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Construction starts at $1bn ICD Brookfield Place

by Paromita Dey on Jan 21, 2016

ICD and Brookfield have formed a joint venture partnership to develop the $1bn ICD Brookfield Place, expected to be completed in 2018.
ICD and Brookfield have formed a joint venture partnership to develop the $1bn ICD Brookfield Place, expected to be completed in 2018.

Construction began on the ICD Brookfield Place, when Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Brookfield Property Partners broke ground on the 139,354 sqm office and retail development located in the Dubai International Financial Centre district (DIFC).

ICD, the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, and Brookfield have formed a joint venture partnership to develop the $1bn ICD Brookfield Place, expected to be completed in 2018.

The development designed by architects Foster + Partners includes a 53-storey tower with over 83,162 sqm of Grade A office space. The top three levels of the tower will comprise the sky view suites.

The office tower and retail building will be connected by large pedestrian pathways with seven underground levels of car parking to accommodate 2,700 vehicles.

Framed by fine dining restaurants and a chef-driven food emporium, the 31m-high, 1,672 sqm landscaped public area will showcase a range of arts and cultural events. A new retail connection and public garden will link the food emporium and public realm at ICD Brookfield Place to the existing DIFC gate precinct.

Shopping, dining, fitness, and private club facilities will fill an adjacent five-storey, 13,935 sqm retail center fronting Al Sa’ada Street featuring multiple terraces and an open garden on the top level with uninterrupted views of Burj Khalifa.

JLL and CBRE are acting as the joint leasing agents for ICD Brookfield Place.

HE Mohammed Al Shaibani, executive director and CEO of the ICD, said: “The groundbreaking marks the establishment of a significant presence for ICD Brookfield within the DIFC. We are proud to collaborate with Brookfield Property Partners and the Dubai International Financial Centre, on this exceptional offering.”

In an exclusive interview with Construction Week, Douglas Kirkman, CEO of ICD Brookfield management Limited, gives out more details about the project:

What is the source of funding for the project?

When the joint venture was originally created, the idea was to make a fund that would invest in some of the distress projects in Dubai. But after reviewing the potential opportunities in Dubai later, we decided that the best opportunity was to develop something new, the first deal being the ICD Brookfield Place.

We believe there is a real demand for office space in the DIFC, tenants are growing to 10%-20% every year.

The equity itself is coming from the two joint venture partners, ICD and Brookfield. There will be some bank financing, local as well as international.

Have you seen any tenants showing interest in the project?

We are in active discussion with a handful of major tenants, and are very excited about the prospects. The rents for the office spaces will be consistent with the DIFC.

Give us some details about the main contractor?

The main contractor for the project is a joint venture between Brookfield and South Korea’s Ssangyong Engineering and Construction. They were chosen as the main contractor on an open book design and build basis, we did that after a long procurement strategy analysis.

One of the issues very key to us is the time to market, and by going through the open book design and process, we are able to cut basically 12 months out of the potential development cycle.

The subcontracts are in the process of tendering, the main contractor has agreed that the subcontracts will represent 85% of the total contract value.

Why Dubai now when there is a bit of a slowdown in the market?

This development is really very specific to DIFC, where the vacancy rate is almost 0%. There are not many places for tenants to grow.

Today not like many places, Dubai still continues to grow, it is kind of the “headquarters region” not only for the Middle East but also for North Africa as well.

So that growth poses a kind of an opportunity here, because there is demand for world-class office space.

Any other projects that ICD Brookfield might look at in the future?

We always concentrate on commercial projects. We keep on looking, and when we find the right opportunity, we will develop it into something great.