V&A Waterfront invests in sustainable development
Following on from the recent announcement of new Growthpoint/PIC shareholding, the V&A Waterfront management discloses further details on the immediate new developments in the Clock Tower Precinct, the first of which already commenced in April this year
Now totalling an estimate of some R1-billion over the next four to five years, this initiative is one of the largest scale business developments since the inception of the V&A Waterfront almost 22 years ago.
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront, says the confirmation of the South African ownership has created huge momentum and a renewed interest in the V&A Waterfront. “This extensive development phase clearly underscores the notion that the V&A Waterfront is again ‘open for business’,” Green says.
Central to the development is the construction of a mixed use complex located between the existing Clock Tower shopping centre and the disused grain silo building. The site is set to be transformed into an 18 000m², triple A office space, with strong environmental credentials and will consolidate current tenant asset manager Allan Gray’s existing two offices into a new national head office.
“This new landmark building is set to change the face of this section of the V&A Waterfront as we know it”, says David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront. Upon completion, this new office building will feature one of the most advanced intelligent building management systems in Africa, adhering to the strictest global environmentally sustainable building requirements.
The building has been registered as a Green Star SA Office Design rating, and is targeting a minimum four star Green Star SA rating. The Green Star rating was established by the Green Building Council of South Africa in 2008 with the aim to evaluate the potential environmental performance of buildings, based on a number of criteria such as energy and water efficiency, quality of indoor environments and resource conservation.
In line with these criteria, the building design allows for a number of elements such as:
- A fully glazed double skin facade to maximise views and natural light, equipped with intelligent building management system to help eliminate normal drawbacks coupled with glass facades
- An under floor displacement ventilation system allowing grills at floor to be manually controlled to increase or decrease natural air flow and air temperature control throughout the building
- Intelligent lighting and energy efficient light fittings and diffusers, easily accessible recycling zones throughout the office, and an indigenous rooftop garden
Construction of the new office building is set to commence in September this year, and is scheduled for completion towards mid-2013.
The first of a series of residential units to be added to the revamped mixed-use Clock Tower Precinct is a residential component of some 3000m².
Currently the first phase of the development at the Clock Town Precinct is nearing completion. This involves the transformation of the current Clock Tower Centre to reconfigure the existing building to offer a total of over 5,000 m2 of office space, supplemented by over 2,500 m2 of niche retail offering aimed at serving the fast growing office and tourism markets in this area.
The remainder of this second phase will see the planned transformation of 50 000m2 bulk space within the Clock Tower Precinct, which includes the landmark silo structures. This area will be redeveloped into vibrant mixed-use area with residential, hotel, office, retail and public spaces, with a strong focus on a resource-efficient and sustainable green precinct. Talks are currently underway with a number of potential tenants, including renowned international organisations in the arts and culture arena to bring an exciting offering to the Cape Town public, and are able to secure perennial footfall and sustainable long-term leasing solutions within the precinct.
In addition to this, the Shosholoza basin has also been earmarked for the development of a new 3-4 star hotel. This basin creates a particularly exciting and central link between the Cape Grace hotel and Clock Tower precinct, rendering it ideal as hotel offering to service the Clock Tower business zone.
Open spaces have been incorporated into the overall design of the precinct, and optimal pedestrian and public transport links remain a key focus.
According to Green, the redevelopment of the Clock Tower Precinct follows the principles of international trends in urban space re-development. “The V&A Waterfront is fast becoming one of the most prestigious, cosmopolitan and upmarket addresses for businesses operating in South Africa. By combining ease of access, optimal parking and secure living conditions with some of the unsurpassed views in Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront is truly offering the best in lifestyle options in the whole of Cape Town,” he says.
“With the ease of accessibility, given its proximity to the Cape Town city centre and freeway system, the Clock Tower precinct has long been regarded as one of the most desirable commercial and residential addresses in Cape Town.
“Nedbank/BoE has been operating in this area since 2002 with great success. With the addition of the new Allan Gray building, this area is truly set to be transformed into one of the most sought-after addresses in South Africa for those companies that want to maximise the V&A Waterfront centralised and secure location,” Green says.
An expected number of some 5,000 office workers will be accommodated in the newly revamped Precinct in the next four years. “It is therefore critical that the existing retail offering at the Clock Tower Precinct is adapted to support the expected increase in office workers and residents,” he explains.
In the midst of continuous upgrades and redevelopment, extreme care is being taken to retain the feeling of a working harbour and to continue its support of the local fishing industry. “The V&A Waterfront is steeped in history,” he explains. “We maintain a very strong focus on preserving the heritage of the site, and all developments at the V&A Waterfront will always take the historical significance of the site into consideration,” Green says.
“We remain committed to the long-term development of one of South Africa’s most prestigious properties,” he concludes.