Around 1,100 people are set to get employment with the construction of the much 4th Phase of Wernhil Park Shopping Centre.
Broll Namibia, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group on Monday officially launched the construction of the project by means of a groundbreaking ceremony officiated by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Hon. Sophia Shaningwa and the Mayor of the City of Windhoek, His Worship, Cllr. Muesee Kazapua.
At a cost of round half a billion Namibian dollars, Wernhil Park Phase 4 will be developed in two sections. Section one will entail the conversion of the current upper parking deck located on the southern side of Wernhil Park, into prime retail shops, and is expected to be complete and open for trade by the 1st of June 2018.
Expected to be fully completed by mid-2019, the construction of the new phase will, according to Managing Director of Broll Namibia, Marco Wenk ensure Wernhil Park will exceed 55,000m2 of prime retail, allowing it to compete head on with other regional malls located in Windhoek's ever expanding retail landscape.
According to Wenk, section two will entail the bulk of the development (consisting of retail, parking and an additional taxi rank facility) on the current Cashbuild and Fruit & Veg site as well as the bridge link to be constructed over Fidel Castro Street, connecting Sections 1 and 2. Wenk: "Wernhil Park has for many years been a crucial catalyst for Windhoek's Central Business District (CBD) growth, and today, regardless of the retail expansion in Windhoek over the past 3-5 years, still stands as one of the preferred shopping destinations for many Namibians.
Over the years, Wernhil Park has seen several stages of growth which includes three phases having been added to the original mall since 2005. This falls in line with Broll Namibia's commitment to enhancing the shopping experience and keeping the experience on par with international standards."
During his address, O&L Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme called on all partners to join hands in creating a sustainable economic future for Namibia.
Cllr. Kazapua said that Windhoek's surroundings CBD in particular is on a revival mission with key existing and upcoming developments and refurbishments taking centre stage.
"We have seen the B1 City opposite Katutura Hospital come to fruition; the extension of the Western Bypass, and the B1 road between Windhoek and Okahandja is progressing at a rapid rate. Developments within the CBD include the multi-million dollar phased refurbishment of the Gustav Voigts Shopping Centre; the Hilton Garden Inn; the mixed-use 77-On-Independence (majority owned by O&L); the FNB Head Office; and the City Junction at the corner of John Meinert and Mandume Ndemufayo Streets, just to mention but a few. These mixed developments have certainly face-lifted our CBD area and is a clear testimony that our business community is positively responding to the City's call to revitalize the CBD. Today marks another significant milestone not only in the history of Namibia's first mall, but also our CBD," he said.
"As we break ground for construction of Wernhil Park Phase 4 today, I am reminded of the continued confidence of the business community to invest in the Windhoek economy. Allow me therefore, to extend on behalf of the City of Windhoek, my sincere gratitude and admiration to the O&L Group under the vested leadership of Mr. Sven Thieme and his ever dynamic team, for believing in us and cultivating a strong and trusted relationship and partnership with the City of Windhoek," he added.
Hon. Shaningwa during her keynote address emphasized the value that Partnerships play in the future of Namibia. Shaningwa, "We need to adopt a culture of camaraderie that enables levels of affinity and cooperation amongst Public Private Partnerships to take the Namibian House to heights unimaginable.
Shaningwa further said that infrastructural development plays a significant role in growing the local economy.
"When I look at the effort made by some of our local leading players in the private sector, I cannot help but sing praises to those who grasp the reality that government alone cannot achieve Vision 2030, the National Development Plan, or the President's Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), but that the input from the private sector and the nation at large plays such an important role in the success of the future of our country," she added.
Caption: F.L.T.R - Broll Namibia Managing Director, Marco Wenk; O&L Group Chief Executive Officer, Peter Grüttemeyer; O&L Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme; Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Hon. Sophia Shaningwa; Mayor of the City of Windhoek, His Worship, Cllr. Muesee Kazapua; CEO of City of Windhoek, Robert Kahimise, and Hans-Peter Schulz from Namibia Construction.