KNIGHT Frank’s long-awaited $10 million refurbishment of Princess Business Suites, an extension of the Bulawayo Centre Shopping mall, has been finally completed, Southern Eye Business has established.
Knight Frank managing partner Oswald Nyakunika confirmed the project has been completed.
Nyakunika said Knight Frank was only waiting for occupancy certificate from the city council to officially open the mall extension.
“The project has been completed and we are waiting to be issued with the certificate of occupancy by the city council,” Nyakunika said.
“They (council officials) need to come and inspect and after that we can start putting people in. The mall has got seven shops on the ground floor and three floors offices.”
The refurbishment project entailed the redevelopment of Princes Business Suites, previously a block of flats, which would be linked to the original Bulawayo Centre shopping mall along Fort Street.
Princess Business Court is adjacent to the shopping mall. The extension project started over a decade ago.
According to the company, the project is aimed at providing a one-stop shopping centre for the city in a bid to change shopping patterns for Bulawayo shoppers who were used to driving from one shop to the other.
The development was in three phases. The first phase took three years and was completed in 1997.
It comprised 55 shops on two levels and business suites on three levels.
Thereafter, the company embarked on the second phase of the project which involved the refurbishment and redevelopment of Princess Court into several shops and business suites.
It initially supports to be ready for occupation by December last year.
The suites will be linked to the shopping mall by a flyover across 9th Avenue.
There will be escalators and panoramic lifts to assist circulation of shoppers through the whole centre.
Recently, Nyakunika lamented the high rental default rate, saying it was affecting the industry.
He ruled out any rent increases in the short-to-medium term, but hoped there would be new players offering mortgage finance.