New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Strand Hotel Project Finally Slated for 2014

Swakopmund — Swakopmunders will have to wait a little longer until 31 March 2014 before they can appreciate the beautiful and controversial new N$350 million Kempinski four-star hotel promised by developers.

The delay in the construction of the hotel is attributed to unforeseen technical glitches that concern approval from the National Heritage Council as the area on which the planned hotel is to be erected has been declared a national heritage site. The Heritage Council only gave its approval in September 2011.

Broll Namibia, a subsidiary of the Olthaver and List Group of Companies was recently granted another extension at last week's Town Council meeting in Swakopmund.

The new deadline is 82 weeks, commencing with construction on 1 August 2012 and completion of the four-star hotel by 31 March 2014.

The new development has been in the planning and technical discussion stages since 2006, when O&L demolished its predecessor, the Swakopmund Strand Hotel.

But the planned facility has not been without controversy - as some residents have objected to the design of the structure labelling it "out of touch with Swakopmund's historical German architecture".

Residents feel the size of the structure means that it will infringe on the public access to the beach on the Mole - a popular beach site frequented by tourists and locals alike.

This will be the fourth extension since the much-publicised fanfare of the first announcement by O&L. The hotel will create employment for 300 people once fully operational.

The initial plan of 2007 was first extended to June 2011 for construction with expected completion by 31 March 2013. Then, during April 2011, a second extension was applied for by the architect on behalf of the developer for construction to start on 1 February this year for completion by October 2013

In granting the extension, the Council says if O&L fails to adhere to the new conditions of the new extension, they will be liable to pay N$10 000 a day. They must respond before 23 March 2012 to accept the new conditions.

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