September 18, 2003

Fifth major development planned for Swakopmund

Details of a fifth multi-million development at Swakopmund, which was three years in the planning, were unveiled this week. Die Stadtmitte shop-office-residential project is the latest in a string of high-profile developments announced this year for the country's premier holiday and tourism resort.

These include a N$230 million waterfront development planned at Vineta Point, the re-development of the Strand Hotel into a four star, 120-room hotel by Ohlthaver and List, the development of the swimming pool complex at a cost of about N$40 million, and the development of a desert golf village with 110 erven at the Rossmund club.

The more than N$30 million Stadtmitte development, named after its prime location in the centre of the business area, is set to change the town's skyline. One of the developers, attorney Gerhard van der Merwe, said at a presentation this week that the Town Council still has to approve the architectural design of the buildings to ensure that they are in keeping with the town's distinct character. But he is confident that the plans will be approved.

Van der Merwe described the development as upmarket and unique as it is situated in the centre of town, which gives it a strong selling point. The development will stretch from Pick 'n Pay towards First National Bank on the opposite end of the block. Some estate agents raised concerns over the presence of one of Swakopmund's most popular entertainment venues next to the proposed development. The Rafters Action Pub has been sued by residents for noise pollution.

Building is set to start early next year with the shopping area completed by the end of the year. Van der Merwe said the flats will take another six months. The project will be financed by 10 developers who have formed Die Stadtmitte company. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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