Despite the economic slowdown in 2009, Baltimore-based Development Design Group Inc (DDG) saw a substantial increase in its offshore portfolio to 90 per cent, compared to the company’s typical 30-40 per cent of work outside the US. Whilst figures for 2009 were down at year-end in terms of volume of business, the year’s strong showing in project awards provided a very creditable and solid base from which to begin this year.
“I see no reason why we shouldn’t see a continuation in the rise of our offshore work,” says Roy Higgs, CEO & Senior Partner of DDG. “Overall, we finished 2009 cautiously optimistic. Our key goals for 2010 are to expand our key initiatives of DDGsports, DDGgraphics and DDGgreen.
Two years ago, the company expanded its DDGinteriors operation due to client demand. DDG continues to carry out a lot of hospitality and high-end residential and resorts developments, and the division has proven to be an unqualified success, with a bulging order book.
DDG continues to work closely with its client Old Mutual on the Zonk’izizwe project in South Africa, a branded mixed use, sustainable town centre development located between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The project was recently selected by the
Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as one of 16 real estate projects on six continents that will participate in the Climate Positive Development Program. DDG is also working with Old Mutual on Phase 2 of The Zone at Rosebank, Johannesburg.
The award-winning Istinye Park remains one of the company’s standout projects, due largely to its ‘hybrid’ nature with lifestyle, residential, retail and other uses performing seamlessly and in perfect synergy. The combination of unique merchandizing zones, major international brands and different architectural experiences have contributed to the numerous national and international awards bestowed on Istinye and ‘the’ place to hang out. Several other projects throughout Istanbul are in various stages of construction including Alpella Youth City (including Ülker Arena) and Akbati, both slated to open in 2011/2012.
The success of Istinye Park has driven other projects as well. Work is due to start in May/June on the Mall of Istanbul in Turkey, a huge mixed use scheme that will be a major project for DDG right through to 2011, whilst another major project in Istanbul with a significant retail component is Akasya, which will transform a former factory site into an iconic development.
“The brief for the Mall of Istanbul is that we interpret the cultural and architectural legacy of this very unique city,” explains Higgs. “Interpreting the project from an architectural and merchandising standpoint is proving to be very interesting. The entertainment element will be focused in such a way that it will be reflective of an enjoyable time whilst reinforcing the city’s cultural legacy, so young people will in effect be learning while they have fun.”
For the full article, please see the May 2010 issue.