Leveraging on the pool of financial services companies at Fairgrounds in Gaborone, a joint venture between property developers Stocker Fleetword-Bird (SFB) and asset manager, Bifm, is building a state of the art project that will transform the capital city.
Henry Fleetwood-Bird, a co-director at SFB, told Sunday Standard on Friday that the 12-month project is expected to be delivered by May 2010 as contractors, BJ, are on target to bring Fairgrounds Financial Centre to life.
“The name (Fairgrounds Financial Centre) is to keep in touch with financial institutions already operating at Fairgrounds,” Fleetwood-Bird revealed.
The centre that would have cost about P35 million when complete next May will be more retail, with banks and restaurants.
Already two units have been sold to local companies that want to diversify away from stocks and now moving to property as an asset class.
The other units will be used by the joint venture and Fleetwood-Bird said that they are working on tenants.
Already, Fairgrounds boasts of well established financial services companies, including the IFSC and its accredited companies, Bifm (Botswana Insurance Fund Management), Investec, Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), Stanbic, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) amongst the heavyweights.
The two joint venture partners have had presence in property development in the country lately. Fleetwood-Bird has been involved in projects like the 134 house at Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) project in Gaphatswa and BSE.
Bifm and its consortium (Bongwe) recently delivered the P50 million Office of the Ombudsman and the Land Tribunal at Mail Mall in Gaborone while, together with another consortium, Bifm has delivered the SADC headquarters at the Central Business District (CBD).
Fleetwood-Bird added that they are also looking for opportunities at the CBD, which has seen activity lately.
“All the plots (at the CBD) have been allocated and we are waiting for people to approach us,” added Fleetwood-Bird.
CBD and Fairgrounds development are some of the projects that will transform Gaborone and probably make retail property cheaper.
However, Fleetwood-Bird has a different view as he thinks Gaborone has enough shopping malls.
“Because of the financial crisis, people held back on speculating,” he pointed out.
Fairgrounds Financial Centre is a four storey building that will be ready for letting by April 2010.