THE owners of Joina Centre have invested $8 billion to complete the complex, which has been beset by financial problems for the past seven years.
>Darlington Masenda, project director and chief executive of Joina Development Company owned by Shingai Mutasa, confirmed the recent investment saying the investors could however be required to pour in more money to complete the complex.
He said the first phase, which is the retail section, would be completed by year-end while the tower meant for offices would be completed early next year.
“The investors recently poured in about $8 billion and right now we are operating at 100%,” said Masenda. “We expect that by the end of this year the retail section would be through while the office section which is the tower is likely to be done by February next year.”
He said the investors were committed to put more money into the project if the need arises. When it started in 1997 the project was expected to cost about $700 million, but rising inflation and foreign currency shortages saw the figure balloon to billions.
It is now expected to cost more that $10 billion which the funders are said to be willing to pour in to make it a success.
Two major investment vehicles -Sherryfield Investment and Dubury Investment – currently drive the project. Sherryfield Investments is made up of local pension funds – Communication and Allied Pension Fund, NRZ Pension Fund, Zimnat Insurance and Melville Investments.
Dubury Investments comprises FMI Holdings owned by Mutasa and Kingdom Holdings owned by a Saudi Arabian national. Joina will house among others, cinemas, shopping space and offices.