Monster housing project planned in Saudi Arabia

Construction giant Bovis Lend Lease and top UK architect Foster & Partners, have been linked to plans to develop a new city of 750 000 new homes in Saudi Arabia at a cost of US $16 billion.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  October 22, 2005

Construction giant Bovis Lend Lease and top UK architect Foster & Partners, have been linked to plans to develop a new city of 750 000 new homes in Saudi Arabia at a cost of US $16 billion. They are understood to have held discussions with a new company called Saudi Construction Group, which has the backing of some of the richest businessmen in the Kingdom. The Saudi Construction Group could be floated in either London or Riyadh in the first half of next year. The trio plan to develop a massive site on the outskirts of Riyadh. The architect of the plan is Saif Durbar, a broker to several billionaires with major investments in Europe. A Bovis Lend Lease spokesman initially said that he was “aware” of the project, but later added that the company had no presence in Saudi Arabia and that media reports on the company’s involvement in the plan were “pure speculation”. The Saudi Construction Group is one of several developers aiming to cash in on the Saudi government’s recent pledge to provide a home for every citizen. Last month Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan announced plans to build 65 000 new homes in Saudi Arabia over the next five years — aimed at middle class families in the Kingdom. It is the first time Foster & Partners has been linked to a residential project of this scale in the Middle East. The high profile firm is known for its designs on building’s such as the ‘erotic gherkin’ skyscraper in London, Berlin’s Reichstag and the new airport in Bilbao.

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