SITE B, where Growthpoint plans to construct a mixed-use development with retail space, offices and a hotel. Supplied
Growthpoint Properties hopes to proceed with its “Site B” development on the Cape Town foreshore in spite of protests by social movements and a Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) ruling that it does not have development rights. 

The group, which has R17.2 billion of commercial, industrial and office properties in the Western Cape, paid R86.5 million for the land in a public auction on September 7, 2016, after the city had issued a prospectus for its sale.

Growthpoint took transfer of the land on March 7, 2017, and a professional team drew up plans for a development involving retail, offices and a three-and-four star combination hotel, which would have brought some R2.2bn of investment to the city, Growthpoint managing director Estienne de Klerk said at a briefing yesterday.

However, pressure was brought to bear on the development, including the erection of illegal shacks on the land in December, 2018. Social agencies such as Ndifuna Ukwazi, Reclaim the City and Social Justice Coalition want the city to instead build affordable housing on the site.

De Klerk said Growthpoint had followed development procedures correctly in attaining the land, but an MPT meeting last week found their development application had failed. De Klerk said they had used the municipal prospectus as a basis to buy the land via the auction, in good faith.

“Growthpoint is considering the findings and has a number of options available to it; one of them is to appeal the decision, which we are likely to do,” said De Klerk.

He said claims that they had underpaid for the land by R140m were “bizarre” considering they had submitted the highest bid.

He said Growthpoint was involved in a number of other developments in the province currently, which was “unique” in the depressed economy.

These included a number of developments at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the Longkloof development and improvements to various shopping centres. 

The Longkloof development involved a R550m investment in the city, and will include a Canopy by Hilton 150 guest-room hotel.