Yoliswa Dube, Senior Reporter
CONSTRUCTION of upmarket townhouses worth $1.8 million has begun in Bulawayo’s Hillside suburb following a ground breaking ceremony late last year.
The project, which is an investment by a consortium of Zimbabweans based outside the country, is set to be completed by June 2018 with each unit projected to cost about $155 000.
Comfort Creek Land Developers chief executive officer and head of the Zimbabwean Diaspora Network in North America, Mr Pedzi Makumbe, said the building of foundations and perimeter walls for the houses had already begun.
Mr Makumbe said the water system had since been erected and workers were staying on site to ensure construction progresses well.
“You can invest in Zimbabwe and things can work. The more people invest, the better the country does and the better everyone does. That’s our primary interest with this project.
“We do invest in properties in Washington DC as well and the returns are just about the same without the hassle of dealing across continents of course,” he said.
The townhouse development is the company’s first project, which could open doors for more investment in the country.
“The idea was born out of a need to invest money back home. Everyone remits money back home for one reason or the other. So we decided to invest in property. We went through the process of buying the land, getting approval from the Bulawayo City Council and so forth and now we’ve started construction,” said Mr Makumbe.
He said his company was working with local realtors, Stonebridge Real Estate and John Pocock and Company, who will be selling the properties once they are complete.
“We have a website, which has more information about the project. We’re also on Twitter and Instagram because we want to be transparent during the whole development process,” said Mr Makumbe.
The development project, Leandar Villas, is set to have 12-three bedroomed housing units enclosed in a complex.
According to Mr Makumbe, the network hired a Washington-based designer and collaborated with a local architect from HNB Simela Architects.
Statistics show that more than three million Zimbabweans live outside the country and contribute about 10 percent to GDP through remittances.
The housing project also dovetails with the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, which points out housing as one of the key issues the country intends to address. Housing development is a key result area of Zim-Asset, which targets construction of 125 000 housing units with an annual target of 25 000.