25 January 2013

Rwanda: Chinese Firm to Build Sheraton Kigali Hotel

Century Park Hotels and Residences Ltd, a Chinese construction firm, has acquired 7.6 hectares of land near the Tennis Club in Remera sector for development.

Solomoni Adede, the company chief operating officer, said the land will see the construction of Sheraton Kigali, a club house and villas.

The company has already started developing in the area, located in Kibiraro Zone 11, Nyarutarama cell, where a manmade Lake Nyagahene sits.

According to Lillian Mupende, the director of urban planning in Kigali City, the area totalling about 75 hectares, was planned to host a manmade lake, club house, hotels, among others, but has been unproductive for more than 10 years.

The land was owned by Bank Rwandaise de Development. KCC says Eugene Nyagahene, an investor, wanted to develop it but failed to meet environmental standards.

The company has bought 7.6 hectares for the first phase, but it plans to buy the entire land after Environmental Assessment Impact is done.

Adede told this paper that activities for the first phase have already started after the Kigali City and Rwanda Environmental Management Board gave the green light for the project.

He said construction of first phase will cost the firm more than $100m (Rwf62b). The club house will be completed by March, while some of the villas will be in place by June.

"The whole area is available for us to acquire. Kigali City has to sort out what is a wetland and what is not and then we develop it," Adede said.

'No encroaching'

Jean de Dieu Karara, the environment analyst at Rwanda Development Board, said they did mapping for the company to develop areas away from the wetland.

"If they want to extend their activities they will have to consult us," Karara said. "They said the company wants the whole land, but for us, we seek to comply with the law. We shall avoid harming environment."

KCC officials said Nyagahene, the original investor, was compensated.

But Mupende could not divulge the price tag of the land, referring this paper to the developer, who, in turn, declined to discuss the details.

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