R4 billion property develpment planned for V&A

R4 billion property develpment planned for V&A

Several sites at the V&A Waterfront - SA's most valuable piece of real estate - will undergo a multibillion-rand facelift over the next two decades and will boast more luxury hotels, high-end flats and stylish new office blocks.

An artist's impression of the proposed new development behind the Clocktower precinct.

Today, the Cape Argus can reveal how, over the next 10 years, more than R4 billion will be spent on redeveloping parts of the precinct.

The new construction, including a high-rise residential building - which will double the number of hotels and office blocks - is just part of the massive development planned.

The vision is for the area to become a place for people to work, live and play.

Construction work behind the old grain silo.

The granary, including the massive silos at the back-end of the Clock Tower precinct with their cathedral-like stature, will become the centrepiece where huge office blocks are to be constructed.

Construction has already started and it's expected that this part of the development will cost in the region of R1.5bn.

Another development, near the Buitengracht Street entrance to the Waterfront, will cost up to R2bn and will include high-rise blocks of flats and offices.

Within the next few years, nine new hotels - in addition to the 10 already on the precinct - and blocks of flats will be built on Granger Bay.

The cost of these has not yet been calculated.

An area map of the V&A Waterfront.

Of the 600 000m2 of land at the Waterfront, 380 000m2 has been developed. The remaining 220 000m2 will be developed over the next two decades.

The 80 000m2 area at the back of the Clock Tower would change the derelict side of the historic working harbour into a magnificent area to live, work and play, said Waterfront chief executive David Green.

At 18 000m2, one of the city's biggest office blocks is currently under construction. It will house one of the largest privately-owned Cape Town-based investment management companies.

There were also plans to build 1000 residential units and a number of office blocks at the entrance to the Waterfront, said Green.

It's been just over a year since Growthpoint and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), representing the government employees' pension fund, jointly bought the Waterfront for just more than R9.7bn.

The deal between them and previous owners, Dubai World's Istithmar PJSC, London & Regional Consortium and a BEE consortium which bough the Waterfront from Transnet in 2006 for R7bn, was signed in June.

Green said they were first concentrating on developing the area around the Clock Tower before moving to the Gateway (near the Buitengracht Street entrance) and further down the line to Granger Bay, where some of the hotels and residential units would be built.
The Granger Bay development would be linked to Somerset Road in Green Point.

"In starting our development in and around the grain silos, we've focused on how the precinct will embrace the historic landmark, the former grain elevator and silo buildings," he said.

"We have land available for development and are doing it in a considered manner while honouring the initial vision for the Waterfront and ensuring it remains the most desirable place for Capetonians to live, work, shop, play, stay and eat.

"Our growth strategy has always been to grow the Waterfront property in precincts, starting small in the biggest possible way, concentrating our initial development to avoid random growth.

"Currently there are already nine precincts within the Waterfront development."

Development at the V&A Waterfront was market-led and meticulously planned, he said.

On the silos, Green said: "These buildings will be the centrepiece of a public plaza. We have not yet determined the use for the grain elevator and silo building, however we are looking at a variety of exciting options and are open to proposals which incorporate a combination of public civic space and commercial development and embrace the landmark historic buildings.

In keeping with the city's policy of "densification", at least one of the buildings at the Gateway will be a high rise, built close to the under-construction Portside, but not rivalling what will become the city's tallest skyscraper.

In November 1988, the V&A Waterfront was established as a wholly owned subsidiary by Transnet to redevelop the docklands around the Victoria and Alfred basins as a mixed-use area with a focus on retail, tourism and residential development, with the continued operation of a working harbour.

In 2006, Transnet sold the Waterfront to Dubai World's Istithmar PJSC, London & Regional Consortium, and a BEE consortium for R7 billion. it was South Africa's most expensive single property transaction.

Last February, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), owned by the Government Pension Fund, and Growthpoint Properties Limited, announced they had bought the Waterfront for just more than R9.7bn.

About 64 percent (383 833 square metres) has been developed, and about 36 percent (220 035 square metres) remains available for development.

About 21 million people visit the Waterfront annually.

Cape Argus


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Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!