MANAMA: As the construction work at $750million Villamar Project is at full swing, the developers are optimistic about the completion and handing over of the units to the owners in the second half of next year upon the completion of phase I.
This was revealed during an on-site briefing to the select group of media by Majed Al Khan, Executive Board Member of Gulf Holding Company (GHC), the developer of Villamar Project in Bahrain, who applauded the support of the Government to the stalled projects ran into troubles in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
“We are thankful to the Government for its support through a committee on the stalled projects led by His Excellency Shaikh Khalid the Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain,” Majed Al Khan said and extended his gratitude to HE Shaikh Khalid, the Deputy Prime Minister for his personal interest in salvaging Villamar Project.
In terms of financing, Majed Al Khan who was joined by representatives of the Al Hamad Contracting and other stakeholders during the briefing, said that $200million sukuk from Al Rajhi Bank backed by $50million letter of credit of Gulf Finance House is proof of seriousness of the stakeholders including the financial institutions. Similarly, he added, we have resigned the contact with Al Hamad Contracting to whom the original contact was granted at the launch of the project.
Al Khan also assured the fullest support of the Gulf Holding Company, the developer of the project, and said as part of the project the talks with five star properties were ongoing to finalise the contact for the hotel for the project.
“The company has made significant progress since the signing of the final Sukuk restructuring agreement between GHC and ‘GFH Financial Group’, the main project sponsors, and ‘Al Rajhi Bank’, the original project financier on Dec 4, 2016. Other key consultants for the project were appointed. These included COWI for consultancy services for the construction on the integrated residential complex, Projacs International as the project management consultant and Haj Gulf as the cost management consultant.”
Al Khan also assured the target handover date for Phase 1 is still on schedule as per the original plan which is expected to take 24 months in total and will include completing entire structural works, external and internal finishes for both tower B and common areas. Phase 1 will allow GHC to hand over tower B to existing buyers and complete a major milestone in the project.”
Al Khan mentioned that the project contractor completed major tasks in the last quarter of 2016, including significant progress in Villamar with the support of about 350 workers and 50 employees. These tasks included concreting works in the upper floors and the podium level. Moreover, more than 1500 square meters of glazing panels has been installed.
“The contractor has started the slab shuttering in the podium level. Workers started on the slab de shuttering in the 3rd level of the terrace villas. Block & plaster works have been completed in Tower B in selected levels and door frames are being installed in tower B lifts.”
“The finishing of glass joints with silicon treatment, production of glass panels has seen significant progress at Al Hamad’s Aluminum Factory in Bahrain including the dispatch, assembly and preparation of panels from the factory to the Villamar site thus ensuring the completion of glazing works in a timely manner pointing out that 95% of the glazing panels installation in Tower “B” has been completed.”
Al Khan also added that ongoing inspection of the MEP services is taking place by a specialized team; ongoing maintenance of existing AC Units; duct fabrication and light point works. “Plumbing works continue at a steady pace, these include pressure testing of water supply pipes; installation of drainage pipes; pex pipes and water heater pipes in Tower B.”
Gulf Holding Company K.S.C was established in Kuwait in November 2005 by well-known investment companies in the region as a Sharia’ compliant company offering cutting-edge real estate investment products and services. GHC has a strong base of shareholders including investment banks, commercial banks, real estate development companies and other individuals from across the Gulf States. Core to its business model is the Signature Series which aims to develop profitable and distinguished properties with its current primary focus on Villamar at the Harbour, offering residential apartments, sky villas and hotel units contained within three twisting towers.