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BUSINESS > Liquor factory destined to be new culture center

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet

Swedish Viatrans-Meydanbey plans to embark on new real estate projects in Turkey after the liquor factory project in Mecidiyeköy with Emlak Konut REIT

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With a $200 million investment, the old liquor factory site in Mecidiyeköy Istanbul will house a new culture and arts center as well as a residential complex and hotel. Radikal photo, İdris EMEN

With a $200 million investment, the old liquor factory site in Mecidiyeköy Istanbul will house a new culture and arts center as well as a residential complex and hotel. Radikal photo, İdris EMEN

Emlak Konut REIT, a subsidiary of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), and the Swedish-based Viatrans-Meydanbey joint venture, have signaled that they are ready to commence construction on the site of what was once an old liquor factory in Istanbul’s Mecidiyeköy neighborhood.

The $200 million project is expected to house a new culture and arts center, residential apartments, a five-star hotel and office space. The old liquor factory, which currently poses a structural risk due to several prior restorations, will be torn down and restored to its original form as part of the project. The newly revamped liquor factory will become a culture and arts center on a par with international standards. The project also envisions two towers, one of which will be a residence and the other a five-star hotel. The residential apartments will mostly be comprised of 2+1 and 1+1 room apartments.

‘Must-See’ tourism spot
Viatrans-Meydanbey Joint venture Chair Haydar Özkan told daily Hürriyet that they had not
yet chosen a name for the project, but that the project would create a new philosophy for the Turkish real estate sector. He said that it would also become a “must-see” destination for visiting tourists, and added that the revenues from the liquor factory project would be used to invest in even more projects.

“Starting with Istanbul and other major urban centers, we want to embark on more real estate projects. We are aware of Turkey’s potential” said Özkan. He added that they would begin digging shortly and that the new culture and arts center would stay true to the original design of the liquor factory by French architect Rob Mallet Stevens.

The tender for the liquor factory had been completed on Sept. 15, 2008, but the interim period
has taken too long, explained Özkan. There were too many partners and as a result many wanted to transfer their shares, so they could concentrate on their other projects, said Özkan.

“The transfer share thereby took place in the friendliest of terms,” said Özkan.

Meanwhile, local architect Gonca Paşolar told daily Hürriyet that the project would not create an extra burden on the region.

LUXURY HOTELS EYE TURKEY

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

German giant Dr. Oetker has joined the list of companies wanting to open luxury hotels in Turkey. Dr. Oetker, which has investments in the food, beverage, finance and marine sectors, is very interested in opening a hotel in Turkey under its Oetker Hotels Collection (OHC) label, according to daily Sabah.

“In addition to Turkey we want to branch out to Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan,” said OHC Chief Executive Officer Frank Marrenbach.

Last week luxury hotel chain Viceroy Hotels Group announced that it is planning to open a luxury hotel with a Bosphorus view in Istanbul by the end of 2013.

May/11/2012

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