Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter—
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is seeking residents’ input over the sale of a part of Harare Gardens to hospitality group, Africa Sun (Pvt) Ltd for expansion of Crowne Plaza Hotel. The development will also include a state-of-the-art conference centre among other facilities. In terms of Section 49 (4) of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12) the minister is obliged to give public notice on his intention to grant the proposed change and transfer of the created properties free from any restrictions limiting the use of land to public open space and recreation.
“Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 49 (4) of the Act of an application to change the reservation of portion of the remainder of the Harare Gardens, Harare from public open space and recreation to licensed residential (Hotel and conference Centre) and car park,” reads the notice.
“The proposal seeks to carve off a portion of the property, measuring approximately 2,205 hectares for the expansion of Monomotapa Hotel to include a conference centre, car park and ancillary uses. The remainder will retain its current use on approximately 17 hectares.”
The hospitality group intends to construct an international themed open air restaurant and a bar on two hectares stretching north into Harare Gardens covering the portion encumbered by Les Brown Swimming Pool as well as the portion measuring 2 050 square metres currently being occupied by the car park.
Africa Sun bought the land at a cost of $1,76 million.
African Sun Limited signed an agreement with Legacy Group of Hotels (Legacy), under which the South African company will manage five African Sun Limited hotels including the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
In 2010, African Sun signed a Memorandum of Understanding as a founder for the joint venture agreement for development of a shopping mall and expansion of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
In terms of the envisaged joint venture, three floors of parking, commercial shopping facilities, commercial offices, executive residential apartments and the expansion of the hotel were going to be undertaken.
African Sun Limited’s plans for the hotel expansion will also include construction of a 1 200 to 1 500-seater conference facility.
The group’s plans also include the construction of a health and Racquet Sports facilities and incorporating Les Brown Pools.
The hotel will also support and assist with the upgrading and maintenance of the whole of Harare Gardens and ablution facilities as well as relocate the entertainment recreational stage within Harare Gardens at its costs.