Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New CBD buildings transform retail and office market

The CBD in Gaborone continues to change the dynamics in the retail and office market with state of the art buildings sprouting, altering the city’s skyline.

This past week saw the official launch of the relatively new Exponential building.

The eight-storey P78 million citizen-owned building, better known for its flashing lights at night, sits across the street from Masa Centre which houses the Lansmore hotel.

“Getting citizens to raise the P78 million capital needed to complete the property makes it one of the most commendable business models in the 21st century,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Dorcas Makgatho-Malesu when officially opening the property.
She said it was a celebration of hard work and spirit of enterprise.

Built on an area covering 9,872 square meters and a total let-table space of 7,856 square meters the building took off after a required capital of P78 million was invested by local companies and individuals.

“This project is a clear example of true enterprise and what collaboration between citizens can do to contribute to the economic development of the country,” Makgatho-Malesu said.

She said the architects of the project envisioned and interrogated how best they could usher a new debt free business model with zero capital from banks and other financial institutions. The minister said it was rare to hear of projects of this magnitude without loans and huge debts.

“The initial investment that you raised as individuals and corporates has given your consortium a premier property almost double in value.”

With construction industry and property experts as shareholders, Makgatho-Malesu said, it was easy to negotiate the best deals for the property.

Engaging reputable and established contractors meant that the project was completed within time and budget at the right quality, the minister said.

“Business development, creativity and innovation are the heart of our Economic Diversification Drive initiative which aims to promote the growth of a vibrant and globally competitive private sector,” she said, adding, “all over the world the private sector is regarded as the engine of growth because it has the capability to create sustainable employment and economic diversification.”

The Exponential building, currently housing 10 tenants, offers a variety of office space. It is one of the most recognisable properties in the CBD.

“Exponential’s international standard workspace provides a platform for its occupants to project a professional and ambitious image to grow and confidently branch into new markets,” said the chairman, Dumi Lopang.

He said because the property is managed “on-site”, the corporate premises ensure that occupant needs are met and attended to.
This, he said, will allow the tenants to focus on their core business and enjoy luxury of the high class premises. Exponential is owned by 61 citizens and is valued at more than P122 million.

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