Kigali’s landscape is set to change in the coming months following the commencement of a $200 million (about Rwf138 billion) park that will have villas, up-market apartments and hotels.
The park is to be constructed at the former Kigali City Park near Kigali Golf Course in Nyarutarama.
Century Park, which will occupy 9.6 hectares of land, will be built in two phases, with the first phase expected to take two years and then between four to six years for the second phase.
Among the businesses to be hosted at the park is a five-star Sheraton International Hotel.
Construction is set to begin in the coming days following a groundbreaking ceremony by government officials led by Infrastructure minister James Musoni and City of Kigali mayor Fidele Ndayisaba.
Hatari Sekoko, the director of Century Park Ltd, the company behind the development, said the first phase is set to cost an estimated $7 million (about Rwf4.8 billion), while the second phase will cost about $200 million and will take between four to six years to complete.
“Everything is in place for the commencement of the first phase, which will have 16 villas, two apartment blocks and a boutique hotel. These establishments will be used to test the viability of the rest of the development,” Sekoko said.
He lauded the government’s role in the project saying that they had put in place a legal framework that was useful in the calculation of risks.
Sekoko’s firm has had previous experience in developments such as Kigali City Tower and Marriot Hotel- which is currently under construction - among others.
Giving insights into the development, Eudes Kayumba, one of the architects of the project, said the park had incorporated several aspects such as environmental conservation – it will have a wetland reserve area – business environment and residential neighbourhoods.
He noted that the park was easily accessible from most parts of the city as it was centrally located between Kigali International Airport and the city centre.
On completion, it will have 200 apartment units in various categories, ranging from two to four bedrooms, Kayumba noted.
Mayor Ndayisaba commended the development, saying it fit well with the city’s medium- and long-term vision, which is aimed at driving the country toward a middle income status by 2020.
He said the change of the park’s name from Kigali City Park to Century Park was testimony of the strong partnership between the private sector and the government in developing the city.
Musoni welcomed the development, saying it fitted well with the national development strategy, especially in the areas of high-end housing and promoting the hospitality industry.
“In the high-end category of housing, the government has made efforts to ensure that the environment is conducive for investors willing to venture in the sector. It is encouraging to have investors such as Century Park venturing into the area,” Musoni said.
The minister added that the construction of Sheraton Hotel and a boutique hotel would further facilitate Rwanda’s goals of becoming a hub for conferences, meetings and leisure.
He encouraged local developers to make use of local raw materials such as granite which would drive down the cost of construction and at the same time achieve quality structures.