FROM LEFT: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA, SILVER NEEDLE HOSPITALITY MANAGING DIRECTOR AND GROUP CEO IQBAL JUMABHOY, ABANS GROUP CHAIRPERSON ABAN PESTONJEE AND ABANS (PRIVATE) LIMITED DIRECTOR RUSI PESTONJEE BREAKING GROUND AT THE COLOMBO CITY CENTRE CONSTRUCTION SITE PIC BY KUSHAN PATHIRAJA
Local conglomerate Abans Pvt Ltd and Singapore-based SilverNeedle Hospitality began the construction of their US$ 150 million mixedlifestyle ‘Colombo City Centre’ yesterday, after Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone on the property off Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo 02.
“We wanted everything to be set out before we started construction,” SilverNeedle Hospitality Managing Director and Group CEO Iqbal Jumabhoy said outlining the reason to hold back the project to gain approval from all stakeholders and minimize bottlenecks down the road, despite plans being finalized some time ago. The property comes under the newly formed joint venture company Colombo City Centre Partners, and is scheduled to be completed by early 2018.
The structure will cover over 1 million square feet and rise 48 stories above Colombo’s business district. The first 5 levels will consist of a lifestyle retail mall, above which the 200 room NEXT Hotel, the flagship brand of Silver Needle Hospitality with its cutting edge technology will be located.
The upper levels of the property will house 180 residential units, where the residents could enjoy exclusive club benefits and use of the ‘Sky Terrace.’
Jumabhoy said these residential units are expected to draw the modern Sri Lankan professionals and their families, foreign corporates, and Sri Lankan expatriates who are looking for a second home to invest in.
Aedas, which recently won the Singapore Architecture Award is the lead designer, while Gensler, the world’s biggest collaborative design firm, is responsible for the interior of the hotel and residences.Silver Needle Hospitality subsidiary SN Property is managing the project execution, while international award winning Gleeds Hooloomann is the project manager.
Hong Kong’s Husband Retail Consulting is conducting retail planning and securing tenants for the lifestyle mall, while veteran property manager Richard Buultjens will focus on sales and marketing of the residential units.“With the ground-breaking and foundation stone laying completed, we will now embark on our marketing and sales efforts of the residences,” Jumabhoy said. SilverNeedle Hospitality was founded by Nadathur S. Raghvan; owner of The Nadathur Group and co-founder of NASDAQ listed Infosys Technologies.The group operates over 60 managed and licensed properties and accounts for more than 4,000 keys in the Asia Pacific region, while the Colombo City Centre will be Silver Needle’s first development project outside Australia; where it operates the world’s first NEXT Hotel.