The Lebanese real estate company Benchmark development expects to tender the main construction contract for its $500m Beirut Terraces residential project in central Beirut within the next 12 months and wants construction work to start by the end of 2011.

The tower will be located in the Mina El Hosn area of the Beirut central district and will consist of 25 residential floors and 130 apartments.

The apartments will come in three different sizes. The simplex units will cover a total area of 290 to 940 square metres and the duplexes will cover an area of 680 to 940 sq m. The penthouse apartments will vary in size between 910 and 1,1120 sq m.

The scheme will also include an outdoor swimming pool, retail facilities, gymnasium and a private function terrace for residents on the first floor.

The local Edrafor is currently carrying out the enabling works for the development. The estimated completion date for the project is the middle of 2014.

The Beirut Terraces development has been designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, which has previously worked on projects such as the Beijing National Stadium in China and the Tate Modern museum in London.

The project is part of the effort to regenerate the central district of Beirut, much of which was destroyed during the 15-year civil war which ended in 1990.

Most of the regeneration work is being spearheaded by the Lebanese Company for the Development and Reconstruction of Beirut Central District (Solidere). Solidere’s masterplan maps out the creation of a 191-hectare modern, mixed-use central district, comprising the 118 hectares of Beirut city centre and a 73-hectare extension towards the sea.