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Joël Couve de Murville,

Building sustainability within development – for a better world

With great business opportunities and a quality way of life, Mauritius stands out as a land of promise for overseas investors. Beau Plan, a Smart City bubbling with creative energy and
resolutely focused on the future, is designed to encourage fresh initiatives. Joel Couve de Murville, Novaterra’s Head of Sales and Marketing, talks about his vision for this attractive
project, which meets all that is needed for personal and professional fulfilment, and is now at the development stage.

Novaterra is building on Terra’s heritage and using teams of experts in order to develop innovative and integrated projects to meet market demand. Can you tell us more about this?
Terra (formerly Harel Frères) was founded in 1838. The Group was originally engaged in agriculture and sugar production but has become one of the country’s most important and diversified companies. It has always been committed to quality and sustainability and is now engaged in creating value within each of its portfolios.

Terra first diversified by creating Grays Inc, through which it became known as a producer of rum from molasses. Of its brands, New Grove in particular stands out and has recently been introduced on to the international market, whilst it has also acquired such franchises as L’Occitane and Mac, the American cosmetic brand. In addition, the Group is an energy producer via its Terragen thermal power plant, with its production representing about 20% of Mauritius’ electricity consumption. Some of this energy is produced from biomass (cane straw and bagasse), which makes it a promising form of green energy for the country.

Terra continued its diversification by launching the Group’s property arm, Novaterra, in 2016. Its current aim is to lead the development of the Group’s land hereditament. Its activities centre on property rental and the development of residential and commercial projects, as well as the Beau Plan Smart City.

Beau Plan is one of Novaterra’s flagship projects. How did it all start?
Our diversification into the property sector was very much encouraged by the setting up in 2015 of the Smart City Scheme, drawn up by the Mauritian government and the Economic Development Board. They aimed to provide a legal framework in order to regulate the country’s urban development to everybody’s benefit, incorporating three key elements – Live, Work and Play.

Between 2016 and 2018, our teams drew up a site masterplan, as well as an analysis of all the constraints and other considerations, such as the environmental, social and societal
aspects, in order to construct a project that would be sustainable over the long term. Officially launched in 2019, so far Beau Plan includes various elements: a university campus, an
international primary school, a museum, a creative park, an equestrian centre and office spaces.

Beau Plan is now offering opportunities to invest in its current projects. These include Mango Village apartments and duplexes, prime lakeside offices and workspaces in The Strand. and a Business District where land is available for the construction of offices and showrooms, and where there is also an R&D zone.

As with all the projects Novaterra has developed, Beau Plan is centred around a vision that the Group holds dear: the construction of enduring projects for future generations. Could you elaborate on this vision?
In addition to the government’s key fundamentals of Live, Work and Play, we have added two of our own – Learn & Create. Creativity is a basic element that distinguishes Beau Plan from other Smart City projects, demonstrating our strong ambition to support the advancement of cultural and creative ventures in both our part of the country and indeed in the country as a whole. As for learning, that reflects our desire to give everyone the tools for their advancement through education, whether artistic, scholastic or professional.

We have opted for a phased development, in part to match market requirements and in part to be able to adapt so that we can meet specific needs and new trends, so that the development passes through a series of stages. In parallel, we have taken particular care to control the building density and to create green spaces in line with our age-old attachment to ensuring a very pleasant lifestyle and the development of quality projects. For example, the plan for our Business District is to have buildings of no more than three or four storeys in height to harmonise with the architectural specifications we have set, alongside a ratio of green spaces within the District that is four times greater than that recommended by the WHO.

Currently, both Mauritians and foreigners can acquire land or buildings in Beau Plan. Novaterra welcomes investors and supports them with the procedures, thus adding value and assisting financial viability. In this respect, the latest investment criteria set out by the government are helpful, as it is now possible for a foreigner to buy property or invest in commercial land or property costing over US$375,000 and thereby be able to apply for a
residence permit.

What are the other projects through which Novaterra aims to add value to its land assets?
In general terms, we seek to make effective use of the Group’s landbank in the North of the country. Such strategic development is continuing to bring in overseas investors, particularly from France.

We are planning a project for a golf resort stretching over some 260 acres (250 hectares) in the North-West, close to the coastal hotels in Balaclava. The idea is to develop golfing facilities in the area, which will be connected to Beau Plan and enable the Smart City to have direct access to the beach.

We are simultaneously working on the development of residential projects in the region. In fact in 2021, apart from Beau Plan, we are considering six other projects.

Finally, but by no means least, we intend to develop the Smart City’s cultural and creative dimensions. Novaterra, with Terra support, has given us backing for a concept that we at Beau Plan feel strongly about. We’ve worked on both the strategic and funding aspects but also on developing synergies with the various cultural and creative structures in the area. I’m particularly thinking of L’Aventure du Sucre (a former sugar factory transformed into a museum), which in a normal year attracts well over 100,000 visitors. We are currently preparing a proposition that will lead to Beau Plan becoming one of the country’s most important cultural hubs. This way we want to provide investors who set themselves up here with an intangible additional asset and also the country with yet another major attraction to add to a long list: excellent connectivity, an attractive fiscal regime, resilience and an ability to adapt in the case of changing circumstances, and its position as a financial centre – just to mention a few.

What we’re doing, in fact, is creating a whole ecosystem and we’re investing a great deal of time, energy and resources to strengthen it, so that it can also have a significant impact on the country’s economic growth.

Music Day (6)

Music improves performance and productivity! And if the research says so, Beau Plan surely does not disagree. With the aim of promoting a different, innovative, and inspiring work environment, Beau Plan Business Park will resonate with lively music on Wednesday, June 21st.

June 19, 2023

A large-scale video surveillance project is currently underway throughout Beau Plan. This non-intrusive system aims to safeguard the safety of the city’s residents and users while respecting their privacy. Learn about this new project below.

May 29, 2023