A new mega commercial complex in the capital, the Kigali Heights has set November as opening date for the multi-million property.
Construction of the modern commercial and office complex located adjacent to the Kigali Convention Center in Kimihurura kicked off in February 2014.
According to Denis Karera, the managing director of Kigali Heights all that remains are final touches.
“The grand opening of Kigali Heights is expected very soon; we actually have the tenants in and by November 1st, we will open all the shops here.”
The facility has already attracted big retail brands and banking institutions in the country, region and beyond. These include Javas House cafe, Mr. Price, Bosini, Simba Supermarket and Ecobank among others.
Karera was speaking to the media, yesterday, shortly after the property tour by a delegation of overseas financiers of the Kigali Heights under the Finland-based project developer and fund-managing firm, Taaleri Private Equity Funds Limited.
Antti-Jussi Ahveninen, the Head of Real Estate Funds, Africa at Taaleri Private Equity Funds Ltd said that the investors are, “very happy” with their projects.
“Kigali Heights is actually our first project in our Africa ventures and we are very happy with it. Now we are going back to the market and we are raising fund number 2 and going for a larger size in January 2017,” said Ahveninen.
“With the second fund, we will continue with our focus in construction finance. We believe very much in the Eastern Africa investment opportunity, we believe very much in Rwanda, and our experience here has been very positive. We are here to stay; it is our first project but it will most definitely not be out last,” Ahveninen emphasized.
Taaleri manages about $6 billion investments around the world and the firm is one of the largest foreign real estate construction financiers in East Africa. The firm’s two major investment target nations are Kenya and Rwanda, according to Ahveninen.
Ahveninen, did not disclose the capacity of the second fund to be invested in the country but he noted that, “we intentionally kept our first fund small so that we can control the projects better. But now the appetite we have in Europe—for the European investors to bring their money here through the fund structure is phenomenal.
“The second fund should be four to five times bigger than the first fund we invested. This reflects our strategy here in Rwanda; we are no longer looking at a single project, we are looking at several projects in residential, offices, commercial and retail property as well.
According to Ahveninen, the conducive investment climate has made investors feel “comfortable” to consider investing more in country.
“Rwanda is a friendly country. For us we are extremely comfortable investing in Rwanda. The other thing is; when we go out to Europe and speak to investors, everybody loves the story of Rwanda and why wouldn’t they? It is a fantastic story. Our mandate allows us to invest anywhere. We have invested in many countries in Sub-Saharan, but Rwanda is among the top two countries we would love to invest in.”
Speaking about Kigali Heights, Ahveninen said that, “you could take this building, place it in central London and it would be one of the best buildings there. So the quality, the design and the location are absolutely topnotch. But again, when you look around Kigali, this is how this country is developing. Rwanda is very quality conscious; very conscious on functionality and Kigali Heights ticks on that.”
According to Charles Haba, managing director of Century Real Estate Rwanda, the letting and management agency for Kigali Heights, over 90 per cent of the available retail and 40 per cent of office space have already been booked, with high optimism that the remaining 60 per cent shall be taken up once the facility has been opened.
The complex also has parking facilities for over 300 vehicles.