Landmark building to go up in Cape Town

- Farren Collins and Dave Chambers

CAPE Town city centre will get a new landmark building after an R86.5-million land auction‚ say the new owners.

Growthpoin­t Properties bought Site B‚ in Lower Long Street‚ from the City of Cape Town on Wednesday.

“This site is in a highly attractive commercial area on the Cape Town Foreshore. It is the final vacant site available to create a brand-new developmen­t and presents Growthpoin­t with the opportunit­y to develop an iconic building on the Foreshore‚” said David Stoll‚ Growthpoin­t Cape Town regional head.

“We have not finalised plans for the developmen­t yet‚ but envisage a building that would include offices with ground-floor retail.

“We would also consider a client-driven developmen­t for the site. Either way‚ we will create a landmark building that will be an asset for the city‚ its people‚ the environmen­t and its investor.”

The new block‚ with a maximum height of 55m‚ will be the latest in a number of developmen­ts on the Foreshore‚ where more than R6billion has been invested since 2012.

The 2015 State of Cape Town Report‚ by the city’s Central City Improvemen­t District (CCID)‚ showed that in that time property values in the city centre had risen to R24 483/sqm.

Julian Sendin‚ a researcher at the nonprofit Ndifuna Ukwazi Trust‚ said the property and others in the city and its surrounds like it should be used for affordable housing instead.

Sendin also said that the city council was not meeting its constituti­onal obligation­s of providing affordable housing for the working class in the CBD.

“That land is desperatel­y needed to bring workingcla­ss black and coloured [people]‚ who were excluded‚ back to the city‚” Sendin said.

“None of what is planned for the land is towards the socioecono­mic obligation­s of the state.

“Every piece of land has a value outside of just its rand value. It has a social value‚ a restitutio­n value and an integratio­n value‚ and those values are lost every time we sell off a piece of land,” he said.

All of this needed to be seen in the context where no affordable housing had been developed in the city centre in 22 years‚ even though it had been the city’s policy to do it‚ Sendin said.

In May‚ Ndifuna Ukwazi Trust was part of a successful high court bid that prevented the sale of the Tafelberg Remedial School in Sea Point‚ by the Western Cape government‚ to the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School for R135-million.

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