Business News of Saturday, 10 March 2018
Chairman of Sandpark Properties and an accomplished international real estate player, Kofi Sekyere, has said the time has come for Ghanaian real estate developers to sharpen their skills and begin adopting a new culture of best building practices in project development to promote the building and construction industry in the country.
Mr. Sekyere lamented the situation in which developers, especially of high profile real estate projects, have been compelled to import skilled resources to deliver certain services and hoped that Ghanaian development entities in the industry will take due steps to ‘up their game’ enable them rise up to such challenges in the near future.
He was speaking at the official commissioning by President Nana Akufo-Addo of the Headquarters building of Ecobank Ghana Limited. Mr. Sekyere’s company, Sandpark Properties, was the Development Manager for the 17,950-meter square office building.
“The concept of Development Management is still new in our country and it has been the objective of Sandpark Properties to use it as a vehicle to infuse a strong culture of best building practices into project development in Ghana,” Mr. Sekyere said.
He observed that for a long time, most Ghanaian developers have overlooked the technical value and importance of the Development Manager in real estate development and have traditionally assigned that delicate function to Architects.
“We are happy that the leadership of Ecobank adopted the development model which, in our (Sandpark Properties’) view was the development structure best suited for the delivery of a project of this magnitude,” he said, adding that the successful execution of the Ecobank building signifies “a re-definition and introduction of an entirely new benchmark for performance in Ghana’s real estate industry.”
The Development Managers, Sandpark Properties, assembled the project’s technical team from Ghana and South Africa to work on the iconic Headquarters building which was completed in October 2017.
“As Development Managers for this project, it was our strategy to facilitate a good measure of skills transfer throughout the development process and optimize on the transmission of knowledge in this highly specialized area of top-grade real estate development,” Mr. Sekyere said.
By the time construction peaked in November 2016, the project had engaged a total workforce of about 600 men and women and in terms of local content, as many as 20 out of the 28 major sub-contractors who worked on the project were local Ghanaian-owned entities, he disclosed.
About the edifice, Mr. Sekyere proudly said, “This building can best be described as a hybrid of a hotel and an office building – resulting in in a pleasant convergence of banking convenience and sheer comfort…..this is definitely not the kind of building you can put just anywhere. It was carefully designed for its location and environs.”
Mr Sekyere highly commended the Technical Team, the Principal Contractor, Ecobank’s Building Committee and the immediate past and present Management of Ecobank Ghana Limited for their hard work, determination and commitment to the project.