Doubts raised over benefits of mega development
PREMIER urban lifestyle developers, the Amdec Group, announced its mixed-use development in Cape Town’s CBD amid optimism and “a sense of pride”, but not everyone shares the sentiment.
Amdec said the new Harbour Arch, modelled on Johannesburg’s Melrose Arch, to be built at the confluence of the N1 and N2 and valued at around R10 billion, would reinvent the Cape Town Foreshore and create thousands of job opportunities.
Eight towers are to be built across 5.8 hectares of land, with a mix of residential apartments, shops, lifestyle opportunities, two Marriott hotels, boutique office space and street-level motor dealerships.
Amdec Group chief executive James Wilson said construction was expected to start next year for completion in 2020.
But some say the development will worsen Cape Town’s housing crisis and called on Mayor Patricia De Lille to put binding conditions on Harbour Arch requiring them to include affordable housing for residents on incomes below R18 000.
“Like so many developments being constructed in Cape Town right now, Harbour Arch will be another exclusive enclave catering for the super wealthy, who are mostly white,” said Ndifuna Ukwazi, an organisation that has been advocating an inclusive city.
An artist’s impression of Harbour Arch, which is expected to change the face of the Foreshore.