US-Saudi consortium to build mixed-use project in Riyadh

Global Business Ventures wins licence to build 25,000 affordable homes in Saudi capital city
Saudi Arabia is keen to attract US investment as it launches sweeping economic reforms.
By Oscar Rousseau
Sat 31 Mar 2018 10:27 AM

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has awarded a multi-billion dollar licence to a consortium of US and Saudi Arabian business leaders to build affordable homes in the kingdom's capital city.

Chicago-based consortium Global Business Ventures has a licence to build 25,000 housing units for a major mixed-use residential development in Riyadh that will boast 92,903 sq m of commercial space across three sites.

Scott Sarver of Chicago-based architecture firm smdp is behind the pre-development design. Two real estate firms have reportedly carried out site evaluation and feasibility studies.

“We are delighted to award this license and look forward to welcoming Global Business Ventures to Saudi Arabia,” said Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA. “The unprecedented programme of reforms being implemented in Saudi Arabia is unlocking an exciting range of opportunities for investors in the Middle East’s largest economy.

“One of SAGIA’s strategic goals is to act as an advocate for investors, enable them to invest, and establish their businesses in Saudi Arabia. In its efforts to ease licences procedures, SAGIA has extended the license period for foreign investment from one year to a period of up to five years.”

Global Business Ventures is a mix of Saudi Arabian and US business leaders developing big community projects that align with the Saudi Vision 2030 plan.

“We welcome the opportunity presented to Global Business Ventures by SAGIA and the government of Saudi Arabia to assemble a consortium of the world’s finest companies to provide new and innovative housing projects to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Randall Langer, chairman of Global Business Ventures.

“SAGIA’s outstanding support of our investments extends across all of the ministries to whom they have introduced us. It is very refreshing to be working with such a collaborative, forward-looking group of government and business leaders who firmly believe in the Vision 2030 plan.”

Steve Lutes, vice president of Middle East affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, which Global Business Ventures is a member of, said he wanted more American companies to tap into opportunities linked to the kingdom’s 2030 economic plan.

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