Fore­shore ‘mini-city’ to cost bil­lions

Seven tow­ers with ho­tels, apart­ments and shops

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JAN CRONJE

A GI­ANT, multi­bil­lion-rand minic­ity is set to trans­form Cape Town’s Fore­shore, with the erec­tion of seven new tower blocks of­fer­ing apart­ments aimed at young pro­fes­sion­als, shops, res­tau­rants, of­fices and ho­tels.

The 200 000m2 de­vel­op­ment, de­scribed by act­ing Cape Town mayor Ian Neil­son as “quite stag­ger­ing”, will be called Har­bour Arch, and comes with an R8 bil­lion price tag.

The Amdec Group an­nounced the plans yes­ter­day, say­ing one of the blocks would house two new Mar­riott ho­tels, while the oth­ers would con­tain re­tail space, of­fices, ac­com­mo­da­tion, res­tau­rants and mo­tor deal­er­ship show­rooms.

Neil­son said the de­vel­op­ment was al­most half as big as the vast V&A Wa­ter­front, which was 500 000m2.

The Amdec Group, a South African prop­erty de­vel­op­ment com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in large-scale ur­ban de­vel­op­ments, owns the land and is the sole de­vel­oper of the 5.8ha site at the con­flu­ence of the N1 and N2.

James Wil­son, the group’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said yes­ter­day that all town plan­ning rights were in place.

“We still have to sub­mit our build­ing plans. We are in the de­sign phase with Mar­riott’s in­ter­nal ar­chi­tects and our in­ter­nal ar­chi­tects.” Af­ter the sub­mis­sion of plans, of­fi­cials would need to check that these com­plied with plan­ning rights.

Wil­son said Har­bour Arch would be de­vel­oped us­ing the same meth­ods and style as Mel­rose Arch in Johannesburg.

“There will be a high street, lots of cof­fee shops and res­tau­rants, ho­tels and a great deal of res­i­den­tial apart­ments at good, af­ford­able prices for young pro­fes­sional peo­ple to come and live in the city,” he said.

Neil­son said the city was “ex­cited” that there were such large-scale de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als.

“We be­lieve that Har­bour Arch, to­gether with quite a few other de­vel­op­ments, in­di­cates a very strong vote of con­fi­dence in the fu­ture of Cape Town by de­vel­op­ers.”

He added that he un­der­stood the de­vel­op­ment would in­clude “quite a bit of res­i­den­tial (space)”. “It is try­ing to cover a slightly lower eco­nomic bracket, and will be suit­able for young pro­fes­sion­als.” Wil­son said apart­ments would start at R1.2 mil­lion. He hoped ground could be bro­ken in the next six to nine months, and the de­vel­op­ment be com­pleted in 2019.

Each of the seven pro­posed tower blocks will be be­tween 25m and 75m tall, or be­tween 15 and 25 storeys.

Ear­lier this week Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional an­nounced plans for the con­struc­tion of three new ho­tels in Cape Town in part­ner­ship with the Amdec Group.

Wil­son said two of these ho­tels, the 200-room Cape Town Mar­riott Ho­tel Fore­shore and the 150-room Res­i­dence Inn by Mar­riott Cape Town Fore­shore, would be housed in one of Har­bour Arch’s seven tower blocks.

The third ho­tel would be lo­cated in an­other mixed- use Amdec de­vel­op­ment called the Yacht Club, near the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

The three ho­tels will be con- structed by Amdec and leased and man­aged by Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional.

Alex Kyr­i­akidis, pres­i­dent and manag­ing direc­tor for Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional in the Mid­dle East and Africa, said the group’s three planned ho­tels in Cape Town and two in Johannesburg were part of a push to de­velop the Mar­riott brand in Africa.

“(In Africa) you have a pent-up de­mand for branded ho­tel projects,” he said. “And that is what is ex­cit­ing us about Africa. We are con­cen­trat­ing on the big economies with big pop­u­la­tions, mean­ing Egypt, Nige­ria and South Africa, be­cause these are the (growth) en­gines”.

Their strat­egy for ex­pan­sion was, how­ever, con­ti­nent-wide.

The Cape Town city cen­tre has seen a surge in new prop­erty in­vest­ment re­cently, with con­struc­tion worth an es­ti­mated R16bn un­der way, in the plan­ning stages, or pro­posed.

James Wil­son, the chief ex­ec­u­tive and co-founder of the Amdec Group.

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