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Fact check: Sam Levy’s not for sale

Sam Levy’s Village mall

THE upmarket Sam Levy’s Village mall is not for sale and the US$120 million price tag on the iconic property was part of a training exercise for realtors which leaked, sources have said.

On Monday, social and online media was awash with news that the Levy family, owners of the Sam Levy’s Village mall, had engaged realtors Pam Golding Properties to sell the shopping mall for US$120 million.

The source of the news came from a presentation purportedly made to investors as an investment opportunity.

According to the presentation, the Levy family wanted a payment of US$120 million to be made offshore which would have signalled its interest in divesting from the country.

An impeccable source yesterday told NewsDay Business that the presentation was part of training exercise conducted among the Pam Golding Properties Zimbabwe staff.

“The property is not up for sale. What I was told is that there was a training exercise among the realtors on how to present and sell a property as an investment opportunity. So, Sam Levy’s Village was used as an example for the sale,” the source said.

“I don’t know how it leaked, but ask yourself this, would you really put the valuation of the shopping mall at US$120 million? It should be well over US$1 billion, given the number of expansions over the decades and the money that went into it. The owners are currently not in the country, but they found this story very amusing.”

There were fears that the family was leaving Zimbabwe taking a cue from British firms Barclays Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Deloitte.

This comes as international investors are giving Zimbabwe a wide berth owing to a slew of challenges that include currency volatility, policy missteps, corruption, disrespect of property rights and high taxation.

The involvement of Pam Golding Properties Zimbabwe was mentioned in the presentation.

“Pam Golding Properties are honoured to have the opportunity to present what the population of Zimbabwe safeguard as their most prestigious shopping complex in the entire country, non-other than Sam Levy’s Village,” part of the presentation read.

“Spread across 30 acres of prime land in the leafy suburb of Borrowdale, Harare, this once in a lifetime opportunity to own a remarkable investment portfolio is now available to the astute investor with a unique vision and we are here to help with the acquisition process.”

At the end of the presentation, Pam Golding Properties Zimbabwe sales agents Rory Anthony Levey and Kundai Masenda’s numbers were listed as the contact persons.

When reached for comment, via WhatsApp, as calls were not going through, Levey denied that Sam Levy’s Village was being sold.

“Please ignore social media [message] circulating. The property is not for sale. Your understanding and kind message is appreciated. Have a good day,” Levey said.

“Please note that the property is not for sale and has not been listed with Pam Golding Properties. An official statement was made on our Facebook page.”

According to the statement, issued on its official Facebook page, Pam Golding Properties Zimbabwe said: “We have taken note of the information circulating on social media regarding the purported sale of Sam Levy’s Village. The same was not issued out by the owners or agents and should be disregarded.”

The paper did, however, confirm from the source that Pam Golding Properties does, indeed, represent Sam Levy’s Village for some of the units on site.

Sam Levy’s Village is located in the leafy Harare suburb of Borrowdale and has, over the years, become a hotspot for property developers.

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