Dawn in $200m housing project

Michael Tome Business Reporter
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Dawn Properties Limited has started construction of the $200 million housing development of Marlborough Sunset Views in Harare.

The project entails the delivery of 354 stands with the first phase of 70 houses to be completed by December 2019, while selling is scheduled for January 2020.

Fellow ZSE-listed company Masimba Holdings is the project contractor.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Dawn Properties chief executive officer Patrick Matute said Marlborough Sunset Views places the company at the forefront of residential housing development in Harare.

“The delivery of 354 stands, with an estimated gross revenue in excess of $200 million (US$20 million at the current interbank rate), indeed fulfils that pledge we made to shareholders to become a fully integrated property company.

“While others might question the timing of the development given the current challenges, we are of the strong view that a market still exists for both first time home buyers and investors,” said Mr Matute.

Further, Mr Matute noted that the company is also looking beyond the country’s borders targeting the Diaspora market.

“Our value proposition to the Diaspora is that of a well governed company that can deliver on its promise. Our partnership with Masimba, a listed entity on the ZSE, should further enhance that value proposition.”

The project was named ‘Marlborough Sunset Views’ because of the partnership that the company has developed with the Marlborough local community since the development of Elizabeth Windsor Gardens in the past.

To that end, Mr Matute said the company will commit to finishing the upgrading of Elizabeth Windsor and Mapereke Roads while further works will be done at the sewer works to solve the current blockage challenges.

“The sunsets in Marlborough are some of the best in Harare. With a clear view, home-owners here will enjoy stunning sundowners in the comfort of their house; you can’t place a value on that if you ask me,” said Mr Matute.

Dawn Properties chairman Phibion Gwatidzo said property development plays a significant role in the growth of the local economy and this ties in well with Dawn Properties objective of creating long term shareholder value.

He said Dawn’s commitment is on achieving this goal through creating a sustainable property development business unit that meets the company’s minimum threshold for return on equity.

“The whole end game for Dawn is to be an integrated property house, providing the whole ecosystem for property investors, owners and corporates.

“As most analysts would agree, Dawn is blessed with a quality balance sheet on the asset side. However, we lack significantly when it comes to revenue generation and by focusing on property development, we are trying to cure this ailment so that in future we can deliver healthy dividends to our shareholders,” said Mr Gwatidzo.

In light of the above, Mr Gwatidzo said Dawn is now firmly set on its path of property development.

Marlborough Sunset Views according to Mr Gwatidzo is a master-planned development to be undertaken on a 300-hectare plot right here in Marlborough.

The development is located 1,6km from Harare Drive, a major route of access in the Greater Harare region, 2km from Westgate Mall and 14km from the City Centre of Harare.

He said the Marlborough Sunset Views is not just about developing stands, but creating an address which families can call home, hence the catch phrase – “A Place to call Home”.

The land under construction falls close to the Gwebi River and the company has provided sufficient buffer to protect the land and has made commitments to Marlborough Environmental Action Group (MEAG) and the Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT) on a continued future role to preserve and protect the land.

Harare City spokesperson Michael Chideme said the project was in line with movement towards a World Class City status that Harare was targeting to achieve by 2025.

“Obviously Harare is moving towards achieving a world class city status and that requires developers to come up world class property development projects.”

Dawn has over the years evolved, having been formed in 2003 via a de-merger of the PropCo arm of the then Zimsun (now African Sun).

The company has over the years acquired several land banks earmarked for housing and commercial real estate.

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