i-Towers to beat competitors as CBD’s tallest building
by The Telegraph Reporter
Gaborone is slowly seeing the construction of taller buildings, but i-Towers is expected to be the tallest when its Phase 1 is completed in December 2012.
Charles Sheldon of Premier Properties, who is marketing the 21 storey skyscraper on behalf of the developers, said the idea is to make the project the talk of town.
“The concept is to make it a landmark building,” said Sheldon. “There is nothing like this in Botswana.”
Sheldon is of the view that the landmark building will make noise like Botsalano House, the current Debswana house, at the Main Mall, which was the talk of town when he was growing up in those years.
Currently, the tallest building in the Central Business District (CBD) is Square Mart and when complete, i-Tower will be twice the size of Square Mart.
The i-Towers is built in two faces at a cost of P200 million each. The first phase of the building, which is in the fifth month of construction, comprises 1500 m2 of ground floor retail, 14 floors of offices, 3 floors of penthouses and roof top terrace.
Phase 1 is expected to be finished in December 2012.
The second phase, which will follow immediately after the first one, will include a second tower with similar accommodation and facilities and a business centre with additional 4 floors including ground floor coffee shop opening into the plaza.
The project allows companies and individuals to procure a sectional title ownership and Sheldon said the project has been selling well with only four properties left.
Already, several law firms are buying because i-Towers is located closer to the High Court and the Court of Appeal in the CBD.
The other visible projects in the CBD, which is taking longer than expected to complete, include the Masa Towers, another building that will transform the city.
Botswana Development Corporation is also building its own landmark at its plot at Fairgrounds area.
The new BDC property development will cover 33 000 square metres and it will include a 4 star hotel, shopping arenas and a 15 storey tower, which will be the tallest building in Botswana.
The development of office spaces around the city has been welcome, but concerns have been raised on the viability going forward. Some worry about the mushrooming of shopping centres.
While others see rental prices going down in the future, there are arguments that some will fall vacant as construction boom collapses.
Sheldon said as the number of office space rise in the city, it will have an impact on prices.
“There are lots of office spaces around,” he said. “There will be effects on prices, but it will not affect the CBD. It is only the offices in the periphery that will be affected.”
The building is being constructed by Murray and Roberts with 99 percent of the construction site employees representing Batswana.
This will give pride to locals that they put up the first 21 storey building. This is unlike government projects that over 60 percent of the contractors are imported from Asia.