Almacantar gets Green Light for 180m Marble Arch Scheme
Property development and investment company Almacantar has been given the green light for its £400million scheme to redevelop the Marble Arch Tower in London.
It has received the thumbs up from planners at Westminster to demolish the existing town and build two new buildings comprising 17 storeys and seven storeys in a total 400,000 sq ft replacement, mixed use scheme.
The finished development will consist of prime residential, offices, shops, restaurants and an Odeon cinema space transforming the landscape on this end of Oxford Street, Europe’s biggest shopping thoroughfare.
Work will begin once the old tower has come down and the new lower rise plan will also include 52 luxury flats.
Hotly tipped to carry out the $180million building job is contractor Brookfield Complex and work is expected to start in 2015.
Almcantar also received planning permission for a mixed housing and shopping scheme located at 466-490 Edgware Road, London.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.