Africa’s top real estate developments award winners announced at the Africa Property Investment (API) Summit & Expo 2017

Africa’s top real estate developments award winners announced at the Africa Property Investment (API) Summit & Expo 2017

The 18 500m2 Africa’s top real estate developments award winners announced at the Africa Property Investment (API) Summit & Expo 2017Kumasi City Mall is in the city of Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest metropolitan centre after Accra. The mall stands on over 15 acres and has the potential to expand up to 28 000m2. Kumasi City Mall is the first and only mall in the entire northern sector of the country. It took 24 months to develop and opened in April 2017.

Property developers, suppliers and owners recently had the opportunity to showcase their best projects and services from across sub-Saharan Africa at the Africa Property Investment (API) Summit and Expo 2017.

The API awards recognised innovation and outstanding achievement across the entire property industry in seven categories. The categories include best retail development, best mixed-use development, best commercial high-rise development, best architectural design, best green building in sub-Saharan Africa, best hotel development and best housing development.

“The calibre of entries was world class and the judges had a challenging time selecting the winning developments, which came from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda,” said Kfir Rusin, managing director of API Events, organiser of the summit and expo.

“The projects were judged on a wide range of criteria including location, infrastructure and transport access, integration into the environment, originality of the concept, technical and architectural quality, services offered, sensitivity to the local community, innovation, sustainability, corporate staff involvement, response to market demands, financial performance, occupancy, and the impact of the project on economic convergence.

“The winners and finalists as well as their respective project teams have set an exceptionally high standard for real estate developments across sub-Saharan Africa and continue to shape the African built environment landscape. API Events wishes to aid in further pushing the boundaries of excellence for African property development.” said Rusin.

Winner of the best retail development category was Kumasi City Mall, in Kumasi, Ghana.

The 18 000 m2 Kumasi City Mall is the first one stop shopping destination for Kumasi in the Asokwa region of Ghana. The project, developed by Atterbury Hyprop Investments and Delico Property Development, includes innovative features such as composite timber as cladding and breezeblock walls. The design stays architecturally sensitive to the region and includes green building features like natural ventilation, wastewater harvesting and LED lighting. The building was based on the African notion of gathering under the trees and is rooted in a Ghanaian forest analogy and the context of Kumasi. Boogertman & Partners were the architects on the project and WBHO was the main contractor.

Best commercial high-rise development winner was Accra Financial Centre in Ghana, developed by RMB Westport. The centre consists of 14 648m2 of A-grade office space in Accra, Ghana. The project was developed in line with international health and safety requirements and includes sustainable features such as energy efficient lighting solutions and isothermally insulated cavity walls to help maintain internal temperatures that reduce the building’s dependence on artificial air conditioners. The development has a ground floor retail bank, nine floors of A-grade offices, ample parking and 314m2 of retail space on the ground floor.

The winner of the best mixed-use development category was Kigali Heights in Rwanda, developed by Kigali Heights Development Company. The financier was Fusion Capital, and Century Real Estate is the property manager.

The Kigali Heights development comprises an office block with 12 750m2 of A-Grade office space, 5 250m2 of prime retail space and 300 parking bays. The 18 000m2 development was designed with flexibility and energy efficiency at its core. Green building solutions include solar powered lighting that augments the national grid and an in-house sewerage treatment plant – both firsts for any commercial building in Rwanda. The development has a series of functional spaces with a strong identity.

Best green building in sub-Saharan Africa award went to Garden City in Nairobi, Kenya, developed by Actis.

Garden City is East Africa’s first integrated residential, retail and office development. Set on 32 acres the development includes a 45 000m2 shopping mall, more than 200 residential apartments and 20 000m2 of built-to-suit office space. Developed by Actis in line with the Kenyan government’s Vision 2030 the project has sustainability at its core and features the largest solar panelled carport in Africa on the mall’s rooftop parking area. The developer’s vision was to create a “live-work-play” environment to cater to the community in the north-east suburbs of Nairobi.

The best hotel development award went to Strand Hotel, in Swakopmund, Namibia, owned by O & L Leisure, and developed by Mirage Developments and Leisure (Pty) Ltd.

The Strand Hotel has become a landmark in the coastal city. The development includes 87 luxury suites and 28 apartments, 610m2 of promenade retail space, more than 1 000m2 of conference, business and banqueting facilities as well as 1 000m2 of health and spa facilities and a restaurant. The design of the hotel meets the requirements of the local heritage council and responds sensitively to the existing indigenous landscape. To avoid directly imitating the existing architecture a functional contemporary design approach was adopted by dhk architects. WSP in Africa was commissioned to design the rational fire, piped services (gas/plumbing and drainage), mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning for the hotel.

Winner of the best housing development category was Karibu Homes in Nairobi, Kenya, and was developed by Karibu Homes, a Kenyan developer of mass market affordable housing with 1 000 homes currently under development. The developer has delivered the first community of affordable housing in Nairobi having already completed phase one of the project with 285 homes built and sold. Work on phase two has started with 500 homes under construction.  Since inception the development has had a significant systemic impact on the affordable housing ecosystem in general, with public and private institutions actively seeking to learn something from the development through site visits, panel discussions and scholarships.

Best architectural design winner was Torres Rani Towers in Maputo, Mozambique, which was designed by DSA Architects.

The Torres Rani Towers development in downtown Maputo is a two-tower structure of approximately 235 000m2. The development includes office space, a residential tower with 181 furnished and serviced flats, a two-storey secure parking garage, and a retail area that will service both towers. In the residential tower, 117 one-bedroom and studio units will be managed by Radisson Blu. Amenities include two swimming pools, a children’s play area, restaurants as well as lounges and a gym.