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An alternative to Kingdom City

2222 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mesch
It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the Kingdom city project. There are two main reasons for that.

1) The location is completely inappropriate. It doesn't fit with it's surroundings (it's a resort area). It significantly extends the urban sprawl. This is particularly bad since there is a lot of undeveloped land within the city.

2) The demand isn't there. CRE demand is already soft in Jeddah, likewise for luxury residential. So a massive WTB is already too much. That's bad enough. You may want to give the benefit of the doubt and project that demand will pick-up in the 6 years or so it takes to build it (although I doubt it. Jeddah isn't Dubai, or even Riyadh), but it's not just one supertall that they plan to build, but a whole forest of them (to get the massing). They're planning to build a whole city! Add that there are also other major projects in Jeddah (like Ruwais, Khuzam, city-centre, old airport) plus competition from KAEC and it's a mess.

I don't want to be the killjoy in the midst of all the excitement over the idea of building the WTB. So now that I pointed these important issues out, let me propose an alternative development that will somewhat mitigate these problems whilst still building that monster. I've wasted a couple of hours coming up with this!

Split the kingdom city development in Obhur from the WTB project. Kingdom city should be developed as a leisure/residential project with the lake, golf course, resort hotel, marina, villas, you get the idea.

As for the WTB, site it in a seperate project, that for sake of argument I'll call Kingdom Commerce Centre (KCC). Yes I'm ripping of the ICC in Hong Kong.
Here's a render I crudely knocked up in sketch-up:

The project is to be located in undeveloped land right in the heart of the business district. Land acquisition shouldn't be a problem for the likes of al-waleed.

So project consists of the following components:

1KCC (left tower)- 1180m tower, mixed use
2KCC (right tower) - 400m tower, commercial and hotel
KCC plaza (area in yellow) - low rise retail, f&b
KCC residences (top tower) - 250m residential
Other features:
Pavillion (brown) - Elevated terrace linking the components together. Covered walkway, and outdoor spaces.
Waterfront (blue) - outdoor space with water-features and f&b outlets

To further improve the massing. Alwaleed can help fund Kinan's Andalucia gardens project (since he controls the parent Savola). I've added the two towers (210m, 260m I estimated) from that project in my renders.
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Some perspective shots:
from midan al-baiya

from Khuzam park

From the old airport

From Tahlia x Medina rd

From Kings road x Tahlia

From Nawras square

From the north corniche
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لا ما اظن
لو بنو مدينة المملكة وسط جدة هدا يعني مئات الالاف من الموظفين راح يضغطو على الطرق اللي نازلة البلد
و الطرق مو ناقصة اللي نازلة البلد
و موقع المدينة في ابحر احلى لانو المنطقة فاضية و جمب المطار
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2)The demand isn't there
No matter how you look at it there is no justification for building that amount of skyscraper/offices.
If Alwalead wanted to build this huge project to make Jeddah look batter then i would say that he failed badly, with this amount of money he could build alot of gardens and other stuff of equivalent beauty.
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موقعه في ابحر ممتاز وودي ان امانة جدة ماعاد تصرح للمشاريع الريادية الا في شمال جدة عند مشروع المملكة لانه ما ينفع الترقيع في القديم روح لارض فضاء جديدة طورها وخل القديم الي لا شوارع تتحمل مثل هذة المشاريع ولا تصريف ولاتنضيم
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HiJazzey - No doubt you spent a LOT of time coming up with all this. However, I think deep down you know that this will not happen. While I agree with you that the sprawl in Jeddah is getting out of hand and something needs to be done about it, I don't quite agree with the location of your proposed WTB. The current CBD is congested enough as it is without these additional developments. The roads are narrow and it's just plain old. Not to be shallow but the water in that area is murky and dirty. The only way to make this work would be with a massive demolition of most of the current CBD, including the old houses, old office buildings, and old roads and structures.

Also, there has been a gradual shift of the city's population towards the north over the past 2 decades. That is where the newer areas are and everything is just nicer. Let's face it, those are now the best neighborhoods..with the best amenities, schools, shopping, and everything else. Yes, its sprawl but really would you live in those crummy old neighborhoods? I would want the nice roads, the nice shiny new mall, the good schools, the nice clear water. I don't want to live in the WTB and see the dirty water near the port or the current CBD. In reality, these things draw people and, no matter how practical it is, building all this in the current CBD setting will just not work. Let's also not forget that gas is cheap in Saudi, thus even less motivation to stop sprawl or to consolidate the city to make it more efficient.
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HiJazzey, I think you need to visit this link and go through all projects there. I believe what you're proposing here is already planned. However, there is no harm in having Kingdom City in the north with this planned project downtown.
high rise building and resort can be mixed there no problems! actually i hope starting from this moment all blocks in north obhour should be developed in wide scale by companies just like Kingdom City!

HiJazzey unfortunately i can't leave this thread here like that, would you like to merge it with the kingdom city thread or move it to sky bashkah?
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الوليد أول شي راح يفكر فيه قيمة الأرض أكيد وسط جده راح تكون غالية مره
I would prefer the Kingdom city to be part of KAEC, make the Kingdom city the business district of KAEC.
^^ That's what concerns me the most. Having KAEC and Kingdom City this closely located is plain dumb esepcially that the whole idea behind economic cities is to diversify the economy and increase regional competitiveness.
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