CONSTRUCTION of the US$145 million Hilton Hotel and office complex along Samora Machel Avenue in Eastlea is set to begin in April next year, Streamwalk Arcade director Mr Farai Jere said. Speaking at an occasion where he was given the Hilton Harare Mixed Use development Bankable Document, Mr Jere said the project was expected to finish in late 2016.
"The five-star hotel will provide six star services. We came up with the idea after realising that there was a need to improve our tourism facilities in Harare and create a world class tourism centre," he said.
He said the project will consist of a retail component whose construction is expected to cost US$7,6 million, an office component US$38 million, the hotel, US$57 million, and basement parking US$11 million among other costs.
Speaking at the same occasion outgoing Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said the country was running out of five-star hotels and commended Mr Jere and his partners for coming up with the project.
"This is going to help in a significant way, a lot of major airlines are applying to come and operate in the country and use Harare as their hub. The location of the hotel is ideal you should link the hotel to the golf course which is paying council only US$1 a month.
"There are rules and regulations to be followed. They were created to give us order but they should be there to assist us and not hinder progress," he said.
He said the project brings excitement and economic benefits to the country in that it creates employment.
The outgoing minister said he would assist if the project faces any hurdles.
Outgoing Tourism and Hospitality Minister Eng Walter Mzembi said Government supported such initiatives.
"The project as you can see has the support of the party which forms the Government. The project would be a success if you manage the procurement process," he said.
Eng Mzembi said there was a need to visit some by-laws which were hindering development in the country.
The development, which has been touted as the Melrose Arch of Zimbabwe because of its similarity in terms of size and beauty to the one in Johannesburg, South Africa, comes with a 12-storey, 200-bed hotel, three office complexes and residential apartments.
The hotel would be built along Samora Machel Avenue on the golf course surrounding East 24 restaurant.
The hotel also comes with a conference centre with capacity to carry up to 600 delegates, basement car park with capacity to hold 1 000 vehicles, retail shops, three office blocks, eateries and residential apartments.