July 25, 2012 / 10:37 AM / 5 years ago

SODIC gets more time to develop land west of Cairo

CAIRO, July 25 (Reuters) - Egypt's government has given property developer SODIC an extra two years to complete two phases of an upscale residential development west of Cairo after it asked for more time, the company said on Wednesday.

"The New Urban Communities Authority approved the request to extend the period to five years," SODIC said in a statement referring to the third and fourth phases of its Allegria project.

Allegria, one of several new suburbs built on the outskirts of the congested capital, includes 1,200 villas and houses, according to SODIC's website.

The project covers covers 3.6 million square metres of land, or about 700 feddans. The two phases whose completion date was pushed back cover 81 feddans, the company said.

The extension follows an agreement SODIC reached with the authorities in March to develop projects on its land bank in West Cairo within three years, in a move that protected the assets from possible legal challenges.

Egypt's real estate industry was thrown into turmoil by last year's popular uprising against President Hosni Mubarak and legal challenges to state land sales, which both sapped demand for higher-end property.

SODIC, the country's third-biggest listed developer, has been spared much of the legal uncertainty over land bank ownership that damaged investor confidence in the sector.

The company said in April it had sold out all the projects it had launched since last year's uprising. (Reporting by Tamim Elyan; Writing by Tom Pfeiffer; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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