Modern Ventures Company (MVC), the 100 percent citizen owned company, is embarking in an ambitious project to revive the northern city of Francistown which is failing to attract investment.
The intention is to develop The Northern Gateway City, a P1 billion town, which will the city’s equivalent of Phakalane in Gaborone.
The Northern Gateway City Director, Andrew Seeletso, revealed the vision dates back to 1982 when Modern Ventures Company acquired the once agricultural land with a vision to develop and give the underdeveloped city a new modern face a like Phakalane in Gaborone. However, the dream took many years to realise because the place was once an agricultural area and to transfer into urban development became a tedious process.
There are 4896 residential plots, 53 commercial plots, 35 industrial plots, 34 civic and commercial plots, 31 housing estates cluster housing, 3 mixed use plots and the golf course. A minimum of 25 000 people are expected to be housed at the new urban estate.
The envisaged projects will include residential areas, a 5 Star Hotel, Budget Hotel, Private Hospital, University/College, Up-Market Residential, Sectional Title Residential, Private Schools , Government Schools, Retirement Village, Shopping Centre, Professional Gymnasium, a mini golf course of sizable entertaining holes, offices Police Station , Transport Node and Filling Stations.
“This is a new thing for Francistown; I believe this latest development unlocks more opportunities for the northern region, benchmarked from the top end suburbs (of) Phakalane and Gaborone North,” he said.
“We are fully aware that citizens are now skeptical of parting with their monies after some reports of water and sewer challenges in Phalakane and G-North, but what I can assure prospective property owners is that we have engaged government for 13 years from the start and everything is in place”.
Francistown which is known as the ‘Gateway to the North’ is expected to benefit economically from this revolutionary development. The company has already started selling plots in Block A and 626 plots at P350 per square meter have been released. “On the first day of sale we sold 100 plots and the demand for land in Francistown is very high,” he added.
Block A which is currently being sold out is 10 percent of the total development. Phase one is self contained as it will be functional on its own. Servicing Phase I is expected to costs between P130-150 million. The expectation is to start servicing in early 2014.
Motshegetsi Masoba, the Northern Gateway City’s legal advisor said after payment of the initial 10 percent deposit, there is an intervention period of one year before transfer of title deeds. After the expiry of the intervention period the property owner is expected to pay off the balance then the he or she will get the title deed.
“We expect our clients to develop the land within the stipulated period of two years, failure to do so will attract penalties,” said Masoba. He added that all the project’s buildings will be designed according to set architectural standards to a style approved by a committee.
The Northern Gateway City owners will develop the infrastructure in phases at their own costs before handing over the whole project (at no costs) to government for maintenance.
Portion 2 of Farm 36-NQ is 945ha, is situated on the Eastern edge of Francistown sharing a boundary with the City of Francistown along Matsiloje Road. It straddles 3.8km on the Matsiloje and Tati Nickel Mine road and stretches 1.5km either side of it.
The most striking parts of this project and what makes it unique in Francistown is its focus on entertainment and commercial activities supported by auxiliary services and facilities lined to facilitate a high lifestyles not only within the neighborhoods within which all classes of life walk from, but also to a sizable population of the city in existence. A 22 ha-centrally located mall accommodating a variety of outlets will form a focal point of The Northern Gateway City.
The project comes at a time when the future of Franscistown is in limbo following news that Norilsk Nickel, the owners of Tati Nickel mine is disposing its assets in Africa. This has left worries that the mine could close if a buyer is not sought.