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Kingdom Holdings has announced that its associate, Jeddah Economic Company, has appointed a pair of architectural practices to carry out masterplanning for its $20bn Kingdom City project in Jeddah - of which the proposed 1km-high Kingdom Tower is to be the centrepiece.
The firm has appointed US-based Calthorpe Associates as Lead Masterplanner for the 5.3 million m2 Kingdom City development surrounding the world's tallest tower, while UAE-based Godwin Austen Johnson architects has been named urban architect.
The value of the contracts to the firms is $1.6m (SR: 6m), according to a statement issued to the Saudi stock exchange.
Kingdom Holding Co, which is chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, agreed a deal last year with contractor Saudi Binladin Group which will see the contractor invest SR: 1.5bn in building the project in return for a 16.93% stake in the company developing it, Jeddah Economic Company (JEC).
Kingdom Holdings retains a 33.35% stake in JEC, while Abraar International also holds 33.35% and Jeddah businessman Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly has a stake of 16.67%
At a recent meeting of investors, Prince Alwaleed said the tower is on "a solid strategic path".
The tower will cost around $1.22bn (SR: 4.6bn) to build, according to Kingdom Holdings. Architects for the tower project, US-based Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture, were appointed back in 2011 and a construction licence was granted to build the tower in February 2012. Saudi Bauer Group won a $40.8m contract to carry out piling work for the tower in November.
Eng. Talal Al Maiman, chairman and CEO of Kingdom Real Estate Development Company (KRED), said: “The careful strategic planning has paid off and the execution of the greatest Tallest building project in the world for the next years to come has started in our beloved country Saudi Arabia. Our country deserves no less than such a project.”