Al-Khozama Management Company is reviewing plans for its Al-Faisaliah Tower 2 in Riyadh because of competition from other high-rise towers being built at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) on the outskirts of the city.
Sources close to the estimated $400m project say that the local developer is re-evaluating its options for the project’s site, architectural design, use and financial viability.
Once Al-Khozama completes its financial analysis, senior officials involved in the 260-metre-plus tower will decide whether it will remain a high-rise building or be redesigned to include low-rise luxury homes or become a retail district.
The review is expected to delay the project’s planned 2012 completion date. Al-Khozama declined to comment on whether the project is now delayed.
Designed by the UK’s Foster and Partners with Buro Happold as the structural engineer, the project was originally planned as part of the Al-Faisaliah Centre to sit next to the 260-metre Al-Faisaliah Tower 1, which was completed local contractor Saudi Binladin Group in 2000 (MEED 3:3:00).
The two towers were planned to provide premium office space in the kingdom’s capital city, but that has now changed with the development of KAFD and its towers that include the 400m Capital Markets Authority, the 303m World Trade Centre and the 240m GCC Central Bank Tower.
“Al-Faisaliah Tower 2 would have competed with Al-Faisaliah Tower 1 for supremacy in the city. After King Abdullah Financial District was launched, that is no longer the case,” says the source.
Al-Khozama Management Company is developing the project on behalf of the local Al-Faisaliah Group.
The 1.6 million square-metre KAFD was launched in 2008. Once complete, the development will feature high-rise towers, commercial and residential districts as well as hospitality, retail and recreational facilities and a monorail linking it all together.
The scale of the project has forced developers of smaller projects, such as Al-Khozama to rethink projects in Riyadh’s urban centre.