Refurbishment of Lüderitz Waterfront On Track

Refurbishment of the demolished old power station at a cost of N$230 million, which is part of the second phase of the Luumlderitz Waterfront Development is on track.

The second phase of the waterfront has attracted participation of three government ministries, namely, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

About 120 people have been employed to perform various jobs – this figure is going to rise slightly next year, as more bricklayers would be required to complete the task.

“In 2009 cabinet directed these ministries to support the Luumlderitz waterfront project, to set up the institute of higher learning satellite under the auspices of the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN). About 60 percent of this project is earmarked for the promotion of education and training under the auspices of the Polytechnic of Namibia, where about 30 percent of the space provided is for indoor and outdoor sport facilities, while the remaining 10 percent will cover the Maritime Museum,” said the CEO of the Luumlderitz Waterfront, Fluksman Samuehl.

The construction of the project commenced in June 2013, and the estimated period is about 27 months at a cost of N$230 million.

Completion date for the project is expected to be the end of 2015 in line with the soon-to-be-unveiled Namibia University of Science and Technology that should start with its operations in 2016.

On 19 August stakeholders involved in the project were shown around the construction site by architect Bob Mould and the CEO of the Luumlderitz waterfront with the aim to assess progress on the old power station by the multi-disciplinary team. This was done with the purpose of allowing the media to acquaint themselves with the progress of the project and seek clarity on matters of interest and also to allow TransNamib to assess the waterfront development initiative so as to render support in favour of local economic development (LED).

“The old power station is a large historical building located at the edge of the sea, established in 1911 and listed as one of the largest buildings in Namibia. And the Luumlderitz waterfront second phase is also at an aanced stage of implementing Namibia’s first ever shopping centre, waterfront apartments and a new 70-room four-star waterfront hotel,” said Samuehl.

The CEO of the waterfront said they were excited with the development as it aims at growing the Luumlderitz waterfront and Luumlderitz as a town and not forgetting the diversity income streams which will strengthen the company’s profit margin. The Luumlderitz waterfront development concept seeks to link the central business district of the town to the water’s edge, striving to bring people to the water by connecting a series of public urban spaces through attractive pedestrian routes.

This development intervention is geared towards making Luumlderitz a student town by 2016, enhancing the town’s tourism appeal and to locate Luderitz as a significant commercial centre in southern Namibia.

The first phase of the Luumlderitz waterfront started with construction work towards the end of 2000 and was completed in 2002.

This phase consists of general shops, offices, flats, coffee shops and a restaurant.

Government initially injected about N$35 million, and of this amount about N$7 million was utilised to build non-commercial properties such as a public square where the popular annual crayfish festival is held yearly and other events of public significance, a pedestrian jetty, walkways, paving of Hafen Street, parking facilities as well as street lighting, amenities crucial for the town.

The first phase hosts some SOEs as tenants, such as the New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) office, Air Namibia and the Social Security Commission (SSC), as well as private institutions. Several SMEs are also housed in the modern business complex in town which tourists can access easily, while boat trips for leisure take place from the waterfront premises and passenger cruisers dock at the waterfront, among others.

As a result of the first phase, more corporations opened offices, including some ministries, at the waterfront and occupancy rate of rental space rose to 98 percent during the last few years.

About 75 people are currently permanently employed as a result of this phase. Of these people, about 70 percent are made up of women who are either appointed as managers representing their respective organisations or SME business owners. The Luumlderitz waterfront is clearly a catalyst for economic development for the town as well as for the greater Karas Region.

Source : New Era