Grant Smith, a director at JT Ross – the Durban headquartered property development firm that owns and is developing the 130 000m² site in Sydney Road – said about R1.5 million was already spent on repairing and preserving the original buildings built in 1928 in line with the requirements of Amafa, KwaZulu-Natal’s heritage agency. “This is the biggest brown fields development in Durban in the recent past.”
“Keeping the construction within the confines of the Amafa regulations has been an interesting, but worthwhile journey. What we have done is a first,” he said.
Smith said the scale of the development meant it was the anchor address in Sydney Road. “That is where the future of our city’s economy now lives“, he said.
About 35 000 bricks were recycled for use in the new buildings, 10 000m² of concrete and brick was demolished and used as sub-base material under the surface beds. Features such as the original saw tooth profile was retained and a large proportion of the tyre manufacturing plant was sold to other industries rather than dumped as scrap, he added.
Smith said that there was a “surge” of interest in the property from bigger corporates and logistics companies.