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SODIC, Egypt’s third-biggest property developer, in partnership with the Lebanese real estate company Solidere International, is developing environmentally-friendly and upscale suburban down towns, Eastown and Westown, to cater to residents of Kattameya and 6th of October. These new city centers are expected to expand into cities each meant to host no less than 2.5 million people within 10 years. The plan with these two projects is to create two urban city centers within growing suburbs located in the East and West of Cairo. In these settlements – Kattameya/New Cairo and Sheikh Zayyed/6th of October City – there is no focal point for people to find entertainment, services or even an urban pedestrian environment. The Westown project aims to create a new piece of city within the adjacent desert, which offers both a potentially healthier climate and spares further encroachment on the fertile land of the Nile valley. As the Westown compound is partially built, properties and lawns are being taken care of despite of the fact that no one is using the space. Doubts raised on such project that luxury neighborhood like Westown goes against the primary intention of construction Egyptian satellite cities which was to provide extra housing for low and middle income groups.
Despite being on the market for quite a few years now, there seems to be no one who is interested in purchaing these properties. A large reason is perhaps Egypt’s lack of a sufficient sized middle and upper income groups to demand such housing. Compounding to that fact is that both Westown and Eastown were being developed as satelite cities that could not provide enough investment and business opportunites for these two income groups.
As a result, many of the already constructed apartments remains empty, while others were abandoned mid-construction.
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