Bahrain set to auction off stalled Juffair Views scheme

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Bahrain’s multi-million-dollar seafront project Juffair Views, which was stalled in 2009 at the height of the economic crisis, will be publicly auctioned on December 20, local media reported.

A government judicial panel revealed the decision during a private meeting attended by buyers and contractors involved in the $15m dollar development, reported Gulf Daily News.

The project, which is nearly 70 percent complete, was referred to the ministerial committee for urbanisation and infrastructure last year for an assessment of its debts and protection of its investors, after which the public auction was announced.

Real estate advisory firm Savills Bahrain has been appointed as the tower’s exclusive sales agent.

“The issue of stalled projects is not a problem just for Bahrain, but for the whole region. The government is working behind the scenes to resolve this highly complex problem,” said the firm’s director, James Moore.

Following the auction, which will be held at the ministry’s headquarters in the Diplomatic Area, the newspaper said, the successful bidder will be required to deposit 10 percent of the sale price and pay the rest within 10 days.

Juffair Views is the first of four stalled projects to be auctioned off. Other projects include Marina West, Sunset Hills and Amwaj Gateway – the latter for which bids are expected to start soon, according to unnamed sources at Bahrain’s Committee for Stalled Real Estate Projects.

The $183 million project was launched in 2006 but stalled three years later as the global financial crisis hit.

A bidding process was also announced for Marina West last year, although no further information was released. Work on the $750m project started in 2007 and was scheduled for completion in 2010 completion.

The Bahrain government enacted a real estate development law last year to enforce tighter control on property developers due to the large number of stalled projects in the kingdom. Since its introduction, work has resumed on a number of projects. These include the Villamar apartment building in Bahrain Financial Harbour and luxury residential development Riffa Views.

In June, the Central Bank of Bahrain announced real estate developers would be required to deposit money in escrow accounts at the country’s licensed retail banks before embarking on such projects, offering protection to off-plan investors.



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