The Standard Bank building (The Towers) in the CBD is set for a R500 million facelift. Picture: Supplied
The Standard Bank building (The Towers) in the CBD is set for a R500 million facelift. Picture: Supplied

Millions pour into Cape Town makeover

By Daneel Knoetze Time of article published May 27, 2014

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Cape Town - Investor confidence in the growth trajectory of Cape Town’s CBD has inspired a major renewal of the city centre worth hundreds of millions and now the Foreshore is set for a major upgrade.

At a briefing to CBD stakeholders in the Foreshore on Tuesday morning, Rob Kane, chairman of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), predicted major changes for the precinct over the next decade, with a number of projects under way and several in the pipeline.

The recently completed Portside building, from where Kane was speaking, was built at a cost of R1.6 billion. At 142 floors, it is Cape Town’s tallest building.

“We’re going to see a very different Foreshore by 2016 and one that will have changed again substantially by 2020, when the Artscape Theatre Complex – including the Founder’s Garden – is set to be completed,” Kane said.

The Artscape complex would see a revamp of the public space around the exterior.

“Among the biggest changes will be the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which will cost in the region of R832m, and the construction of the new Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, which is already well under way. Plans are also in place to upgrade the Media24 building.”

A R500m investment in the renewal of the Standard Bank building The Towers is also under way.

Kane said new developments were not limited to the Foreshore.

He pointed to the Madame Zingara Group’s revamp of the restaurant in The Company’s Garden.

Madame Zingara was also starting work on the “Shake your Honey Mumbai” entertainment and retail complex in Loop Street.

The five-storey, multi-faceted themed entertainment and dining experience would aim to capture the spirit of India in a restaurant, theatre, authentic markets and retail space.

A presentation by senior CCID researcher Andrew Flemming of development in the city centre last year showed growing confidence in the CBD as an environment for living, business, development and real estate.

The State of Cape Town Central City Report: 2013 – a year in review aggregated information from a variety of stakeholders and includes original data gathered by CCID researchers.

“Through this fact-finding mission, we have discovered even in a tough global economic climate, the Cape Town central city is holding its own,” wrote CCID chief executive Tasso Evangelinos.

“The central city is experiencing an unparalleled level of economic development and investment, as well as a thriving new residential and entertainment lifestyle element that simply just wasn’t here a few years ago.”

Kane pointed to the busy construction sites on the Foreshore, the recovery of the residential property market, the increasing number of events in the central city’s public spaces, the expanding MyCiTi bus network and the rise of new industries – film, financial services, call centres and health care – as evidence of the city’s growth.

CCID findings show 350 000 people move through the CBD every day, adding to the relatively small population of 5 000 permanent residents.

“There are still only around 3 500 residential units in the CBD,” he said.

“It’s clear there’s going to be a growing demand for property in the residential market as the increasing number of people working in the CBD will translate into a desire to live close to their place of work.”

Kane challenged investors to consider a mix of residential and retail developments to accommodate the growing migratory workforce and permanent population.

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