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How modern buildings are changing face of Kigali City

Sunday April 10 2022
Buildings

The face of Kigali has changed with construction of new buildings. Photo: Cyril Ndegeya

By MOSES K. GAHIGI

The Kigali skyline has continued to change, thanks to a raft of new buildings in different parts of the city. Some new buildings recently opened doors for occupation in the Central Business District (CBD) were constructed by commercial banks like the I&M building, Cogebanque headquarters, BPR.

Others are mixed use complexes in the CBD, office and hotel buildings as well as large shopping malls that are replacing buildings in Kigali’s commercial centre. Previously unplanned and dingy neighborhoods of Muhima, Kimicanga and lower Kiyovu, are now dotted with modern high-rise hotel and office buildings-connected by tarmacked road.

Nyamirambo, which for long had stuck to its simple residential and commercial houses, is also undergoing a vigorous face-lift with multiple high-rise office and commercial buildings.

The place has become a gateway to new modern residential neighbourhoods like Norverge and Rebero, fully equipped with a modern ring-road that connects all those places to Kicukiro. In the past few years, the city has been rapidly expanding to areas such as Kimihurura, Kacyiru, Kicukiro and Remera, with Kisementi becoming the anchor
commercial centre for these places.

The increase in the supply of new commercial and office space has, however, not led to any significant reduction in rental prices in Kigali.

“The growth in supply of space has done little to bring down prices, there is a slight reduction, we still have a gap in quality buildings so these have remained high” said Peter Lutwama, a real estate expert in Kigali.

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Occupancy, which was a big challenge in some of the commercial buildings especially in the CBD a few years ago has also started improving even at a time when many businesses are still weighed down by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Property owners of big buildings like Kigali City Tower, Makuza Plaza and others had to go back to the drawing board and restructure their tenancy system by partitioning some of the big spaces into smaller spaces that are affordable for smaller businesses.

“The occupancy rate has improved, most of the new buildings are now full, building owners can now offer small spaces, KCT broke up a big chunk of its space into smaller offices and that’s how it overcame the occupancy problem it had” he said.

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