United Properties unveils Saudi retail building plan

Developer is set to complete the first four of 14 mega retail developments during the next year

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By  Zoe Naylor Published  October 1, 2005

Developer United Properties Company will complete the first four of 14 retail developments, worth more than US$1 billion (SR 4 billion) in Saudi Arabia in the next year. These four malls, together with the recently completed Azizia Mall in Riyadh, will increase the area under management by United Properties to 180 000m2 of gross lettable area (GLA). The company is aiming to have 750 000m2 GLA under its management by 2009. Concepts are also being drawn up on behalf of the PMDC construction group for its $27 million (SR 101 million) retail complex in Khamees Mushait. Chief executive Mark Ruffley, said: “The first of the projects to be completed — in the last quarter of this year — will be the Jamea Mall in Jeddah.” The Jamea Mall, in a densely populated quarter, southeast of the city centre, and close to the only university (KAAU) in Jeddah, will house a 7000 m2 HyperPanda, 75 line shops, 15 outlets in a food court and two restaurants. Also under construction is the Rimal Centre, in Riyadh, which will have a gross lettable area of 103 000m2, and Roshan Mall in Jeddah with a gross lettable area of 35 600m2. These are due to open in early 2006. The Rimal Centre development will be anchored by a HyperPanda and an IKEA store. The Roshan Mall, located on a promising axis of future retail, residential and other mixed use development north of the Jeddah CBD, will have a 9950m2 Panda hypermarket. Ruffley says United Properties is also managing the development of two Royal Commission sites for retail projects. A start will be made soon on a development in Jubail, north of Dammam. It is due for completion in October 2006. Concept designs are also being developed for the Al Salam Mall development in Mecca, with a gross lettable area of 27 560m2, and planning for the Central Junction, Dammam project has started. The first phase is expected to cost US $133 million (SAR 500 million) and a potential retail area of 150 000m2 is anticipated. Also in the final planning stages is a Savola retail distribution centre of more than 100 000 m2 in Riyadh. Construction of the Central Park development in Medina is due to start before the year end and is expected to be completed within 18 months. The anchor tenant for this 75 000 m2 development, will be a Panda hypermarket. Ruffley says consultants have also been appointed for two developments, the Aqaria and Salboukh Malls, in new areas of Riyadh. United Properties is a joint venture by the Saudi-based industrial company Savola Group with Old Mutual Properties, a part of the Old Mutual international financial services group. The larger Royal Commission development in Yanbu, 350km north of Jeddah, will have GLA of 40 000m2. Construction is expected to start in February 2006. A 52 000m2 centre for Dammam Corniche, a seaside city, is now at sketch plan stage. A start is scheduled for next January, with completion due

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