Excerpt:

The New York Times' profile of the CityCenterDC project has mostly nothing new in it if you've been following the huge downtown project at all. But it does include this fascinating nugget about the requirements of its Qatari investors:

Even before the Qatari investors became involved, Hines and Archstone determined that leasing to banks would not help them create lively shopping streets, Mr. Alsup said. But as it happened, their hesitancy on bank branches meshed with the policies of their financial partners, who adhere to the restrictions of Shariah, or Islamic law, including the ban on collecting interest. Restaurants will be able to serve liquor, but retailers whose primary business involves selling alcohol will not be allowed, Mr. Alsup said.

In their marketing materials, Hines and Archstone say they intend to provide "an authentic place for urban residents to socialize outside their homes."


Read the complete original version of this item...