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

Inner City Gazette - - Front Page - By Staff Re­porter news@in­

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.

Pic­ture: Moses Moyo/In­ner City Gazette Archives

City of Jo­han­nes­burg Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor, Cllr Her­man Mashaba.

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