The launching of ABC Mall in 2004 rejuvenated the entire area around Sassine Square. Although, with more than 50,000 SQM of global leasable area (GLA) and around 200 retail units, the mall dominates the market and attracts the most important local and international brands, it has revitalized the entire neighborhood. Sassine Square, which had been an aging market growing slightly dilapidated, found its place again on the retail map of Beirut. ABC Mall plays an important role in attracting footfall to Sassine Square, although it retains the monopoly of the star-brands. Sassine Square has specialized in less glamorous shops but that rely on a high turnover of customers.
Where are the capital’s skyscrapers located?
Beirut is no exception to the world’s infatuation with skyscrapers. While Beirut hasn’t reached the record-breaking race to top the world’s tallest towers of the Gulf area and Asia, no less than 50 towers will be higher than 100 meters by 2015. The race for higher floors is justified by the higher profits that come from the increasing price of the upper levels, but also by the possibility to offer views that cannot be obstructed – highly prized by buyers. Indeed, the higher the tower, the smaller is the footprint on the plot, and the larger the space that can be landscaped. Ashrafieh is the new high-rise hub, with four of the five current tallest towers.
Sassine Square is the uncontested historical heart of Ashrafieh. It is the place for public gatherings and demonstrations as well as public, cultural and artistic events. It is also a known business destination although only a dozen office buildings out of more than 100 in Ashrafieh are located in that neighborhood. Despite the fact that it is not a prime office center, Sassine and its immediate surroundings are a high-performing niche market. Future prospects are rather limited, as the area lacks vacant plots ready for development and is difficult to access particularly in peak hours. The limited stock, however, ensures the continued good performance of the sector.