Schön Properties has made an initial payment of Dh50 million to Belhasa Engineering and Contracting Company (BECC) for all civil, architectural and MEP works for a total of 17 buildings within zones three and six.
The payment was made as BECC completed preparatory mobilisation on the Dh3 billion Dubai Lagoon site.
Dubai Lagoon, along with many other developments in Dubai, suffered a series of unanticipated delays as a result of the massive civil infrastructure programmes being undertaken across the emirate by the Roads and Transport Authority and other municipal agencies as well as reforms in the real estate system, said the developer.
"We fully support government infrastructure developments and reforms," said Schön Properties Co-Chairman Nasir H Schön. "The development of road and transport systems and the installation of other utilities are in the best interests of both developers and investors. In the process there have been delays, which have been frustrating for us and our customers, but these are in the best interests of all and will only enhance the value of properties in the long run.
"With Belhasa's accelerated mobilisation, we are confident that construction will proceed according to schedule and we can focus on moving toward completion. Indeed, we have re-doubled efforts to build and deliver Dubai Lagoon on schedule with a third and final contractor poised to sign for the remaining zones."
The Dh1.17bn contract between Schön Properties and BECC was signed in August 2008 and BECC began partial mobilisation during the last quarter of 2008. Dubai Municipality issued permission to commence with the main contract works on January 5. By March 2009, manpower on the 897,000 square ft Zone 3 is expected to double, increasing as progress continues and reaching a peak of more than 1,600 workers at the height of construction activity. The larger 1,376,000 sq ft Zone 6 is expected to have a labour force of about 2,000 workers at the peak of construction.
The mobilisation process was accelerated by BECC and the contractor was able to launch ground works in Zone 3 ahead of schedule. The first binding concrete was poured during the third week of January. Belhasa is responsible for completing all civil, architectural and MEP works for a total of 17 buildings within zones three and six.
Asher H Schön, Vice-President of Schön Properties, said: "We had to be patient as permits were secured for construction but now that the process has finally been completed, on-site activity will increase dramatically and investors can be assured that their units will be delivered with speed."
Belhasa's project portfolio includes 200 residential units in the Green Community, 10 office blocks as well as the 48-storey Salam Tower in Dubai Media City, Mövenpick Hotel in Oud Metha and the three 50-storey buildings in Cluster X of Jumeirah Lake Towers.
Construction work on zones three and six is expected to take about 29 months to complete with the first delivery of units for Zone 3 due at the end of 2010, followed by Zone 6 in mid-2011.