A bold new construction project is in progress in Bulawayo’s Hillside suburb just opposite the Hillside Dams Conservancy.
Text & Photographs COMFORT CREEK
The location offers a tranquil and serene environment that’s alsoconveniently close to good schools, great shops and two golf courses. The project, Leander Villas, entails the construction of 12 three bedroom upmarket townhouses in a secure gated community. The project is an investment by a consortium of Zimbabweans based outside the country and is worth around US$1.8 million. It is set to be completed by June 2018 with each unit projected to cost about $150 000.
Comfort Creek Land Developers chief executive officer and head of the Zimbabwean Diaspora Network in North America Investment Committee, Mr. Pedzi Makumbe, said construction was in full swing with workers staying on site to ensure the project progresses at full speed. The solar-powered water system has already been installed.
The townhouse development is the company’s first project, which could open doors for more investment in the country. According to Mr Makumbe, the company hired a Washington-based designer and collaborated with a local architect from HNB Simela Architects. The architectural layout is spacious, open and functional and finishes and fittings are top quality.
“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 “but we believe Zimbabwe has more potential in the long run.”
“While the diaspora remits money back home for one reason or the other, there is a strong desire to invest back home as well. Investing in properties is an excellent opportunity for growth and development. We went through the process of buying the land, getting approvals from the Bulawayo City Council and so forth and construction is now well under way,” said Mr Makumbe.
He said his company was working with local realtors, Stonebridge Real Estate and John Pocock and Company, who are selling the properties. “We have a website – www.leandervillas.com – which has more information about the project. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (comfort_creek) and we update our readers three or four times a week. Social media has allowed us to be one of the most transparent developments in the country, and we are proud of that,” said Mr Makumbe.
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 units.