Published On  Jan 29,  2012






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Debre Markos to Get First High-rise




Ambassel Trading House Plc, one of the subsidiary companies under the umbrella of Endeavour, an endowment company affiliated with a member of the ruling coalition, Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), is to build what will be Derbe Markos’s first high-rise in the town’s 140-year history.

Located 299km northwest of Addis Abeba, in Gojam, Amhara Regional State, the first six-storey multipurpose edifice, with a basement, will be a major landmark in this rural town named after St Mark Church, founded in 1869. Compared to its younger competitor, Bahir Dar, there has not been much development, both in residential and commercial real estate, with the exception of a five-storey mall built by shareholders of Star Business Group and a gas station that incorporates a hotel owned by Teleksew Gedamu, both natives of the region.

The administration’s decision to not give out land within the past year contributed to the slow progress, said a staff member who works at the Land Administration Office of the municipality, confirming that the town has not met expectations. Although there were several requests from prospective developers, the Administration had not been leasing land, in order to rectify problems related to transparency, according to this staff member. 

In 2008, Ambasel had acquired the plot of a house previously rented by the town’s municipality.

The company is involved in wholesale import and export of agricultural and industrial commodities, and Debre Markos is one of the strategic towns for its business.

“There have only been a few investments carried out in the town,” Emmanuel Assefa, finance manager of Ambasel, told Fortune. “We want to contribute to leading investment.”

For a trading house established with a registered capital of 1.5 million Br in December 1995, the fertile area of Gojam represents one of its four key markets for fertiliser distribution and grain purchases from farmers.

“Debre Markos is like a nerve centre for distributing our products to farmers in Gojam,” Emmanuel said.

The edifice in Debre Marko is being designed by OTT Consulting Architects & Engineering Plc, a company established in 2003 with a 100,000 Br initial capital, under the partnership of Girma Kebede and Mesfin Berede. Participating in state-financed university expansion projects, the domestic architectural firm will also oversee the supervision work of the construction.

Ambasel is in the process of selecting a construction firm to award the contract to. It is evaluating proposals from 10 local construction firms.

The ground floor and some floors of the building are to be used for offices of the company, while the rest are to be offered up for rent, according to company officials.

“It will be a good landmark for the town,” one of its residents told Fortune.

Debre Markos has a total population of 73,751.

However, residents will see more high raises soon, according to the staffer from the town’s Land Administration Office. There are other investors who have requested land to lease in order to construct a 10-storey building in the town, he disclosed.




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