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GDN Reader's View: Arrested development

Alan Pitt

In response to ‘Project mystery’, (GDN, August 30), there is no mystery about this unresolved, long-stalled project.

The cause of failure stems back to autumn 2007, when the first contractor PCC-Terna left the build site having completed piling and base construction work for all 11 towers.

The January 2007 release of towers two, four and 11 for off-plan apartment sales could be likened to a scatter gun approach when chosen at diagonally opposite ends of the planned marina.

Likewise, tower three was added in November 2007 and tower seven in February 2008.

Having completed the piling and base construction work on all 11 towers, an experienced real estate developer would have opted for the five towers on just one side of the marina to be sold and completed first, along with all its relevant services and infrastructure.

However, by May 2008 most of the 600 apartments in towers two, three, four, seven and 11 had been sold off-plan before the world economic downturn and over-inflated sale prices curtailed real estate sales in the region.

The land site aerial photograph taken in January 2008 indicates the amount of build work completed on each tower.

Accepting that off-plan sales were unlikely to continue, any experienced developer could foresee that BD66 million derived from existing off-plan sales was sufficient finance to complete towers two, three, four, seven and 11, all the site’s infrastructure along with the marina.

Yet the Marina West developer carried on regardless and actually achieved more construction work on tower one (revised from residential to five-star hotel status in 2008) than any other uncompleted residential tower.

In March 2010, the Marina West second construction contractor left the site due to lack of finance. Apart from columns built as part of the annex to tower one, no other work has been done.

That is apart from dismantling four cranes, one of which served tower 11, the first tower of apartments all sold by mid-2007!

Regular letters to the Press, revelation of documented facts, failed petitions and creation and revision of real estate laws have not brought about any change whatsoever to the Marina West site, which has been dormant since March 2010.

The only mystery about Marina West being left in limbo is when real estate laws aimed primarily at financial safeguarding both past and future off-plan apartment buyers will be applied there.

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