Boom in the construction sector in the past two years in Kigali and its environs has given birth to new commercial centres around the city’s previously undeveloped locations as developers respond to current and future demand.
As Covid-19 wreaked havoc last year, leading to lockdown, there was a rush by real estate developers who had land to build commercial properties around the city.
The completion of Kisementi Business Mall at Kisementi, Silverback Mall at Sonatube, Masterpiece Mall at Giporoso, as well as dozens of other mixed-use buildings around Remera, Santre, Kimironko, Kibagabaga, Kacyiru, Kicukiro, and other locations around Kigali, have opened these places into business centres.
Municipality requirements of modernizing and face-life of business structures around the city has also contributed to conversion of Kabeza, Giporoso, Niboye and Kanombe to commercial centres.
The Anglican Church, which has been a holder of large chunks of land in Giporoso has become one of the leading commercial space investors in Remera, setting up office and commercial buildings, which have all been let out to businesses.
The supply of commercial space in these previously docile neighbourhoods has led to increase of business activities in these places, with real estate players saying more commercial space will even spur more commercial ventures.
Peter Lutwama, a real estate expert and founder of Plut properties ltd, a real estate firm in Kigali, attributed the rapid growth in commercial properties in Kigali in the past two years to property investors aligning themselves with the direction the country is taking.
“It’s prime areas that are attracting real estate developments, business owners are moving ahead of time to up these structures in response to what the market needs now and in the future.”
“This supply is driven by anticipation of demand but also to open up certain places to business, people are moving from small kiosks to trading in malls in places like Remera,” said Lutwama.
He added that many people involved in real property had the needed resources by the time the pandemic hit, and it coincided with project timelines for many investors.
“Many people were waiting for the right time and with CHOGM coming back on the table there was pressure to get these structures in place, there is also pressure to clean up and modernise the city,” he said.