UPC presses ahead with mall plans

31 March 2006

The local United Properties Company (UPC) has awarded France's Freyssinet an estimated SR 200 million ($54 million) contract to build the Aliat al-Medina mall. The project is the latest award in an estimated SR 4,000 million ($1,000 million) programme planned by UPC involving 15 retail and commercial developments (MEED 7:10:05).

The Aliat mall will have a built-up area of 74,600 square metres and will take about 18 months to complete. It will house the largest Savola Group supermarket in the kingdom.

A team of the local Diyar Consult and France's CVZ is the consultant.

UPC has also awarded an estimated SR 40 million ($11 million) contract to a local firm identified as Archon for the construction of a 13,300-square-metre facility in Jubail, which is due to open by the end of 2006. The local Otishan is the consultant. UPC is also close to awarding the contract for a 39,460-square-metre mall in Yanbu. Diyar with France's CIA is the consultant on the estimated SR 100 million ($27 million) project.

A consultant is due to be appointed by mid-April for the estimated $30 million Salbokh mall in Riyadh. The facility will have a total built-up area of 37,900 square metres and is targeted to be completed by October 2007.

Design work is under way for several other UPC mall projects. CVZ is the design consultant for the estimated SR 180 million ($48 million) Dammam corniche mall, which will have a built-up area of 52,000 square metres. The US' DDG is carrying out design work for the estimated SR 360 million ($96 million) Dammam central mall. The same consultant is also revising the concept designs for UPC's mixed-use Andalusia development planned in Jeddah, which will cost an estimated SR 650 million ($173 million). Finally, a team of the local Zuhair Fayez & Associates and BKA has been appointed design consultant for the estimated SR 270 million ($72 million) Salam mall in Mecca.

UPC is 70 per cent owned by Savola. The remaining 30 per cent of shares is held by South Africa's Old Mutual Properties.

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