Harare - Key Developments in Commercial Real Estate

Admin March 14, 2022

Commercial property developments that have recently been completed and those in progress in and around Harare are a clear testimony of emerging hope for the sector, after years of near neglect due to economic hardships. 

You can hardly drive or walk for a moment in the city's major roads without coming across a newly built commercial property or encountering men and women at work at a construction site for an office, retail or industrial property.

Major roads in Harare for example Harare Drive, Samora Machel Ave, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Ave (formerly Enterprise Road), Liberation Legacy Way (formerly Borrowdale Road), Glenara Avenue, High Glen, Lomagundi, The Chase, etc) are fast becoming commercial hubs.

Commercial sector as a sub market of real estate is made up of three main classes which are office, retail and industrial properties. Each of these has in the recent past undergone or is still undergoing serious transformation which is also changing the face of Harare. The changes are also creating exciting  investment opportunities with dilapidated stock being targeted for refurbishing and upgrading. This is also driving sales and occupier markets activity within the commercial real estate space. 

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Here is what has been happening and still happening within the sub sectors of the Commercial Real Estate markets in Harare:

Retail space is goign through several changes both in the Central Business District and within the Suburban area. Remodeling and repurposing of some properties within the Harare CBD has seen an expansion of retail space, new builds and upgrades are widely seen within the suburban space. Industrial market, on the other hand, is showing signs of improvement with renewals of old stock and new builds mostly concentrated on warehousing and wholesaling.

Shopping malls with essential services are becoming popular in upcoming or existing large gated communities and in densifying old neighbourhoods. Success stories includes Village Walk, Aspindale Park, BJ Southgate Mall & the upcoming Highland Park on Enterprise Rd

Mining, Agriculture, Construction & Retail activity is pushing demand for Warehousing and Industrial Facilities.

Office space especially within Harare CBD has suffered voids for some time, however activity within the Suburban Office space is something which is quite noticeable. Several changes have taken place within the suburban office space as migration from less desirable central business district continues. Companies are setting up head offices along major roads, Enterprise Rd, Glenara Ave, Samora Machel Ave, Borrowdale Rd, etc with examples of TM Asset Management, NMB Bank, etc.

Activity in the commercial space is being driven by the classification of real estate as a store of value given the recurrent economic challenges the country faces. There are currently several proposed new developments for shopping malls, hotels, retail and industrial parks, offices and residential complexes predominantly promoted by private developers who appear to be more willing to take the risk.


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