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Monday 28 February 2011

New Shopping Mall for Victoria Falls

Developers of a shopping mall in Victoria Falls have invited businesses to forward their input into the building of the structure which they say would take shopping to a new level in Zimbabwe’s premier resort town. The Mosi-oa-Tunya Gateway Shopping Mall, that will accommodate shops of all sizes, is being developed by Calwood Investments Private Limited, through their project managers, Knight Frank, who have invited prospective tenants to indicate their interest.

Knight Frank managing partner in Bulawayo, Oswald Nyakunika, said the shopping mall would be located at the intersection of Livingstone Way and Kazungula Road at the entrance to Victoria Falls town.

“The development will be highly visible and abutting these major roads from Kazungula, Bulawayo and the airport into town,” Nyakunika said. He said with store sizes ranging from 40 square metres to 1 800 square metres, the shopping mall would accommodate a full complement of shops from pharmacies to banks, to restaurants, clothing stores, hardware and electrical appliances shops.

“Customers will also have access to curio and art wares, medical suites, tour operators and travel agents, as well as an Internet cafĂ©,” he said. The largest shop will be approximately 1 800 square metres and can accommodate a large retail warehouse, a wholesale cash and carry, superstore or large supermarket.The mall is expected to service Victoria Falls and the nearby towns of Hwange and Lupane, as well as Livingstone in Zambia, Kasane in Botswana and Kazungula at the borders of Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

The estate agent expert said amenities would include ample parking in a secure environment, tastefully designed street furniture, vendor stalls and shopping benches.“The shopping mall is expected to be a blue tooth and Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing patrons to be in touch with the centre events and surf the web free of charge,” said Nyakunika. He said what makes the town attractive is that it is the centre of attraction in a vast tourist region that straddles across the borders of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

“Victoria Falls has a local population of 65 000 inhabitants complemented by tourist arrivals estimated at 300 000 per year and forecast to reach 1 million per year by 2015,” he said.The development by Calwood Investments is a giant step as the property market lumbers on a recovery path after a decade of struggling.

On the state of the property market in the country, Nyakunika said development had been affected by the liquidity crunch.“Even though development costs have stabilised there is a severe liquidity crisis and as such there are very few development projects going on.“This huge development that we are undertaking is one of the few in the country,” he said. Nyakunika said they were hoping to marry the staying power of the property market with the allure of the tourism sector.