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Tehran Tower Project Sinking in Controversy
Travel

Tehran Tower Project Sinking in Controversy

In 2012, construction began on a 57-story hotel dubbed Tehran’s second largest tower – after Milad Tower. However, critics say the structure cannot support 57 floors, since it is being built on a 4,500-square-meter plot.
Many of the hotel’s stakeholders are also on the board of directors of Iran’s Tourist Guides Association, according to a report by Mehr News Agency. The 5-star hotel, called Fereshteh Pasargadae Hotel, started garnering attention since its inception.
The first glaring problem is the choice of area. The 235-meter structure will have a built-up area of 106,000 square meters on a narrow street in the upscale Elahieh neighborhood, which goes against the principles of urban planning. Nevertheless, the shareholders managed to get a construction permit – albeit for 44 floors.
The plot of land is in no way appropriate for a project of this magnitude.  According to construction regulations, a 5,000-square-meter plot of land can support a 20-floor structure. In other words, nearly 40 floors of the planned hotel are in excess.
The vast construction project is more than just a hotel; it is a commercial center. Upon completion, the building will have a nine-floor parking, a seven-floor shopping center, and floors dedicated to conference halls, recreational facilities and restaurants.
Another issue that has critics scratching their heads is the construction permit’s duration of validity.
“Construction permits are valid for four years, yet the hotel’s permit is valid for seven years,” said Hamidreza Khoshdel, an official at Tehran’s Civil Engineering Organization.

  Funding
The project, which will cost an estimated 4 trillion rials ($121 million), is dubbed a “national project” by its shareholders, which raises questions regarding the project’s source of funding.
Saeed Shirkavand, deputy for investment and planning at Iran’s Cultural Heritage,  Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said the private sector is responsible for securing the project’s budget.
“The government has not financially helped the project’s construction. The shareholders will have to rely on bank loans to fund it,” he asserted, adding that ICHHTO only has a supervisory role.

  Function
Another point of contention is the function of the building. While the structure is purported to be a hotel, there is still confusion over the actual function of the structure.
Inquired about the matter, Shirkavand said, “If the complex is going to function as a hotel, then it will be considered a hotel and is subject to ICHHTO standards.
“It makes no difference if the hotel begins from the 1st floor or from the 18th floor.”
There is no doubt that the construction of the hotel can only be beneficial to the tourism sector, considering the lack of hotels in the country. However, development of tourism must comply with principles of sustainable development and safety regulations.

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