The building opposite PIDC…

Someone asked recently about the status of the unfinished building opposite PIDC.. which was supposed to be Hyatt Regency Hotel in Karachi. This building was sadly never finished, and has since become a momument in its own right. Recently, it was acquired (land and all) by the National Commodities Exchange Company, for their head office location. Its been almost six months i think since the takeover, but no results have been shown yet as to its make-over or reconstruction. Here’s what this building looks like today.



Still the same as it did 20 years ago i believe.

Over the years, i’ve heard many stories about this building some of which i thought i’d share here. It is reputed to be a very good ‘dating spot’ (can u believe that?!) for kids from the Govt. Commerce College, which is situated just besides it. Couples would buy food from the vendors at PIDC and spend the day at one of the many corners inside the building in complete privacy. During nights, it became a place for dares, where many people would dare others to go inside. Its also said a number of ghosts have been reportedly seen there.

Does anyone have their own stories to share about this place?

10 Comments so far

  1. yo yo (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    I always hated this graveyard of concrete. Someone told me an Arabi sheikh wanted to build a 5 star hotel but then something happened and work was stopped. It would be nice to know the correct history..anyone?? But I would be more than happy to see this structure replaced by bustling lively place.

  2. Anathema (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    accordng to rumour, soon after the bulding was auctioned, someone claimed ownership of the building who had not given their go-ahead to auction the place, and a stay order has subsequently been issued, hence construction for the Commodities Exchange has been stalled.

  3. umar (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    the building is owned by NCEL but there will be other offices in it as well. its been almost an year since they bought the structure and started renovating it, but as anathema said, the whole thing has been disputed again.

  4. inspirex (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    Well the land was under ownership of the railways and was auctioned in a pretty publicly. Anyone elses claim over the land is inadmissable even in court.

    The ncel is a fairly small organization at the moment. (under 100 in staff). It will need the premises when the exchange is cleared for operation and relevant funds are released for the purpose of real estate development.

  5. SWA (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    I think the whole architecture is best suited for a hotel rather than an office building. NCEL should try and sell it to some multinational company again.

  6. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    This building is truly what I would called an ‘Eyesore’.

    I used to hate it when I had to pass by it commuting to and from my college further down the road and that was 12-13 years back. The feeling is still very much alive.

  7. mansoor (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 1:56 pm

    yo yo: the arab sheikh would be Hyatt Regency chain of hotels i think..?

    anathema: damn :( not again!!!!

    umar: see above :D

    inspirex: small org with big goals! wow! deadly combo

    swa: it iz! i was kind of hoping they’d tear it down :S the insides would’ve rot by now!

    arsalan: man! you’ve really got issues! *no offense.. just a joke :)*

  8. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 8:14 pm

    *no offense.. just a joke :)* – Mansoor, none taken.

  9. Asif (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

    Mansoor, I had initially asked about this building in one of my comments. I haven’t been to Karachi in many years. Thanks for the pics and the info. I hope the long-running disputes are settled once and for all. Although it is an eyesore now, I can imagine it when its completed. It’s actually a very nice looking building.

    With the current interest in beautifying the city, I have an observation. Actually you can have a very beutiful city WITHOUT tall buildings. This obsession with tall buildings is a very American thing. Most European cities don’t have very tall buildings. And I prefer it that way. It’s safer, more energy efficient, and thus more Islamic. Besides, we’re not like Tokyo or Singapore, where land is very scarce and expensive. Any thoughts?

  10. mansoor (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

    arsalan: good man!

    asif: your welcome. My thoughts are… maybe it is american, but tall buildings make a city’s skyline look better, and if the buildings remain well kept… are a sign of prosperity. but then.. thats just my thoughts…

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