Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties is set to develop the new site of the twofour54 free zone in Abu Dhabi, according to a company statement on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange (ADX).

The company was awarded the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for the new site, which will be located near Yas Island, by the government-owned Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, said the statement.

The first phase of the free trade zone is set to cost AED1bn ($272m). The initial gross floor area will be 95,000 square metres and would expand over time to 300,000 square metres, said the company statement.

Earlier this month MEED reported that Aldar plans to launch a $816m investment programme.

MEED also reported that the developer is planning on appointing a main contractor for a new AED1.3bn ($350m) residential project by the second half of this year, according to the company’s chief development officer, Talal al-Dhiyibe.

Aldar officially launched what it has called a “mid-market” residential scheme at Reem Island during this year’s Cityscape event in Abu Dhabi.

The Bridges project will comprise six residential buildings made up of 1,272 units. The company is looking to retain three of the buildings and sell the other three, said al-Dhiyibe. He also told MEED that the company is looking to focus on the asset management side of its business moving forward.

US firms Aecom and Perkins+Will are serving as consultants on the scheme, which is set for completion by the first quarter of 2020.

Construction is expected to start by the end of this year. The project will be financed with the company’s existing funds and no new debt will be raised, said al-Dhiyibe.