Full speed ahead for top CBD projects.

Posted On Wednesday, 13 November 2002 10:01 Published by
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Extensive urban renewal programme set to transform Cape Town's inner city.

Extensive urban renewal programme set to transform Cape Town's inner city

THE regeneration of Cape Town's central business district as part of an extensive urban renewal programme has sparked a development boom that has bucked the trend apparent in some other SA inner cities.

A central city improvement district project and a number of public/private-sector initiatives have helped in the transformation of the Cape Town CBD.

Spire Property Services says the proof lies in the decision by major financial institutions such as Investec to remain in the city. Pick 'n Pay recently opened a family store in the CBD.

To the north of the city, the redeveloped foreshore is rapidly establishing itself as Cape Town's new financial district. In addition, Nedcor is investing more than R100m in regional offices, and the R500m International Convention Centre is under construction.

Bruce Kerswill, executive director of Spire Property Services, says property managers are receiving requests from tenants for space in and around the city.

In addition, strong residential nodes have made developments on the fringes of the city popular, says Kerswil.

He says the periphery of the city, particularly areas like Gardens (south), Green Point (west) and Woodstock (east), has seen the emergence of upmarket areas that appeal to both business and residential users.

Green Point is seeing heightened activity from property developers who are refurbishing old warehouses and upgrading previously neglected commercial space. There is a strong demand for office and retail space.

'The lower rentals and better parking facilities in Green Point on average between R45m² to R65m² compare favourably with the Waterfront,' says John McMahon, director of Baker Street Properties.

Rodney Squire-Howe, MD of JSE-listed Paraprop, says projects worth more than R8,7bn are under construction, approved or planned, in and around the Cape Town CBD.

Meanwhile, more than R1,1bn in new projects has been committed to, or is under negotiation for, Cape Town's Century City development.

Since 1997, commercial projects exceeding R2,6bn have been completed, with more than 14000 people now living or working on the 250ha site in the heart of the greater Cape Town metropolitan area. Projects in the pipeline will bring total investment over the past five years to more than R3,7bn, says Greg Deans, MD of Century City.

New projects include the R80m Century Square sectional title office project by Harries Projects, which is nearing completion; new southern headquarters for Securicor Gray; a R30m Waterford Mews development consisting of 13 freestanding office blocks aimed at small to medium users; and the first phase of a R220m residential development. An R80m retail centre and motor precinct is on the drawing board, while close to 40000m² of new office space and additional residential developments are under negotiation.

Projects completed to date include the Canal Walk shopping centre; the Ratanga Junction theme park; the recently reopened Dockside nightclub and entertainment complex, and the Express by Holiday Inn hotel.

More than 140000m² of office bulk have been sold, with the first 14 office buildings completed.

The first residential project at Century City, consisting of 440 units, is due to start soon.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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