Capital Partners to develop US$1.5bn mixed-use project in Turkey (TU/PL)

Capital Partners has unveiled its plans for one of the most ambitious tourism developments in Turkish history. Speaking at a press conference on Monday 6 August, 2007, at the Çiragan Palace Kempinski Hotel Istanbul, the company confirmed that Bozbük village in the region of Milas is to be home to a new 4,817,000-m² mixed-use development, one of the largest ever built in the country.

Backed by an estimated US $1.5 billion (c. €1.02bn) investment, the premium quality development is set to change the face of the Turkish tourism industry through its targeting of the high-end international tourist market - an affluent market interested and respectful of the environment, local people and heritage - which Turkey has been attempting to reach for many years. Through this project, Capital Partners is to create a year-round destination for visitors while providing a broad range of sustainable employment opportunities for the local community.

The mixed-use development, named 'Kaplankaya', will see tourist facilities and residential areas co-exist, and will comprise of a number of villas and houses, hotels, a marina, shopping and entertainment areas, schools, and health and sports centers. It will be built in five communities, each with its own distinct character and offering, and each separated by natural topographic corridors running from the hilltops to the sea, providing a natural frontier and privacy. In total, the land will house approximately 2,058 dwellings and five hotels with a further 2,000 beds and will accommodate up to an estimated 12,000 at full capacity. Only 7% of the site will be built on, making it a low-density development and setting a new benchmark for developers in the region.

The masterplan for the site has been developed by world-leading specialist Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG). The topography of the site has been closely followed to ensure that the resulting design makes best use of the land's natural hills, valleys and coastline for both human enjoyment and the needs of the indigenous fauna and flora. Every planning principle and design concept of Kaplankaya is anchored to the site and reflects Aegean culture. Design principles include revealing the characteristics of the topography, establishing distinct neighborhood characters that will create a diversity of settlements through architectural and landscape design, connecting the mountains and hills to the waterfront by creating ecological corridors, parks, trails and iconic buildings, minimising the impact of the development on the existing ecosystem and enhancing the existing flora and fauna within the new development.

World renowned international architects on board include Lord Norman Foster, Baumschlager-Eberle, Steven Holl, Robert Stern and Carlos Ferrater, along with highly acclaimed Turkish names such as Can Çinici, Þevki Pekin, Nevzat Sayýn and Han Tümertekin. With the environment and social structuring taking precedence in the development's design, each architect has been given a designated area of the site and has been encouraged to work with the natural landscape, local heritage and materials to create a sense of organic design.

The first phase of the development will open in 2009 with the construction fully completed by 2012. Once completed, Kaplankaya will attract up to 70,000 domestic and international visitors per year and provide direct employment for an estimated 5,000 people both during construction and on completion. The development is expected to generate a foreign currency income worth approximately US $350 million (c. €238m) on an annual basis.

The site was bought by Capital Partners in December 2005 in a private sale with the then-owner, having been on the open market for two years.

Burak Öymen, Partner, Capital Partners, comments, "The Kaplankaya project was developed around the starting point of: 'How can we develop a project which will reflect the real spirit of Turkey and bring Turkey as a brand to new heights in the increasingly competitive international tourism landscape?' W

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