Developers confident about Kempinski
The developers of the Kempinski Strand Hotel are confident that they will meet the Swakopmund municipality’s deadline of 1 August 2012. The municipality set a deadline at its monthly meeting in February by which construction of the hotel must begin. Should Ohlthaver & List fail to meet the deadline, it will result in a breach-penalty of N$10 000 a day.
“The approval from the aesthetics committee was achieved in August 2011. Since then, we had been working hard to round off our external design as well as focus on the interior design aspects of the hotel. One must not underestimate the time and detail required to design a hotel of this nature. Our professional team has been working hard over the past months to complete the municipal submission drawings, and we are on schedule to submit the first drawings to the Swakopmund municipality for approval within the next four weeks,” Roux-che Locke, public relations manager at the Ohlthaver & List Group, told the Economist this week.
Locke added that the group has also been busy securing the required funds for the development and once the building permit and funding has been secured, they will be in a position to commence with construction.
Based on the current schedule, construction will start on 1 August, she said.
The O&L Group asked for an extension from the Swakopmund municipality – construction is now expected to start in August and conclude on 31 March 2014. This has been the fourth time that the construction of the hotel has been delayed.
“Based on our current programme, as well as our commitment made to the Swakopmund municipality during December 2011, we are still on schedule to commence on 1 August. All parties are working extremely hard to ensure that this date is met and that no further extensions of time are required,” assured Locke.
She further said that as soon as the final design is approved, it will be communicated to the public.
“We are extremely excited about the Kempinski Strand Hotel and are just as eager to commence with this development as the public at large,” said Locke.
The development has received opposition from some members of the Swakopmund community who feel that it will have a negative impact on the Mole conservation area. A petition carrying 2000 signatures was handed over to the developers last year against the “massive size of the new complex and the fact that access to the sea will be blocked off by a development completely out of scale and character with the Mole setting.”
The initial cost estimates for the construction of the hotel is N$350 million. The hotel will consist of 87 suites and 28 apartments, a public spa and fitness centre, a heated indoor swimming pool and a public seafood restaurant. Conference facilities will include meeting rooms, a business centre and a banqueting hall which can host weddings and birthday parties.
The Kempinski Strand Hotel is expected to employ at least 350 Namibians and another 100 people at the retail outlets and restaurants.