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18 April 2024

Six-month delay for Sunland's Atrium

In November, the Sunland Group said the project was to be completed by 2013. (SUPPLIED)

By Sona Nambiar

The Atrium project completion might be delayed by six months or more, said the Sunland Group chief operating officer yesterday.

"We are not isolated from the current markets. But the plan is to initiate site mobilisation works within the next few months and get the site ready by mid-2009," David Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Sunland Group, told Emirates Business yesterday. "It will take another four to five years after that to complete the project."

In November, the Sunland Group had said the project was to be completed by 2013. It had awarded Arabtec a Dh2.4 billion deal to build the Atrium but then had said it might separately let the enabling works by mid-2009 though Arabtec will manage the entire project.

There have been no revisions in the design of the project, Brown said. "The building will be built as planned and we will still aim for a Gold Leed rating as earlier announced." Hyder Consulting and Whitby and Bird will work on the Leed aspects of the project, he said.

The Atrium is a Dh6bn luxury mixed-use development with a sculptural glass façade, located in Madinat Al Arab, the beachfront community at the Waterfront precinct. In a joint venture, Pickard Chilton did the concept design with Woods Bagot. The project will feature two rising towers that will join together at the 47th level.

Meanwhile, the Sunland Group has appointed Dutch Foundation for its $220 million (Dh807m) Nur Tower. "Currently, Dutch Foundations has started on a four-level excavation and shoring package, which will be over by September. We are in talks with the main contractor but have yet not finalised the deal." He was not willing to name the contractor.

Due to the recent fall in materials prices, the company is asking for discounts, he said. "We have a joint venture with Arabtec on the Palazzo Versace Tower and D1, which are the most advanced of our projects at the moment," said Brown.

"We have very good relationships with all our sub-contractors and are going back and talking to them about supply prices because if they are going down, then we are asking them to give us a good discount back. We have got good responses from them since December and will continue through the next month or two."

The company will stay focused on delivery but plans to review its opportunities later in the year.