AICC braces to change Arusha’s façade
By Arusha Times Correspondent
The Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) will soon start to put up new residential flats to tap the huge market in the sector as well as consolidate to its role as the market leader in real estate business in the fast growing city.
Two multi-storey high end apartment blocks will be constructed at Fire area and along the Engira road in the suburbs of the town at the cost of Sh. 6 billion, according to the managing director Mr. Elishilia Kaaya. The flats would accommodate a total of 48 families, he said.
He told reporters in Arusha recently that the government parastatal, which already has about 650 residential units, was keen to diversify its activities besides running an international conference centre and an office block commonly known as AICC.
He said construction of the two flats would commence any time the tender processes are completed. The two sites are within the low density residential suburbs where major investments have been in recent years in hotels and up market living bungalows.
The AICC MD revealed the new project when he met journalists to explain what the centre was doing to cope with the imminent pull out of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from Arusha in two years' time from the centre's landmark block.
A speaker addressing the much hyped Sullivan Summit two years ago.
He said the impact would be minimal because the centre was likely to get new tenants, adding that it was also diversifying its sources of income to focus more on investment in modern residential blocks, shopping malls and a hotel project in Arusha. The latter has been on cards for years.
Mr. Kaaya added that the state-run organization under the ministry of of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was still banking on the government support for its ambitious project to put up another conference facility in the city that continues to be a preferred destination for visitors from abroad.
The Kilimanjaro International Convention and Exhibition Centre is planned to be realized through a joint venture between the government and the private sector. A 21 acre site has been secured at Themi are along the Njiro road for the purpose and has been fenced in readiness for the project take-off.
However, he admitted that implementation of the project of that magnitude was likely to tame more time before it is finally executed although AICC has already signed some Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some partners on investing in the venture which, according to him, was largely government-driven.
The proposed convention centre, exhibition centre and an adjacent hotel is estimated to cost about $ 248million and will have halls that can accommodate up to 7,000 delegates. Consultants have projected it can make a profit of $ 1.7m in the first year, rising to $ 2.1m in its fifth year.
"A quick glance at the project tells it all; a venture of such magnitude needs full support of the government", he affirmed.
He further added that implementation of a shopping mall project at Kaloleni suburb in Arusha would commence next month when some residential houses on AICC plots would be demolished to pave way for the new outfit.
The latter project will cost about $ 12m (approximately Sh.18bn) and will be implemented as a joint venture between the AICC and the Local Authority Pension Fund (LAPF).
To set it on track, at least 18 blocks of houses comprising 72 living quarters would be demolished at Kaloleni area, also known as Soweto. The shopping area will have a total of 7,000 square metres, Mr. Kaaya disclosed
The planned shopping centre would offer a range of facilities,
including supermarkets, at least two banking halls,
restaurants, airline and tour company offices while other outlets would
be rented out to other businesses.