By Tawanda Musarurwa
Zimbabwe’s capital city is set for a major facelift, in view of plans by a yet to be named developer expected to construct a multi-use complex in Harare’s central business district (CBD). The piece of land where the proposed development is supposed to take place is Stand Lot 1 of Stand 715A STL, located on the corner of Jason Moyo and Third Street.
According to recent minutes of the Harare City Council’s Environmental Management Committee, the council received an application for the use of the stated property for the construction of a hotel, conference facility, Flexi offices and restaurant.
Although the said location could not be established, questions arise as to which place the hotel will be established given that the intersection of the two roads is surrounded by Old Mutual Centre, Travel Centre, Meikles Hotel and Africa Unit Square Garden.
The property is situated within zone 1B Special offices of the operative Harare City Council Local Development Plan number 22 area.
According to the minutes, the council’s director of works recommended the proposed project and a permit has already been granted.
“The director of works recommended and it was resolved that in terms of Section 26 (3) of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act, (Chapter 29:12) a permit be granted authorising the establishment of Mixed Use (hotel, conference facility, flexi offices and restaurant) on stand 715A STL subject to the conditions stipulated in the director of works’ report dated 18 May 2018,” reads part of the minutes.
To the extent that the proposed development comes through, it will mark the return of significant construction activity within the Harare’s CDB.
Harare is Zimbabwe’s leading political, financial, commercial, and communications centre, as well as a trade centre for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits.
Situated in north-eastern Zimbabwe in the country’s Mashonaland region, Harare is a metropolitan province, which also incorporates the municipalities of Chitungwiza and Epworth.
The city sits on a plateau at an elevation of 1 483 metres (or 4 865 feet) above sea level and its climate falls into the subtropical highland category.
The city needs more accommodation facilities following the coming in of a new dispensation that has seen tourists flooding the country.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority say Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is set for a rebound as arrivals mainly from traditional markets are expected to hit the three million mark by 2020.
Markets already warming up to Zimbabwe include Germany, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg among others, calling for more accommodation facilities.
ZTA chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke, recently told our sister paper Business Weekly that more hotels were needed in major centres as the country was “underhoteled”.
“The number of rooms that we have will be nothing given the demand we are going to experience in the next two to three years. We need to increase the number of rooms.
“In Harare we need 1000 rooms, that means we have to build three 300-roomed hotels. In Victoria Falls we need 2000 rooms more, that is six or more 300-roomed hotels and 500 rooms in the Eastern Highlands. Tourism is going to boom like a volcanic eruption.”