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| 13 March, 2018

Bahrain's Marina West project ‘still a good investment option’ - Expert

$750 million Marina West project comprises of 10 residential towers

Bahrain Marina s a mixed-use scheme that will sit on a 110,000 square metre waterfront site.

Bahrain Marina s a mixed-use scheme that will sit on a 110,000 square metre waterfront site.

Bahrain Marina/handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

The stalled Marina West project is “still a good investment” option once it is cleared for a public auction by a government panel, according to an expert.

Bahrain Real Estate Association board secretary Saleh Faqihi said the Committee for Stalled Real Estate Projects was on track to close the files of incomplete development projects in the country.

He was referring to the stalled $750 million Marina West project comprising 10 residential towers offering more than 1,000 apartments alongside a five-star hotel.

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Nearly 400 homeowners who pumped money into the project, located on Janabiya Highway, are still waiting for their homes.

“Splitting up this project makes the process easier, but the problem with Marina West is that the developer has an issue with the contractor and other parties are also facing disputes,” said Mr Faqihi.

“There are talks going on with banks on the issue to resolve it and clear it for a public auction at a competitive rate.

“I think it’s still a good investment option because the person who bids successfully will get a deal for a massive residential complex in a prime location.

“For example, if the price of a car is BD6,000 in the market and it has been sold at BD4,000, it is a good deal that no one wants to ignore.”

Another project being handled by the government committee is Sunset Hills, at Al Areen Development, which was a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Investment House and Sorouh Investments, a Kuwaiti investment firm.

The $100m project was launched in 2007 and included 300 real estate units, including villas, deluxe villas and luxury apartments which were supposed to be completed in 2009.

The committee has managed to successfully auction two other stalled projects; Amwaj Gateway, which was auctioned earlier this month to M Tech Services for BD22.5m, and Juffair Views was sold off to Ramee Group of Hotels for BD3.6m in 2016.

Mr Faqihi predicted the sector would witness growth this year as the government panel worked towards closing the stalled projects file.

“Developers now have to mandatorily deposit 20 per cent of the project cost in escrow accounts as part of the new regulations,” he said.

“I think with the closure of some stalled projects and the operation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, the sector will witness growth this year because of restored buyer confidence.”

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