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      23rd June 2015, XXXVIII/095
News Details » LETTERS

This refers to 'Optimism over Bahrain Harbour project' (GDN, November 9). The latest theme spouted by Press officers and developers of long stalled private real estate projects is that, by seeing clear signs of real estate recovery on the horizon, this will at a stroke solve all their refinancing woes.

Do these people seriously believe a recovery in the private real estate market will herald a new dawn in Bahrain when hoards of off-plan apartment buyers, all waving open cheque books, will be thronging the streets?

I have researched this peculiar scenario a plenty only to realise that such developers along with their Press agents are suffering from the after-effects of Selective Amnesia Syndrome (SAS). For example:-

(1)There is evidence of long-term memory loss with many failed promises on project completion dates made to the local Press, going as far back as 2004.

(2)Warning signs of impending amnesia were evident many years ago when some developers of stalled private real estate projects completely forgot to pay their construction contractor(s) responsible for buying building materials and for work completed on site.

I clearly remember one sector in the Bahrain Bay project (appeared in a GDN article) when the developers were taking court action because their off-plan apartment buyers were refusing to pay further quarterly instalments as work had apparently ceased on site; there was a picture of the skeleton buildings bereft of progress.

Another sector called Villamar with its three twisted towers has a chequered history after its acclaimed award as 'Best Project of the Year' (GDN, March 31, 2008)

Originally it marketed three residential towers to off-plan apartment buyers; the plans were changed later, with the middle tower set to become a hotel.

After delays in construction, Gulf Holding Company said Villamar would be completed in the third quarter of 2011 (GDN, March 3, 2010]. However there was an announcement in GDN (April 9, 2012) that the existing construction contractor was to become an owner/partner in the Villamar project with completion in 18 months.

My only interest in Villamar stems from a rumour that the authorities favour making Villamar a higher priority project for completion, than Marina West.

Coincidentally, the same construction contractor is engaged on both projects; also Marina West developers have claimed previously that their construction contractor owns Tower No 9 on the Marina West site. Maybe the construction contractor concerned should sell Tower No 9, so in turn they can fund the completion of Villamar.

I can't wait for the next signs to appear on the horizon heralding even more SAS Press releases on stalled project completion dates! AP


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