Cape Town grants Tutu’s body a leasing property deal

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The City of Cape Town is considering offering a leasing property deal of its Granary building to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. The City of Cape Town is considering offering a leasing property deal of its Granary building to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

The City of Cape Town is considering offering a leasing property deal for the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation with the hope that it will help rejuvenate the grimy inner city centre.

On Monday Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, accompanied by Archbishop Emeritus Tutu and Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Nielson, announced a proposal to grant a long-term lease of The Granary — a building built in 1812 that has served as a private dwelling, customs house, women’s detention centre, and at one stage stored the city’s grain.

Currently the building is run down but it is in the heart of a historic corner of the city.

According to Ms De Lille’s proposal, the foundation will lease the 3,605m² building for a nominal sum for 38 years and the city will spend about R30m to refurbish it.

The proposal has to go through council procedures including public hearings. Mr Nielson said this should take two months.

The city had originally planned to lease the property to the foundation for the development of the centre, but this had not happened.

Ms de Lille said it had been proposed that the lease be cancelled and the remainder of its 40-year term be transferred to the Granary deal.

Archbishop Tutu said the centre would be used to house his foundation’s head office and provide a space for nongovernmental organisations in and around Cape Town.

“Many of those organisations struggle to find office space they can afford and maybe we will be able to help them out,” the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said.

The Desmond & Leah Legacy Foundation’s main functions are to develop and manage partnerships and legacy-promoting programmes as well as contribute to the position of Cape Town as a world capital for the intellectual and practical pursuit of local and global peace, morality and human dignity.

The Granary is near the city library and District Six Museum, and has the famous Athol Fugard Theatre around the corner from it.

The building stretches across a block between Harrington and Buitenkant streets. Its facade has the British coat of arms at the centre, with statues of Britannia and Neptune at the corners.

Commercial property businessman Jeremy Wiley said the city had long ago earmarked the area for renewal and the lease of the Granary would play a pivotal role in that.

“The city is obliged to put its properties to good use. If they cannot use them for their core functions, then they have to rent them out at commercial rates, or put them to use for the public good. This lease would be in the last category,” he said.

Read more on:

Cape Town Property Market  |  Patricia de Lille  |  Ian Nielson  |  Archbishop Emeritus Tutu
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