Windhoek’s thirst for accomodation remains unquenched

By By Jemima Beukes
October 2011
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Property developers in Windhoek seem to be grappling with an insatiable demand for both business and residential accommodation as evidenced by the scramble for occupancy or acquisition of office space and accomodation well before the completion of the property.

The N$33m City View residential and commercial complex constructed by the Convic Property Development Investment Solution (CPDIS), in Windhoek West, is one of the latest developments in the capital and has only four residential units remaining out of the 36 units. Ten out of the 16 office accomodation units are already sold.

Con Brand, co-owner of CPDIS comments, “We only made use of Namibian workforce, the Chinese contractors, of course, were cheaper, but we used only local construction workers for our project and our suppliers are also local people.

“The project is worth a lot of money which is ploughed back into the economy and simultaneously provide jobs for many other people. One hundred local people are gainfully employed in the project.”

Victor Liebenberg, a business partner with Brand contends that the new development has considerably boosted the value of surrounding residential and commercial properties, and is certain to lend an upmarket flair to the rather conservative suburb.

“The prices of residential properties surrounding the complex have doubled. This is traditionally a cheaper area and this building has added a lot of value to the whole area which will be good for future developments.”

Liebenberg said the scenic view from this complex is the main attraction to residents and tenants, and its proximity to the city.

“It is not in the CBD and not too far from town either and it is a good development too. It is just a few minutes’ drive or a short walk into town”.

The two- storey building built on a slope will have provision for 100 parking bays for residents and tenants,and limited facilities for disabled people.

According to Brand, the positioning of the two level building makes it costly to provide special features like ramps for disabled persons while the number of floors makes it uneconomical to install an elevator.

Each unit has its own balcony of 9 square metres. A bachelor’s flat is 43 square metres, one bedroomed flat 64 square metres and a two bedroomed flat is 86 square metres. Prices for these properties range from N$ 399 000 to N$ 750 000.

Tenants who have already purchased apartments in the commercial wing of the building include several doctors, a dentist and a coffee shop owner.

A unique and green element of this property is the ventilation system on the roof designed to cool the complex naturally and not the elecricity driven air conditioners.

The heavy rains that pounded most parts of the country soaked the completion schedule of the project while the erratic supply of building materials further pushed the occupation time to January 2012 instead of August this year.

Says Brand, “The biggest problem in the construction industry is the availability of building materials. We also experienced unusually heavy rains and we had to pump out water before we could continue with the laying of the foundation.”

Liebenberg adds that it is imperative to choose hardworking and reliable builders.

“There are very good builders out there but you must choose very carefully because there are some very unreliable builders as well.”

He further says the construction industry requires a lot of supervision, hard work and dedication. He also adds that proper planning is extremely important to ensure projects are completed on schedule.

“This industry has its own challenges and a lot of competition but the best one can do is to complete projects on time and provide quality buildings.”
The Convic team ventured into the property development arena in May 2010 but already has three developments tagged to their name. Their first project was the Still Waters 8-unit apartment block in Klein Windhoek worth N$5.5m. The duo also renovated the old Yllos hotel in Eros for N$900 000 and rebranded it to Hillside Exlusive Accommodation.