Construction contracts for the first phase of the new 'Makers District' planned for Reem Island on Abu Dhabi are likely to be awarded by the end of this year, according to the chief executive of the project's master developer, Imkan. On Tuesday, in an interview with Zawya at the Cityscape Global real estate exhibition in Dubai, Imkan CEO Walid El Hindi, said that the first phase of the project will contain 11-12 buildings comprising about 1,000 residential units as well as 11,000 square metres of retail, food and beverage units and a space known as The Artery.
"The value of phase one could reach 2.5billion-3 billion dirhams ($680 million-$816.7 million) as a first commitment in this project."
"We started construction already on site. The marine works is already contracted. The beach reclamation is already contracted," he said, stating that a portion of the site needed to be reclaimed.
"The Artery is going to be the first contract. We're looking at a contract by end of year, and then looking to start construction on phase one by April/May of next year," said El Hindi.
Imkan announced on Monday it has appointed Danish construction consultancy Ramboll as architect of record for the project, under a 120 million dirham contract. It will liase between the project's two main design practices - fellow Danish practice Bjarke Ingels Group and Dutch firm MVRDV.
Bjarke Ingels has designed The Artery - a car park-cum-artists' studios and design theatre - and two large residential buildings. MVRDV has designed 'Makersville', which is a series of low-rise buildings containing live/work units, artists' studios, residential and retail units.
El Hindi said that Imkan is likely to bundle contract awards for the 11-12 buildings it is planning for phase one into just a few contract packages.
"More than likely, it won't be more than 2-3 packages," he said.
Once complete, the entire 180,000 square metre Makers District will contain 4,000 residential units, retail, F&B, creative spaces and an art hotel.
"We're very excited and we hope to bring a different vibe to Abu Dhabi. We hope to truly stand behind our claim, which is the new heart of Abu Dhabi. That's quite a big claim, but we are confident that we will deliver on this," he added.
Imkan was formed earlier this year to develop the Makers' District scheme. It is a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Capital Group.
© Zawya 2017