Dra­matic new city sky­line on its way

R16 bil­lion of con­struc­tion to spur in­vest­ment

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

THE SKY­LINE of Cape Town’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict is set to change dra­mat­i­cally in the next four to five years, with ma­jor prop­erty con­struc­tion worth an es­ti­mated R16 bil­lion un­der way, in the plan­ning, or pro­posed.

The con­struc­tion in­cludes ev­ery­thing from ma­jor new ho­tels and high-rise apart­ment build­ings to mixed-use de­vel­op­ments and ex­ten­sions of ex­ist­ing build­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to the Cape Town Cen­tral City Im­prove­ment Dis­trict, prop­erty worth some R4.6bn is un­der con­struc­tion in the city cen­tre.

Some of the big­gest new projects in­clude the R33 mil­lion Net­care Chris­ti­aan Barnard Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal on DF Malan Street, and the R680m SunSquare and StayEasy Ho­tels, un­der con­struc­tion on the city block bound by Buiten­gracht, Strand, Cas­tle and Bree streets.

The es­ti­mated R1bn up­grade of the Radis­son Blu Ho­tel and Res­i­dences on Riebeeck Street is set to be com­pleted be­fore the end of the year.

An R832m ex­pan­sion of the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, also due for com­ple­tion in the next two months, will dou­ble the cen­tre’s ex­ist­ing ex­hi­bi­tion ca­pac­ity by 10 000m².

Among the ma­jor prop­erty de­vel­op­ments in the plan­ning stages is The Mod­ern, a mixe­duse space with a ho­tel which car­ries an es­ti­mated price tag of R650m.

The Mod­ern will take up the city block bound by Bree, Hans Stry­dom, Loop and Mechau streets.

The Capeto­nian Ho­tel, mean­while, on Pier Place, Heeren­gracht, is set to be up­graded by Raya Ho­tels at an es­ti­mated cost of R200m.

But it is pro­posed prop­erty de­vel­op­ments that will most change the face of the city cen­tre.

At 148m tall, the pro­posed Zero2ONE Tower, an­nounced last week by FWJK ar­chi­tects, will dwarf the Port­side Build- ing by 9m.

The 42- storey sky­scraper will boast 624 apart­ments, 760 park­ing bays and 6 000m² of re­tail space. It is set to be con­structed on the site of Old Mu­tual’s Ex­change Place on the corner of Ad­der­ley and Strand streets.

This week Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional, the world’s largest ho­tel group, an­nounced plans for the con­struc­tion of three new ho­tels in the city cen­tre, in part­ner­ship with the Amdec Group.

At a sod-turn­ing cer­e­mony yes­ter­day, ex­ec­u­tives broke ground for the new AC Ho­tel Cape Town, part of the planned mixed-use Yacht Club de­vel­op­ment near the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

“The sig­nif­i­cance of this an­nounce­ment for both the City of Cape Town and for South Africa can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated,” said Alex Kyr­i­akidis, pres­i­dent and manag­ing direc­tor for Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional in the Mid­dle East and Africa.

“The de­vel­op­ments in both Cape Town and Johannesburg (where two ho­tels will be built) con­firm the coun­try’s im­por­tance to the in­ter­na­tional travel mar­ket – for both the busi­ness and leisure trav­eller.”

James Wil­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Amdec Group, said the full Yacht Club de­vel­op­ment would cost R1.6bn, and was set to be com­pleted be­fore the end of 2018.

Amdec is also con­struct­ing two new ho­tels on the Fore­shore, which will be run by Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional on 30-year leases. They are the five-star Mar­riott Ho­tel, with 200 rooms, and the 150-room Res­i­dence Inn by Mar­riott.

Wil­son said he ex­pected the three Cape Town ho­tels would cre­ate about 4 000 con­struc­tion jobs in the city, and about 320 per­ma­nent hos­pi­tal­ity jobs.

The two ho­tels on the Fore­shore will be lo­cated in what is set to be­come the largest de­vel­op­ment in the Cape Town city cen­tre in re­cent years – an R8bn Amdec de­vel­op­ment known as “Har­bour Arch”.

Wil­son said the de­vel­op­ment would be sim­i­lar to Mel­rose Arch in Johannesburg. In ad­di­tion to the two ho­tels, it will con­tain shops, mo­tor deal­er­ships, res­tau­rants and ac­com­mo­da­tion across 200 000m² of space on a 5.8-hectare site.

Rob Kane, chair­man of the Cape Town Cen­tral City Im­prove­ment Dis­trict, noted that the prop­erty de­vel­op­ments would forever change the face of the Fore­shore.

“Three years ago, the Fore­shore still had vast tracts of land be­ing used for park­ing as well as a num­ber of com­mer­cial build­ings that had not seen re­fur­bish­ment in a num­ber of years,” said Kane.

“Along with these and the of­fice blocks al­ready ris­ing in the area, the pro­posed new ho­tels will bring new eco­nomic and job op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

For the Fore­shore it­self, the de­vel­op­ments would add vastly to the “soft­en­ing” of what had un­til re­cently been a harsh edge of the CBD land­scape.

jan.cronje@inl.co.za

Alex Kyr­i­akidis, pres­i­dent and manag­ing direc­tor for Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional in the Mid­dle East and Africa.

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