12/13/2007

Izmir: An Aegean city with exceptional investment potentials

Turkish Daily News - The Aegean coastal city of Izmir will soon have an impressive skyline as the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality recently approved a project that will transform the city's landscape and bring about significant improvements to the area known as Port Rear, New Izmir or the Third Izmir. The project's goal is to “implement the vision of Izmir,” Aziz Kocaoglu, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality mayor, told the Turkish Daily News. A CITY OF ARTS AND CULTURE The project includes tourism activities, congresses, and fairs within the scope of creating a city of arts, culture and tourism. In this context, an area of 500 hectares has been designated as a spot for high-rise buildings and will be called Third Izmir. “The decision was approved and in the next few days the region will be open to investments. Right now, around eight to 10 landowners are looking for investment opportunities,” Kocaoglu said. CREATING AN INVESTMENT BASKET Kocaoglu said that the content of the development project was to provide an investment basket for investors. “Investors from China or the United States may come to invest in Izmir. Then what? They will want to build a hotel, yet there is no planned area to build one. There is no planned space to build a hospital. It is again the same for industrial zones, fair services and congresses. We lack infrastructure and therefore need an investment basket. According to our development plan there will be hotels, residences, offices and shopping areas in the region. The business center of Izmir will move. The investor will know where to invest” Kocaoğlu stressed. FOLLOWING STEPS OF THE PROJECT Stating that the project is only the first leg, Kocaoglu mentioned their projects for the Inciraltı area. “The second leg is Inciraltı. It needs planning. It is 570 hectares. Right after March 31, we will immediately start planning according to the final situation of the EXPO bid.” Indicating that he was clear about the planning of the area, he said: “Yet we, as Izmir residents will make a decision together.” THERMAL WATER OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES He said “We also have a peninsula. It is 171,000 hectares. We will decide where to do what under the light of the development plans of the local municipalities. We have thermal water in Seferihisar. We can use it in electricity production and greenhouses. It can also be used in thermal spas. A technology park is sure to be developed. We will create a projection of the investment possibilities in the region.” IZMIR EAGER TO HOST EXPO 2015 “We have another year ahead,” said Kocaoğlu. “We are producing clear solutions on the problems we have. This year, we will prepare our city for EXPO 2015. The foundations will be laid. The rest will happen spontaneously. We will end the transportation problem of İzmir with the construction of the subway. We will enable uninterrupted transportation from the Aliaga area to the airport. A natural habitat park spanning 425 acres, a new fair center and a congress hall with a capacity of 5,000 people will be completed.” BUSINESS PEOPLE SUPPORT THE PROJECT Izmir Chamber of Commerce (IZTO) Administrative Board Member Necmi Caliskan, said, “Izmir is stuck in Alsancak. Therefore, a new axis should be created. Though, this should not be limited to the Port Rear project. It is surely a very important and correct decision. Yet, the districts lying behind like Tepecik and Gurcesme should also be planned. Via multi-layered central planning in that region, a lot can be achieved for Izmir. Making offers for big blocks of lots and building high-rise buildings will help renovate the city center.”

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