In creating a new metropolitan city, real estate developers must address the needs of the new Ugandan corporate audience, Rajiv Ruparelia, a director of Ruparelia Group, said in interview. This was during the opening of Kingdom Kampala, a multibillion property.
Rajiv said the modern corporates are looking for ‘lifestyle offices’ because the middle class is growing and Ugandans are becoming more entrepreneurial. These modern entrepreneurs are looking for modern office space that gives them comfort.
“Today many residents are pushed to suburbs such as Nalya, Nageera, Bunga and others. The city needs to grow and take up the skyline and provide services to the corporates; the people who are doing business in the city,” Rajiv noted.
“The airspace is not yet charged by government, it is cheaper to build going up than expanding wide. In Kampala, we are growing at a population growth of one million people per year, so our population growth is quite high.
“So how do we accommodate all of them, where do they work? How do you create a metropolitan city and accommodate new needs of Ugandans today?” he wondered.
Kingdom Kampala is a spacious modern property centrally located between Nile Avenue and Dewinton road where Shimon Demonstration Primary School was located before the land was sold to a Dubai investor who failed to put up a five star hotel.
The demolition of the primary school caused a bitter public conversation before and after the Dubai investor failed on his hotel promise. But Rajiv wants Ugandans to put that behind them and focus on the positives that have been erected on the land.
“Shimon School served its purpose - we either keep Kampala undeveloped or we develop Kampala. Urbanization is taking place, when Shimon School was here, we only had half a million people living in Kampala city, today we have four million.
These people need place to do business from – office space to serve them and we are addressing this need and demand for corporate offices.”