Retail rents soar in Beirut

16 November 2001

Beirut city centre has the fastest-growing retail rents in the world, says UK real estate consultant Healey & Baker. Average prices for commercial property in downtown Beirut rose by 150 per cent in the 12 months ending June 2001, the company says in a report issued in November. A square metre of retail space now costs $1,000 a year, making Beirut central district the 28th most expensive shopping area in the world - up from 37th position last year. Retail rents have been 'boosted by increased political optimism and sustained retailer demand', Healey & Baker says. Rents in Beirut are now comparable to prime retail pitches in Helsinki, Lisbon and Madrid.

Solidere, which was set up in 1994 to rebuild downtown Beirut, expects to make $11 million this year from leasing commercial space in the central district. The company's property sales totalled $9.5 million for the six months ending 30 June - up from $1.8 million in the first half of 2000 - and are expected to reach $45 million by the end of the year.

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