R1 billion Cape Town development gets go ahead despite objections
A new R1 billion mixed-use development in Cape Town CBD has been given the go-ahead despite facing objections.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, last week gave the final approval for the development of a R1 billion, multi-use development in the CBD – between Riebeeck Square on Buitengracht Street and the historic Bo-Kaap neighbourhood.
The development is set to provide 4 000m² of retail space, lifestyle activities and 250 residential apartments. The building currently on the site houses a car dealership.
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The proposed development has since the onset been met with fierce opposition from the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association.
Osman Shaboodien, chair of the association, said that there has been a long battle to try and make the development “more acceptable” to the residents of the Bo-Kaap. He certainly is not happy with the approval of the development by De Lille and claims it is only welcomed by developers and the City Council.
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“The building will have a major impact on the day to day living of the residents in Bo-Kaap. It will impact traffic, retail, offices and privacy – not to mention the environment, blocking sunlight, creating shadows and blocking our beautiful mountain view,” said Shaboodien.
The developer of the property, Jose Rodrigues, said that the development will target a Green Star rating by incorporating environmentally sensitive development and modern energy efficient technology.
Construction could start in June or July this year. During the two year construction phase he expects up to 500 direct and indirect jobs to be created.
Rodrigues emphasised that the development will be fully aligned to the objectives of the City of Cape Town’s new spatial planning legislation and will help meet the residential demand of the CBD’s growing population.
Regarding a petition by Bo-Kaap residents opposing the development, Rodrigues said there was a normal public participation process with the window for comments even extended to 90 days instead of the required 30 days. He said he has met with representatives of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association and explained to them that it would not be viable to start a redesign from scratch.
The City of Cape Town predicts that Cape Town will require an additional 500 000 new residential units by 2032, which equates to nearly 32 000 new units per year.
With over R8bn worth of construction already earmarked for the city centre over the next four years, Cape Town is well ahead of other South African metros in terms of infrastructure, business growth and its ability to attract investment