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Sat 31 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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Schön Business Park surges ahead despite slowdown

Despite the slowdown in construction activity, the Schön Business Park project advanced this week as a 250-man on-site crew laid down 300 tonnes of steel and poured 1900m3 of concrete to complete the first phase of foundation works on the US $204 million (AED750 million) development in Dubai Investment Park.

Despite the slowdown in construction activity, the Schön Business Park project advanced this week as a 250-man on-site crew laid down 300 tonnes of steel and poured 1900m3 of concrete to complete the first phase of foundation works on the US $204 million (AED750 million) development in Dubai Investment Park.

The park is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2010.

United Engineering Construction (Unec), the project's prime contractor took 17 hours to complete the foundation pouring using three constantly running cement pumps.

"We have always had a conservative approach to real estate development financing and we have zero debt from any financial institutions," said Schön Properties chairman Tahir Schön.

"This has given us a great deal of resilience over the last few months."

Construction on the 106,372m2 Schön Business Park project was fast-tracked through 2008 by the developer's strategic decision to split the enabling and main construction works.

Ground Engineering specialists NSCC (National Services and Contracting) were contracted to handle all enabling works, including 350m of open excavation, which involved removing 200,000m3 of earth, and 360m of shoring, which were completed in eight months.

Unec was awarded the $103 million construction contract for Schön Business Park, which  includes completion of the substructure, superstructure, external envelope, shell and core office and retail spaces as well as electro-mechanical works throughout the development.

Upon completion of the enabling works, Unec took over the site last December. Overall construction of foundations and framework will use a total of 8175 tonnes of steel and 53,944m3 of concrete, requiring an average of 165m3 of concrete and 31 tonnes of steel per day.

On the current slow-down in the Dubai property market, Schön said, "The market was overheated and badly needed a correction. We have been in business for decades and fully understand that all markets are cyclical. The days of flipping towers are thankfully over and one shouldn't forget that the extraordinary development in Dubai is the result of a long-term vision."

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