Vast AECI land sales to fuel development.

Posted On Monday, 25 November 2002 10:01 Published by
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Modderfontein project is under way.
THE large tracts of land owned by chemicals group AECI are to be released onto the market in a plan that could produce three new pockets of commercial activity for Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

AECI is sitting on 2500ha of underutilised land representing land sales of up to R1bn in three sites in Modderfontein, north of Johannesburg, Somerset West in the Cape and in Durban.

This land has been rendered useless for AECI following a restructuring, which saw the group cutting back its explosives and fertilisers production activities.

The land-release plan, rolled out through subsidiary Heartland Properties, features the allocation of land for residential, commercial, retail and industrial development with potential to unlock investments of up to R5bn.

A lot has changed since the land was acquired more than 100 years ago, including safety requirements for explosives production, said Heartland Properties development director Paul McAfee. 'Our task is to realise the best possible value out of this land,' he said.

Modderfontein houses the largest piece of land more than 4000ha, about half of which has been declared excessive.

The Modderfontein land release programme is already up and running, featuring the 200ha business park called Long Meadow Business Estate at a site next to the M2 highway.

The site is anchored by several pockets of residential developments, including old AECIowned houses that were revamped and sold to individuals.

A 55ha piece of land called Thornhill Estate consists of three products: the old houses, freehold residential stands and three schemes of sectional title developments. McAfee said up to 98% of Thornhill had been sold.

Another Modderfontein residential development is called Greenstone Hill, set on a 320ha piece of land.

Westlake Estate, a 96ha site, has been retained for a social housing project which is part of the Presidential Alexandra renewal project.

A further 127ha piece of land was allocated to a light industrial park project called Highlands Industrial Estate and 270ha allocated to a residential golf estate called Isidleke Golf Estate.

Plans for the Somerset West land feature a mix of residential, retail and commercial developments in three broad projects called The Triangle, Somerset Ridge and the Interchange.

The Triangle land has been allocated exclusively for commercial and retail development.

Somerset Ridge, which is already sold out, was allocated for residential developments.

The Interchange plan features retail, commercial and industrial use.

The Durban site plan is a project called Southgate Industrial Park meant to house nonchemical industrial activity and distribution.

Business Day

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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