His Excellency, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, on 26 October laid the foundation for the N$92 million Keetmanshoop Retail Centre, which is being developed by financial services giant Old Mutual.
The Centre boasts a total of 10,000 m2 of gross lettable space, of which 95% will be for retail and the remaining 5% for office space. Old Mutual's own offices in the southern town will be relocated to the Centre when it opens towards the end of 2013. Already, 87% of the lettable space has been taken up by tenants whilst negotiations with more potential tenants to take up the remaining retail space, are at an advance stage. Confirmed retail tenants include, amongst others, Shoprite, OK Furnishers, Hungry Lion, Shoprite Liquor, Edgars Active, Jet, Legit, CAN, Foschini, Markham, Exact! and Mr. Price.
The Centre, which was designed by Hugo Scheepers & Augustinho Ferreira architects, is being constructed by NMC Construction Namibia. Other professionals working on this project include Dawid Nel Quantity Surveyors as quantity surveyors and Windhoek Consulting Engineers as engineers. The new Centre is scheduled to open for trading in November 2013, well in time for the 2013 Christmas shopping season.
Speaking at the occasion, Managing Director for Old Mutual Africa Operations, Johannes !Gawaxab, reiterated Old Mutual's commitment to fostering sustainable economic growth and eliminating poverty by partnering other key players in the economy. !Gawaxab highlighted the need for the private sector to invest in long-term commercial opportunities in order to secure the future, adding that "... investing in economic and social infrastructure should never be seen as a technical process, but rather as an opportunity to mobilise people to create a new society and expand economic opportunities". !Gawaxab concluded by appealing to all stakeholders to support the project so as to ensure its successful fruition as planned.