Nirvana commercial complex project enters implementation phase in al-Hejaz area in Damascus

Al-Hejaz Railway Station building in the center of the Syrian capital, Damascus (the al-Hejaz Railway Station Facebook page)

Al-Hejaz Railway Station building in the center of the Syrian capital, Damascus (the al-Hejaz Railway Station Facebook page)

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The General Director of the General Foundation for the al-Hejaz Railway Station, Hassanein Muhammad Ali, has announced his order to the concerned investment company to start implementing its commercial project, the Nirvana complex, next to the historic al-Hejaz Railway Station in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

On 24 November, the local newspaper Al-Watan reported on Ali saying that the Nirvana project, which consists of a five-star hotel and a commercial complex on the real estate property 748 in the al-Hejaz area, exceeds at least 25 billion Syrian pounds (SYP = 9,276,437 USD).

Ali clarified that the foundation’s share of the project revenues is esteemed at 1.6 billion SYP annually (593,692 USD), or 16 percent per year.

He pointed out that this percentage increases by 5 percent every three years, making the total allowance more than 103 billion SYP (38,218,923 USD) throughout the investment period, with an average annual rate of 2.3 billion SYP (853,432 USD).

Ali noted that the foundation’s commitment to the project is limited to providing land only, which is occupied by cheaply rented commercial shops, a coffee shop, and a fuel station.

He said that the Syrian Private Company al-Hejaz for Investment is the future investor of the Nirvana complex project next to the al-Hejaz station, in an interview with the al-Mokhtar program broadcasted on the local radio station al-Madina FM on 10 June

The project’s investment contract is three years in duration and includes a five-star hotel of 12 stories, a commercial complex, a restaurant, and four underground floors.

The project will be built on an area of 5,000 square meters (m²) close to the station, provided that the complex will be fully owned by the General Foundation for the al-Hejaz Railway Station after 45 years of investment.

Once the investment contract is certified by Syria’s Ministry of Tourism, a group of store owners, al-Waleed Gas Station, and al-Hejaz Cafe will be warned in preparation for the implementation of the project.

Four Syrian companies applied for the Nirvana complex’s investment, and the Syrian Private Company al-Hejaz for Investment won the tender contract.

Last October, the General Foundation for the al-Hejaz Railway Station introduced the project’s proposal, which will occupy the site of the real estate property 748 that includes the al-Hejaz Café, a gas station, and some shops owned by the foundation.

The project that involves constructing a large building next to the al-Hejaz Station and several other historical sites in the area has provoked resentment on the part of the Syrian people.

For them, the project will distort the area’s architecture and overshadow the al-Hejaz Station’s historic building. It will also cancel the presence of the al-Hejaz Cafe, one of the most popular and famous cafes in Damascus.

The Nirvana complex project is to be built in one of the most vital sites in central Damascus, near al-Marjeh Square, al-Hamidiyah Souq, Damascus Citadel, and the Umayyad Mosque, overlooking al-Nasr and Khalid Ibn al-Walid streets.

The soon-to-be-demolished al-Hejaz Café is one of Damascus’s most famous cafes. It was opened at the beginning of the 1950s over an area of 1,600 m².

The café has two winter halls of 900 m² and an open courtyard for summer that can accommodate up to 600 persons.

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