Wednesday, May 25, 2022

BDC tower aims to create Botswana landmark

The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) said on Friday its new property development at Fairgrounds will give the country an “iconic” status that will be remembered by tourists that visit the country.

The Fairground Precinct that will include a 4-star hotel, 15 storey towerÔÇöthe tallest building in Botswana — and shopping arenas will add to the new skyscrapers that will slowly transform the City of Gaborone.

“We want to make something iconic. In every town, there is a landmark you will always remember,” said Letsweletse Ramokate, Manager, Property Division at BDC. “We want to create something that will linger on the minds of visitors (to Botswana) for a long time,” he added.

The new development will be built in two phases with the first one expected to commence as soon as it gets approval from city authorities. Phase 1 will include a tower and three buildings at a price of P460 million. The first phase will also come with the hotel.

The tower will ensure that people capture the view of Gaborone Dam and it fits well within climatic conditions of the country.

The second phase will then follow. The project will be built on BDC’s 33, 000 m2 piece of land around Fairgrounds and already it is 60-75 percent let with a mix of tenants.

Ramokate said by bringing a wide range of services in one piece of land, it gives BDC ‘the ability to bring the economies of scale’. This will also create conducive environment for businesses operating in the area.

BDC, which is government’s investment arm, has invested heavily in property across the country through its subsidiaries, but this project is headed by Ramokate and his team.

The idea, which is described as a ‘locally grown idea’ and not influenced by other centers around the world, especially Dubai, will be built on the organisation’s ‘mandate of leading’ and then others taking leaf from it.

It is expected that the project will project BDC on the future path it wants to take.

It is hoped that Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). However, the idea is not to copy the concept of a CBD.

“In every town, there is a CBD and a commercial centre,” clarified Ramokate.

If the City Council approves BDC plans, the first phase of the project will take 3 years to complete.

To make the project unique, Ramokate said they will adopt a building grading in terms of Green Star rating although it has cost implications.

“We intend to have this building graded,” he said, adding that the grading will come at a cost.

The Green Star rating is an environmental concept, which is aimed at ensuring that the developments are environmentally conscious.
Under the plan, the building will use less energy for ventilation and lighting purposes while at the same time building in a manner that will ensure that a reasonable amount of heat is being retained.

The project will be financed through BDC equity and funds from other financial institutions.

The development comes at a time when the Fairgrounds area is undergoing some dramatic changes to position it as a top financial centre in the region.

To support the project, a dual carriage road and traffic lights are to be installed along the Tlokweng and Samora Machel roads to improve access to the area.


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