Cranes herald confidence in Cape Town CBD

Posted On Friday, 06 July 2012 10:37 Published by
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After the excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup had died down, there was a noticeable slowdown in new property developments across South Africa. Cape Town was no exception to this, with little to no new developments of note coming to market – especially in the central business district (CBD). That has since changed, however, with a sudden influx of large, and in some cases significant projects commencing construction within the past few months

 

If the number of cranes that are a part of a city’s skyline is in any way indicative of a healthy commercial property market, then Cape Town is certainly booming. There are presently no less than 16 cranes at work in the Cape Town city bowl area.

The first of these can be found at Atlantic Centre, which is a redevelopment under way on the eastern fringe of the foreshore. Here, the once-derelict building is being given a complete architectural overhaul and two floors are being added to it. Work is due to be completed at the end of 2012.

Near the Golden Acre, another crane is up, where additional floors are being added to the parking lot of a nearby property, whilst a little higher up in the CBD two cranes are at work on the site of Wembley 3. Nearing completion, Wembley 3 is the latest addition to the exciting Wembley precinct, and will host office space for a prominent law firm.

Back on the western edge of the foreshore, there is much exciting work currently under way. Two cranes are on the site off 22 Bree – an iconic 20-storey office tower under construction. Due to be completed in mid-2013, it will host the new offices of Bowman Gilfillan attorneys. Designed by Boogertman + Partners Architects, it is unlike anything seen in the CBD thus far, with its pinstriped glass façade likely to draw much attention.

A mere two blocks away, three cranes overlook the site of Portside. At completion around Dec 2013, Portside will rise to 32 storeys, and will officially become the city’s tallest skyscraper at 142 metres. Consisting of a reflective blue glass façade, it will add a modern, corporate flare to the city skyline, and bring over 50 000m² of 4-star Green Star rated AAA-Grade office space to market. 25 000m²of the available space will host the new consolidated provincial headquarters of First National Bank.

Over at the V&A Waterfront, another three cranes are at work on No 1 Silo – the first new development in the waterfront’s Clocktower Precinct. This will eventually become a bustling, mixed-use area of the waterfront and will host everything from office space to apartments. No 1 Silo will house the new headquarters of Alan Gray, and the award-winning architects – VDMMA - are aiming for a 5-star Green Star rating. Beautiful, double-glazed glass will completely alter the feel of this once-derelict section of the Waterfront, whilst remaining sensitive to its surroundings.

In Green Point, a single crane is currently at work on The Mirage – a contemporary mixed-use block that will tower over its neighbours at 16 storeys. It will house retail space on its first two floors, office space above, with the bulk of the floors being dedicated to residential apartments. Its glass and timber façade is progressive, yet sensitive to its environment.

A few blocks away the redevelopment of Media Quarters is also under way, where a single crane is on site. This will result in the complete transformation of a prominent building along Somerset Road. The new façade will boast large glass windows, and two floors will be added to the building. This will add some much-needed bulk to the section of Green Point in question.

Finally, a crane was recently erected on the site of the new ViewPoint Apartments currently under construction along Green Point Main Road, close to Sea Point.

When asked about his thoughts on the new developments, Francois Staples – a director at Galetti Commercial and Industrial property brokers – commented that “the range of new developments coming to market in the Cape Town CBD is exciting. We have certainly noticed an uptick in interest in the CBD, and the market as a whole, this year. Developments such as Portside lead by example and will hopefully result in the return of many large corporate tenants to the CBD area.”

With a number of new developments still in the planning, including the massive extension to the Cape Town International Convention Centre due to start next year, as well as the construction of the new Chris Barnard Hospital Complex on the foreshore later this year, cranes are something that Capetonians are getting used to.

By Lydon McGrane, Galetti

Last modified on Friday, 06 July 2012 11:50

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