibrant community operating from around 6am to 2 am,” said El Kadi. “We envisage people coming here not only to work, but to enjoy events and the restaurants and cafes. As such, one of the two underground parking floors, which by day will be dedicated to tenants, owners and their staff, will be opened up after working hours as an additional visitor parking facility.”
The project is the largest L.E.FT has worked on to date and Makram El Kadi believes it could be a future award-winner. “It’s a case study in diversity of purposes – business by day, leisure any-time,” he explains. El Kadi’s confidence in the project is so high he’s planning to invest in the project himself.
“Certainly I’m going to invest there. Waterfront City and the Business Park will redefine holistic communal life and work environments. There is an added advantage to investors looking to buy a whole building at the Business Park: they can have bespoke interior architecture to suit their corporate needs and those of their company”.
Waterfront City and L.E.FT are now working on an art strategy for the Business Park, which will, in part pay tribute to the country’s heritage. “The developers will create artscapes throughout the Park with works by local as well as international artists,” explained El Kadi. “This will create an inspiring and uplifting environment for those working and visiting”.
Phase I of the Business Park is due for completion in 2018 with the developers promising ‘fast track’ construction.
The Business Park is at the core of the mixed-use Waterfront City valued at 300 million USD and built by a joint venture of two of the region’s biggest development pioneers – Majid Al Futtaim and Societe Joseph G, Khoury Et Fils Holding. When complete, the city will comprise 2,000 state-of-the-art waterfront, marina and park view homes, the business park, a 65,000 sq. mm mall, the biggest in Lebanon, and four and five-star international hotels. The city is being built around the lively, 700-berth, La Marina Joseph Khoury leisure port, which is twice the size of the Monte Carlo Marina and is active with outdoors sports facilities, private club and shopping gallery on the banks of the Mediterranean. Between 6,000 -10,000 people are expected to work there.
Note to the Editor: The legal name of this company is “Majid Al Futtaim” and should not be shortened or replaced by an acronym to avoid confusion with another business entity.
Disclaimer: All facts and figures in this release are accurate at the time of issuance.
About Majid Al Futtaim
Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to trans-form the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and suc-cessful businesses spanning 15 international markets, employing more than 33,000 people, and achieving the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the Middle East.
Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 19 shopping malls, 12 hotels and three mixed-use commu-nities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, City Centre malls, and also four community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 38 markets across Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, and operates a portfolio of more than 160 outlets in 15 countries.
Majid Al Futtaim operates 191 VOX Cinema screens and 23 Magic Planet family entertainment centres across the region, in addition to iconic leisure and entertainment facilities such as Ski Dubai and iFly Dubai, among others. The Company is parent to the consumer finance company issuing 'Najm' and “Voyager” credit cards, a fashion retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, AllSaints and lululemon athletica, and a healthcare busi-ness that operates City Centre Clinics. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim operates Enova, a facility management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia, a global leader in optimised environment resource management. The Company also owns the rights to The LEGO Store in the Middle East and operates in the food and beverage industry through a partnership with Gourmet Gulf.
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About Waterfront City
Waterfront City is a 250,000 square meters master-planned community, located in the up and coming Dbayeh area. The project is a strategic partnership between Majid Al Futtaim Properties and Société Joseph G.Khoury Et Fils., and is already under construction blending maritime
lifestyle and vibrant neighborhood environments with leisure, hospitality, business and retail components to deliver an unparalleled living experience.
Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to access 2,000 intelligently designed living spaces of varying sizes, accompanied by a mix of world class shopping, numerous dining options and unique entertainment offerings. Surrounding the 700-berth La Marina Joseph Khoury, which is over twice the land size as that of the marina in Monte Carlo - Monaco, Waterfront City also offers a state-of-the-art business park with efficient designs and ample car parking, along with leading international hotels that will round out the perfect setting in this prime location.
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About Joseph G. Khoury
Joseph G. Khoury, the founder of Société Joseph G. Khoury & Fils Holding SAL, has been a long time contractor and pioneer. Since first creating the Société Nationale d‟Entreprises in 1965, Joseph G. Khoury was embarking on the long fruitful road of a master-builder, passionate of perfection and work well-done.
Under his directorship the Société Nationale d‟Entreprises has executed a multitude of projects in Lebanon and the Arab World in many diversified fields.
This work was crowned by the project Reclamation and Development of the “Littoral Nord”, consisting of approx. 2,600 linear meters of coast line and a total area of 1,003,000 m².
Today, this is what Waterfront City is proud to be part of.
Visionary and always looking for a competitive edge, Joseph G. Khoury founded many compa-nies and after he passed away the Société Joseph G. Khoury & Fils Holding SAL has taken over his mission and continues the journey on the way he intended.