Mashonaland Holdings Limited and a Chinese company Touchroad International Holdings Group have today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transform, Charter House to an 80 room capacity five-star hotel and state-of-the-art restaurant facilities.
Mashonaland Holdings Chairman Ronald (Ron) Mutandagayi, during the MOU signing ceremony, said the Group’s intention is to ensure that all their properties are performing optimally and giving value to clients and shareholders.
“It is our view that one of our buildings, which is Charter House has exceeded its economic life and it is due for revitalisation hence our engagements with Touchroad through the assistance of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority,” Mutandagayi said.
Charter House, which was built in 1958, is a twelve storey red brick office block at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way.
The Mashonaland Holdings Chairman also revealed that Charter House Building, which is turning 61 year this year could no longer serve as an office infrastructure due to age.
“Similar to most buildings in the CBD, Charter House is a very old building whose functionality can no longer meet the needs of current office occupiers, as such it is our view that there is a need to relook at how best we, that is all real estate stakeholders, can rejuvenate the entire CBD,” Mutandagayi said.
“In our view our change of use proposal for Charter House to a five-star hotel is just the start to our entry into the revitalisation strategy of the Central Business District of Harare as we have medium and long term plans to be one of the key players in the facelift of the City of Harare.”
Mashonaland Holdings acquired the Francis Lorne designed building from Anglo America in 2003 as part of of a restructuring process.
Director for Legal Services in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industries, Precious Sibiya who was representing her Minister during the signing ceremony commended the Mashonaland Holdings Limited and Touchroad International for taking the initiative to invest in the hoteling industry.
“The project is poised to change the face of tourism in the capital by adding a five-star luxury accommodation,” Sibiya said.
“Currently, Harare in particular and the country at large has limited 5-star accommodation facilities.”
“The conversion of Charter House into a luxury hotel will see at least 80 hotel rooms being added to the current hotel room capacity of 2371 in Harare,” Sibiya added on.
Touchroad International Holdings Group Chairman Liehui revealed plans of creating a helipad on to of the Charter House for easy access to the hotel as Harare faces road congestions.
Mashonaland Holdings Limited Managing Director, Gibson Mapfidza, who was giving welcome remarks said his organisation is indeed grateful for the invaluable ‘middleman’ role that the ZTA played, which connected Mashonaland Holdings Limited and Touchroad International.