Bahrain's Sunset Hills projects investors see a ray of hope

The $100mln Sunset Hills project was launched in 2007 featuring 300 real estate units

  

Investors in a stalled property development see hope as the government rolls out a plan to put an end to their ordeal.

The Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry has given home-owners, contractors and debtors linked to the Sunset Hills projects until Sunday to submit their documents and financial details.

Aggrieved parties have been urged to contact the ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Real Estate Projects facing hardship via email (scfsre@moj.com.bh).

“The committee for the Settlement of Real Estate Projects facing hardship informs the rights holders of Sunset Hills project, including owners of residential units, contractors, debtors and others, for those who didn’t submit their applications attaching all relevant documents and evidence to the aforementioned committee,” said a public announcement.

Luxury

The $100 million Sunset Hills project was launched in 2007 featuring 300 real estate units, including villas and luxury apartments.

The development, strategically located in the prestigious $1 billion Al Areen Development Project, was expected to be completed in 2009.

According to a Press release dated June 11, 2007 posted on Al Areen website Abu Dhabi Investment House and Kuwait-based Sorooh Investment Company awarded BD20m worth of construction-related deals for the project.

However, in 2015 the project was referred to a special ministerial committee for review.

The following year, the government committee said it had assigned a new developer and commissioned an audit expert to examine the financial situation of the project, including debt, buyers’ list and payments made by them.

Marina West, Sunset Hills and the Elegant City Development Project are three stalled projects currently under review by a government judicial committee.

Al Areen Development Project did not respond to GDN’s request for a comment about the Sunset Hills development.

However, Bahrain Property Development Association (BaPDA) chairman Aaref Hejres said the ministry’s announcement to collect details from investors is a ray of hope that the project is likely to be auctioned soon.

“This is a positive step in the right direction to close the files of stalled projects in Bahrain,” he told the GDN.

“The next step after collecting the financial details of investors and other parties is to review the project so it can be put up for auction.”

He said investors who put in their hard-earned money in unfinished projects have the option of either exiting by taking their amount (after the property is auctioned) or continue until the units are ready.

“After the auction is done, the first chunk of payments is allocated to the investors and contractors.”

He reiterated that local real estate market will still attract buyers despite being slow due to the pandemic and other factors.

“Stalled projects are not a phenomenon in Bahrain like how it is in other countries and I believe we have the lowest number of unfinished projects,” added Mr Hejres.

“The government committee in the past few years has closed the files of many stalled projects and is inching closer to deal with the rest.”

The projects that were removed over the past few years from the stalled list include Riffa Views, Landmark Cityview Tower, Juffair Views and Villamar.

Amwaj Gateway was last year acquired by Esterad Amwaj, an alliance between Esterad Investment Company and Promoseven Holdings.

According to statistics, the real estate and business activities sector growth fell by 7.9 per cent in the second quarter of the year, while the construction sector recorded a drop of 21.pc.

sandy@gdn.com.bh

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