RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA-The design for the combination $450 millionHilton hotel and apartment complex here has been released byarchitect Chicago-based Goettsch Partners. The project, with 650hotel tower and 250-unit apartment building, should be completed in2013.

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Goettsch is designing the property for the General Organizationfor Social Insurance, an agency of the country. Hilton will run thehotel, which will feature a 41,000-square-foot ballroom, thelargest in the country. The apartments will be serviced as hotelrooms, with similar amenities.

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The towers converge around a central elevator core, withmultiple, rotating two-level atriums. The complex will also includea variety of food and beverage outlets, two outdoor lounges andother fitness facilities. The property is planned for between thefive-million-square-foot Granada Center shopping center and GranadaBusiness Park.

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This project helps Saudi Arabia catch up with increaseddevelopment as other Middle East hotel markets like Abu Dhabi andDubai, though hospitality researchers say these countries’pipelines are just about empty. James Goettsch, partner at thefirm, tells GlobeSt.com. that there was more of a need for theextravagant hotel and multifamily projects in those countries.“They had to develop a critical mass to make it attractive forpeople to be there,” Goettsch says. “Saudi, they’re building forthe future, there’s still a potential for future projects. Chinaand India, they had an instant need, but in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,they really did build up cities, and it seems to have worked.”

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