DEVELOPMENT: City Studies R20b Facelift
Recent Western Cape Business News
The proposed R20 billion urban regeneration project, still in its conceptual stage, envisages the sinking of the railway lines between Cape Town station and Woodstock below ground level, and the creation of an additional 3 million square meters of bulk mixed use development over the next 15 to 30 years.
According to Alderman Felicity Purchase, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development and Tourism, this could constitute a major urban regeneration project.
“This bold initiative could help sustain the momentum created by Cape Town’s multi-billion rand investments in public infrastructure that was leveraged by South Africa’s hosting of Fifa’s 2010 World Cup tournament.
“South Africa’s recent 100-day World Cup countdown was given blanket news coverage by every major media channel in the world and the City of Cape Town needs to capitalise on this intense global interest,” says Purchase.
According to Alderman Purchase, international investors are on the lookout for property developments in Africa of the appropriate scale.
“The Intersite proposal could help place Cape Town on the radar screen of global investment, which in turn will help boost economic growth and job creation. It should thus be treated as a project of strategic importance,” she says.
Intersite, the property division of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), estimates that 500 000 jobs would be created during the construction phase alone.
The draft proposal includes the creation of four precincts – in Salt River, Woodstock, the Foreshore, and the Castle/Grand Parade area.
A preliminary plan proposes a mixed-use development with economic innovation at its core, fast and efficient public transport and a substantial contribution to the central city’s housing stock.
“The proposed project dovetails with the City’s promotion of compact, integrated development along a major transport corridor. The fact that most of the land is owned by Intersite/PRASA, makes it less complicated than dealing with multiple landowners,” says Mansoor Mohamed, Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism.
Members of the Mayoral Committee agreed that the proposal was exciting and that if planned properly, the potential revenue would be substantial for the City.
The Mayoral Committee has tasked Mr Mohamed and Piet van Zyl, Executive Director: Strategy and Planning, to facilitate further feasibility studies.
A report detailing it financial sustainability and clear timeframes will be submitted to the Mayoral Committee in May 2010.
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