Which neighborhoods offer the largest upcoming office stock?
The commercial landscape of Beirut evolves apace with restaurant operators’ appetite. The F&B industry undoubtedly dictates the development of commercial hubs across the capital. F&B operators move in tandem from one location to another. Growing demand for a particular area has immediate repercussions on asking rental values. When they migrate, they also do it as a group, and prices drop sharply. Within a few months, a neighborhood could go from being a slumbering residential area to a buzzing attraction hub to night prowlers. It is a mad race then between established and startup F&B concept operators to find the best locations – at the best deals. The mood of the F&B chiefs makes or breaks a particular location. Retail areas move at the rhythm of their whims – as testify the following four examples: Maarad Street, Gemmayze, Mar Mikhael, and Badaro.
Badaro witnessed its glory decades during the 1960s and 1970s. Badaro Street was a renowned address with some mythic names, such as Badaro Inn – the last vestige of that past era shut its doors only a few years ago. During the long years of the Civil War and for a couple of decades afterwards, the commercial landscape of Badaro was in decline. The commercial structure that remains today is a hodgepodge mix of rundown grocery stores and outmoded neighborhood service stores (the local hairdresser, pharmacy, clothing store, or bank). Lately, a change has been set in motion. Badaro Street has been entirely refurbished and repaved and there is more and more demand for retail on Badaro Street.
The area of Badaro offers some of the best value for money apartments in Beirut. It is thus one of the most attractive alternatives to the expensive neighborhoods of Ashrafieh and other central areas of Beirut City where it is still possible to buy a new apartment at less than USD 3,000 per SQM in a pleasant environment. Badaro flaunts many advantages: It is centrally located with very easy access to the major business and entertainment centers of Beirut. It is also a sparsely populated area that enjoys calm, green spaces. The areas of Medawar and Horsh Kfoury are especially pleasant, with pine trees, and charming buildings dating back to the 1950’s and 1970’s.