Angola's tallest building unveiled

Luanda - The Escom Building, the country's tallest, was inaugurated Tuesday in Luanda, during a ceremony attended by various national and foreign individualities.

The 102.2-metre tall and 24-floor building has 11 T3 and T4 apartments, five restaurants, two car parking, four shops and various offices.

The commercial area occupies 6,340 square metres, whereas the residential one has 6,810 square metres and the offices take an area of 16,162 metres.

The shops are based in the first floor. From the second to 18th floor there are administrative services and the residential area starts from 19th floor above.

Built over an area of 50,000 square metres and 75 metres above the sea level, the building is estimated at USD 135 million and is expected to record a daily movement of 1,500 people.

All the building's compartments are occupied, with some already in operation by the owners, most of them multinational companies.

Located in the "Marechal Tito" street, the construction of the building has lasted four years (started in 2004) in charge of civil building firm "Teixeira Duarte".

Escom and the Real Estate Sector in Angola

The Group

The group Escom is one of the largest investors in Angolan territory. The group was founded by the Espírito Santo group and by Helder Bataglia and started its activity in trading operations, diversifying afterwards investments in order to give historical continuity to the projects of the Espírito Santo group in Africa. It is also in the public works business in the Republic of Congo, where it operates since 1999, and has offices in Johannesburg (South Africa), Lisbon (Portugal), and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).

The strategic objective is to remain a reference player in Sub-Saharan Africa, through action in the areas of natural resources (mining as well as oil and gas), real estate, infrastructure (public works, ports, cement), energy, and agriculture. Escom currently employs about 2,000 workers and plans to create 5,000 further jobs by 2012. Most of these jobs are in the agricultural sector, one of the priority areas for investment in Angola.

The group Escom invested 750 million USD to date, and/or plans to invest around 1.4 billion USD furthermore.

The Challenge

In 2001, Angola was still at war. It was not in the news for economic growth rates, but for the battles that were fought in some areas of its territory. Investors did not abound, but there were business opportunities in various sectors. Despite all the difficulties, it was then that the group Escom decided to invest in one of the sectors that would certainly be a future growth sector: real estate.

The Approach

The group began to study the potentials of the market and concluded that the growth prospects were enormous. On one hand Luanda needed new projects in the areas of housing and offices and, on other hand, would certainly see a demand for new and innovative real estate projects. In 2001 Escom decided to make its first investment in the real estate sector in Luanda, with the acquisition of land for the construction of its first building.

The Solution

The Edifício Escom, the first real estate project of the group in Angola, began to be built in 2005. Located in one of the most prestigious areas of the city of Luanda - in Cruzeiro/Miramar -, it has space for housing and offices, a shopping area, and areas for parking. It has 25 floors and involved an investment of 130 million USD. The project was developed by Escom Imobiliária, an Angolan company owned by Escom.

The building integrates a real estate project called Sky Center that includes two residential buildings and one for business offices. Also in Luanda, the group is building the Aquaville project now, a condominium developed in partnership with the Brazilian group Camargo Corrêa. In Luanda, Escom develops or plans 11 real estate projects, with a total area of 967 square metres.

The group has expanded its real estate business outside of Luanda, choosing the cities of Soyo, Lobito, and Benguela to launch new projects. In Soyo, to respond to the developing that the LNG project will bring to the city, an aparthotel will be implemented. In this city Escom already has the Soyo complex, a condominium which is rented for a period of four years.