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Central Business District to replace Walton Airport

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) are going for a joint venture to develop Central Business District under Punjab government’s Green Field Projects at the 2035.5 kanal land of Walton Airport, with an estimated cost of US $ 410 million.

Sources in LDA said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had directed LDA to initiate the project to attract international investment in the provincial metropolis. They said the CM had taken personal initiative to get the nod of the federal government for the project.

The sources claimed that the joint venture’s draft agreement had already been prepared and was under consideration of different government departments for finalization of clauses. They maintained that the agreement would be finalized within the next two or three weeks.

According to the LDA’s proposed project, it is going to construct a high-density commercial corridor in the bustling neighborhood of Gulberg. The documents available with The News revealed that the proposed facility would be the focal point of commercial, corporate and retail activity in the city. The site is located in the center of modern Lahore and sits on prime real estate located between Gulberg and Defense Housing Society, which are two major upscale residential localities of Lahore.

It is readily accessible from Ferozpur Road, Walton Road and Gulberg Main Boulevard, which are the main arteries of Lahore.

According to the salient features, the project involves internal development and master planning in order to sell plots for five-star hotel, shopping mall, retail shopping areas, office complexes and entertainment areas, development of upcoming commercial, corporate and retail hub of the city conforming to international standards and prime real estate located at the center point of intra city transportation network.

LDA documents also revealed that a central three lane dual carriageway artery along with connecting road network would also be constructed to increase accessibility of the public to the site. LDA papers revealed that 70 commercial plots would be developed on 603.7 kanals, 40 offices constructed on 379.4 kanals area and 10 plots for mixed used commercial plots on an area of 99.5 kanals. One shopping mall on 27.9 kanal area, a five star hotel on 102.5 kanals area, three parks and green areas on 90.7 kanals, Walton Community Club on 51.8 kanals, nince plots for Bank Square on 108.8 kanals, a service area on 40.2 kanals and roads on 531 kanals.

LDA documents revealed that the estimated cost of this project was Rs 43,271 million (US 4 410 million) whereas, according to LDA, the Net Present Value (NPV) of this project was Rs 10,135 million (US $ 96 million) while its Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is calculated as 36 per cent.

LDA director general Ahad Khan Cheema told The News that the joint venture between the LDA and CAA would be completed within the next few weeks after which international investors would be called for the project.

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