The grand entrance to the US$4 billion Pomona City ‘within a city’ project will be officially opened end of this month, signalling WestProp’s commitment to the construction of the massive gated mixed-use community.
Chief executive officer Mr Kenneth Sharpe is upbeat with the development and has promised “a changed face of Harare”.
The entrance gatehouse is equipped with a sales house, guard room, artificial intelligence gadgets and a green energy charge room to power the facility and surveillance cameras.
“We are introducing new facilities and attractions to the development. We have copied from the best practices globally. We are not only selling residential stands. We are offering an investment in a lifestyle community where you live, work, shop and play,” he said.
Some individuals who bought stands at the development have started building their properties bringing to reality the Pomona dream.
The investment makes the development one of Zimbabwe’s most massive single infrastructure capital injections.
Dubbed a city within a city because of its attributes that bring all urban aspects of life, work, shop and play into one community, Pomona City sets to be a significant prototype development that would be copied and replicated by other developers.
World-renowned architects were engaged to work on the master plan and building structures, making the development a fusion of cultures and very cosmopolitan.
The lifestyle community development combines the use of technology, communal living spaces and unique social amenities that differentiate the estate from the traditional suburban designs. The social amenities are exclusively reserved for the owners of properties to preserve privacy and uphold the value.
Infrastructure developments and designs at Pomona City mirror the ones largely found in Dubai, with traits similar to the ones in modern world capitals.
“We believe Dubai has the quality and excellence that we can bring to Zimbabwe. We are walking our talk. We believe in being disruptive,” he says.
One of the unique features of the Pomona City phase 2 is the introduction of the leasehold model, a “completely new feature in Zimbabwe but very common in developed economies”.
The leasehold model makes the acquisition of property much cheaper as it removes the bulk cost of the land. The property owner only acquires the building and leases the land from the developer.
“The affordability is much easier when one commits resources to the built-up unit only and not the land. The cost of land has been an inhibiting factor in property ownership”, says Mr Sharpe, who is pioneering the model.
The property owner is expected to pay from as little as US$50 to $200 a month in land rentals. The leases are valid for up to 50 years and are renewed perpetually (forever) with the rights of ownership to the land separate so the property can be transferred when selling the building to any buyer or giving it to the homeowners’ beneficiaries.
“The affordability aspect is much easier when a home owner commits their funds building their home and not the land. The cost of land has been an inhibiting factor in property ownership and rapid growth of the market”, he says.