Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hunt for investors set to resume as BNOC seeks new offices

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) says it intends to start building its own state of the art offices in the very near future.

Just a few months after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach unveiled a foundation stone at the plot in his visit during the 2nd Africa Youth Games, the BNOC is said to be now ready to start the project.

According to the BNOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho, the committee already has a concept architectural prototype of what it wants to build and the hunt for potential partners in the project is expected to start in earnest this coming year.

Speaking in an interview, Serufho said the intention by the BNOC is to build a multi-purpose sports centric facility at the plot.

“The idea is to first and foremost build offices to house the BNOC. We also intend to build an Olympic Museum, a conference centre, accommodation area for athletes, five-a-side football field as well as a swimming pool among others,” the BNOC CEO explained.

He said the reason for such a multi-purpose office park is to ensure that the project can be self-sustainable once it is finished.

According to Serufho, so far, almost all the logistical necessities for the project have been met and the BNOC already has an idea of the estimated costs of the project.

With the said two hectares huge Block 6 plot situated in a residential area, the BNOC CEO said they have already consulted with responsible Ministries and Government Departments to change the plot’s use from residential, a move which has already been approved.

With all these now done, Serufho said the BNOC now intends to start advertising for an expression of interest from potential investors.

“Considering the magnitude of this project, we are considering two options to build it. The first option we are considering is what we call ‘build, operate and transfer.’ Under this process, we will find a developer and sign a lease with him/her to develop the plot. The developer then will sign an agreement to use the plot for a certain period until he has recovered all the costs incurred in building the project before they then hand it back to the BNOC as the owners. During the time the plot is under the developer, all the BNOC will have will be offices,” Serufho said.

Another option, according to the BNOC CEO will be a Public Private Partnership. Serufho said under this option, the BNOC will call for potential partners to come on board and put forth some of the necessary capital to help build the project with the partner due to be paid his monies back in the long run.

Despite having a concept of how they want the BNOC Office park to look like, Serufho said the committee will be flexible enough to accommodate the view of potential investors or partners should they need alterations to the concept.

On how the project will be built, Serufho said given how big the project is expected to be, the idea is that it be built in different phases.

“We will probably opt to build the office blocks first before proceeding with other developments within the plot. This will however depend on the availability of funds or even on how our partners, investors or developers deem financially viable first,” he explained.

Should things go according to plan, Serufho said the intention was to have the BNOC having its own offices by 2016 as per its 2016 Strategy. He however said given the time left to 2016, the committee will sit down and assess whether the target is feasible.

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