Along the Zalka Highway, signs point to Kaslik, Jounieh and Tripoli. But where exit ramps twist before City Mall, new posts reading ‘BeitMisk’ lead the way to a new 655,000 sq m development.
It’s no coincidence that BeitMisk’s signage hangs alongside those for some of the country’s biggest cities. ‘This is a contemporary village,’ says Nicole Sleilati, architect and project manager at Emaar Properties, the BeitMisk developers. ‘We hope people stay here and leave as little as possible.’
The project’s first phase was delivered recently, and a self-sustaining village is quickly taking shape. When complete, BeitMisk will include 1,800 residential units, publicgardens, restaurants, a country club, supermarket, clinic and other facilities. But creating a fully-functioning town on a rocky mountain region isn’t easy.
‘This isn’t just the biggest project for us as developers – nobody has worked locally on a project of this scale,’ says Sleilati. ‘That said, our challenges are also the biggest.’ Challenges so far have included the steep natural terrain, the sheer number of potential inhabitants (7,000) and the duration of the project, which is now into its second year of construction and has an estimated 10 years to go. Then there’s the evolving market demand.
Sleilati says Amar frequently adjusts its strategy to stay competitive: two-bedroom units are currently the smallest on offer, but one-bedrooms and studios may later be introduced. Counter that with BeitMisk’s townhouses and villas, and you’ve theoretically got something for everyone. ‘We’re not dedicated to one social category,’ Sleilati explains. ‘We hope to target people from all backgrounds.’
Along with diversity among residents, the developers are conscious of avoiding homogenous architecture: ‘We don’t want to create in a
cookie cutter manner – every neighbourhood is different.’ The neighbourhoods begin at a 600 meter altitude with apartments, and continue upwards with villas at 920 meters. With distinct areas catering to specific socioeconomic groups, BeitMisk may also take on the cultural blueprint of a traditional village. Although it’s doubtful there will ever be a bad side of town.
BeitMisk Sales Center (01 212121) Metn Expressway, El Metn. For more info visit here.