During 2011 the property development team focused primarily on a definition of a new strategy for this sector. The group is striving to achieve the right mix of build-to-sell and build-to-lease projects over identified portions of the Group’s land assets to ensure its long-term revenue generation capacity. The first component of the mix will provide the required financial resources for the Group’s most immediate industrial investments while funding the second component, a realestate portfolio of income-generating assets.
The company intends to capitalise on the increasing demand for residential and industrial land in the zone which connects on one side to the M1 highway at Valentina and on the other side to the new Bagatelle–Verdun trunk road currently under construction. 2012 will therefore see the phasing-in of a large land development project over 225 arpents, offering to the market both residential and industrial plots in the Valentina–Highlands– Bagatelle area. Buyers of the residential plots will not only enjoy a pleasantly lush and green environment but also see their commuting time to the south, the east, Ebène and Port Louis drastically reduced. Future operators within our industrial sites will also enjoy a green, decentralised and yet extremely well-connected conurbation.
As a start for our real-estate portfolio creation, an airport hotel development project was identified early in 2011. The project location, 700 metres from SSR International Airport’s passenger terminal, makes it an attractive project, which will benefit from the Government’s plans to expand the airport and make Mauritius a business, education and leisure hub. Discussions with a leading business- and airport-hotel brand and the relevant design, costing and feasibility work are due to be completed by mid-2012, and the start of construction is tentatively scheduled for the second semester of 2012. If all goes according to plan, the new hotel will start its operations in the second half of 2013.
It is our view that the development of the airport area is timely and poised to meet the country’s will to step up as a regional hub. The Mon Trésor area is the southern tip of the SSR International Airport—Grand Baie spinal chord and business corridor, connecting in its length the Ebène business park and the country’s capital. This strategy was presented to the European Investment Bank (EIB), who has agreed to fund the development of our urban plan for the region through a grant. A team of professionals will therefore be appointed through an international tender. Its objective will be the delivery to Omnicane of a detailed master plan, using best urban design practice. Its deliverables will include a market study, a longterm urban development vision, a technical review of existing constraints, an Environmental Impact Assessment, and an Urban Development Master Plan. Due care will be given to employment creation, affordable housing and the MID concept.