PROPERTY developer, WestProp Holdings Limited (WHL) has said the entrance to its Pomona City project would be completed by month-end as the firm seeks to turn its “city within a city” concept into reality and transform Harare’s property market.
The Pomona City project is an infrastructural development situated on a 273-hectare piece of land that will offer a secure gated premium lifestyle that will be premised on the “city within a city” concept and be a smart city.
A smart city model relies on the concept of live, work, play and shop. It uses cutting-edge information and communication technologies throughout all its economic spheres to make the most of its pre-existing infrastructure, including roads, buildings, government departments and ecosystems.
WHL chief executive officer Kenneth Sharpe said the entrance to Pomona City was equipped with a sales house, guard room, artificial intelligence gadgets and a green energy charge room to power the facility and surveillance cameras.
“We are introducing new facilities and attractions to the development. We have copied from the best practices globally. We are not only selling residential stands. We are offering an investment in a lifestyle community where you live, work, shop and play,” he said.
Some individuals who bought the stands have already started building their properties.
WHL said it had employed “world renowned” architects to work on the masterplan and build structures to make the development a fusion of cultures and very cosmopolitan.
The lifestyle community development combines use of technology, communal living spaces and unique social amenities that differentiate the estate from the traditional suburban designs. The social amenities are exclusively reserved for the owners of properties to preserve privacy and uphold value.
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WHL seeks to emulate infrastructure developments and designs of Dubai, a United Arab Emirates city, in building Pomona City.
According to WHL, Pomona City land area has a market value of US$105 million and is the most expensive project it is currently developing.
“We believe Dubai has the quality and excellence that we can bring to Zimbabwe. We are walking our talk. We believe in being disruptive,” Sharpe said.
On phase two of Pomona City, WHL will introduce a leasehold model that makes acquisition of property much cheaper as it removes the bulk cost of the land.
This involves the property owner only acquiring the building and leasing the land from the developer.
“The affordability is much easier when one commits resources to the built-up unit only and not the land. The cost of land has been an inhibiting factor in property ownership,” Sharpe said.
The property owner is expected to pay US$50 to $200 a month in land rentals with the lease valid for up to 50 years and is renewed perpetually.
The rights of ownership to the land are separate so that the property can be transferred when selling the building or giving it to the homeowners’ beneficiaries.
“The affordability aspect is much easier when a homeowner commits their funds to building their home and not the land. The cost of land has been an inhibiting factor in property ownership and rapid growth of the market,” Sharpe said.
WHL is working on creating a real estate valued from US$1 billion up to US$5 billion on its land banks.
Apart from Pomona City, other major projects under WHL are Pokugara Residential Estate, Millennium Heights, The Mall of Zimbabwe, and Millennium Heights Office Park and the Hills Golf Estate.