Checkered Sanayeh building to come down?

For years, an odd checkered building has been lying abandoned across the street from the Ministry of Interior on Spears Street. Recently it was covered in green canvas. This often means preparations for demolition as we witnessed earlier this year with the landmark Clemenceau building, which is now gone.
The Sanayeh building has some interesting features including the checkered facade:
And arched windows:

The designer had some interesting influences to say the least. And as the building looks to be quite old, it must have been even more of a shocker in its day.
The location is near Sanayeh public garden, next to a relatively new mosque and across the street from both the ministries of information, tourism and interior. See red arrow:

This high security area doesn’t lend itself to photography, so I just took a few shots from the car, which explains the pretty bad compositions. Note security barricades everywhere.

I’m sure this building has an interesting story. If anyone knows anything about it or its fate, please share in the comments. 
I’ll try to get some better pictures in the meantime. 
UPDATE Nov 2, 2013: This post has led to so interesting revelations about the building’s old occupants and the developers plan. Read more in this new post.

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