Inner-City gets R2bn investment
Divercity Urban Property Fund has invested R2 billion in Johannesburg CBD as part of its strategy to create thriving mixed-use inner-city precincts, promising thousands of jobs
City of Johannesburg Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba said he is proud to support the Divercity Urban Property Fund’s investment of R2bn in Johannesburg as part of its strategy to create thriving mixed-use inner-city precincts.
This investment, the largest in the Johannesburg CBD for some years, will be focused on the redevelopment of the iconic ABSA Towers Main building and Jewel City.
Newly launched Divercity is an investment fund backed by the experience of some of South Africa’s leading property investors and developers. It is set to renew and re-energise the country’s urban centres with its unique focus on inner-city precinct development that combines commercial buildings with affordable residential space to create inclusive and diverse neighbourhoods. Its strong business case is also transformative in a uniquely South African sense.
For the City of Johannesburg, the investment is an indication of investor’s renewed confidence in the potential held within the inner city.
“I have long maintained that the revitalising of the inner city and turning it into a construction site of redevelop The ment is key component in creating jobs within the Johannesburg local economy and through strategic public private partnerships, also creating affordable quality housing for residents,” Mashaba said.
By working together with all sectors of society, we can progressively transform the inner city into a space where residents can live work and play.
“I am delighted that the Divercity Urban Property Fund has heeded my invitations to property developers, funders, professionals and the construction industry to work with the City to redevelop the various precincts of the City.
“Following a competitive bidding process, Divercity has acquired the 30-storey ABSA Towers Main building from ABSA, conditional on approvals from the Competition Commission.
“The currently unoccupied building will be redeveloped into a one-of-a-kind mixed-use building, including 520 affordably priced residential rental apartments, a floor of coffee shops, restaurants and recreation space, child care facilities, a public park, integrated public transport facilities and a wealth of public art,” Mashaba explained.
ABSA will also be leasing back nine floors with 10,000sqm of office space in the redeveloped building. Once completed, the development will be valued at over R400m.
project will commence in early 2019, with ABSA expected to reoccupy the towers early in 2020. The 20 floors dedicated to residential accommodation and recreation will be launched in various phases.
Besides creating an inclusive new world-class ‘live, work, play’ environment, the project is also designed to enhance the area as a whole.
As part of a wider neighbourhood development initiative, a pedestrian-friendly walkway with street furniture, lighting and art will be created from ABSA Tow- ers Main all the way to Maboneng. This unique urban intervention prioritizes pedestrians and people of the local community above vehicular traffic.
Between ABSA Tower Main and Maboneng is Jewel City, the former heart of the diamond and precious metals trade in Johannesburg, which spans six city blocks that have been closed off to the public for decades.
The rejuvenated Jewel City will include an abundance of amenities such as a school, clinic, gym, parking and convenience retail as well as fast food and restaurants. Work on the Jewel City project will begin in November with the first phase of retail, commercial and residential space set to be ready by August 2019.
“At least 4000 units are expected for student accommodation, small business premises and affordable accommodation for some of our poorest residents.”
“This is part of Diphetogo, real change, this administration has promised residents of this City.
“We believe that through the redevelopment of our 84 properties, almost 5000 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase.
“I am delighted that efforts of this administration, working together with the private sector, if finally bearing fruit for the people of our City,” Mashaba added.
City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba.