More development opportunities at Somerset West set to come from Heartland

Posted On Wednesday, 03 August 2005 02:00 Published by
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A mixed use development surrounding the 50 ha Paardevlei and the historical precinct, proposed

Heartland Properties, which is responsible for the ongoing redevelopment of AECI land between Somerset West and Strand, hopes within the next year to present proposals for a mixed use development surrounding the 50 ha Paardevlei and the historical precinct which houses a core of Sir Herbert Baker-designed and other buildings dating from 1901.

This will be another milestone in the growth of the Helderberg basin, says Wendy Viola, Western Cape sales and marketing manager for Heartland Properties.

“In just five years some 250 ha of the total AECI landholding of 1 000 ha, equivalent in size to Cape Town’s City Bowl, has been successfully sub-divided and sold for residential, retail, commercial and light industrial use to investors, owner occupiers and developers.”

She says a R24 million programme to upgrade roads in and around The Triangle, the commercial area surrounding Somerset Mall,  which is now under way, will include a new intersection giving access to the eastern part of the main AECI property. 

“This intersection will help facilitate future development of the remainder of the property.”

The roads programme, due for completion by mid-February, represents a further investment in community infrastructure by Heartland Properties. It follows the R12 million investment by Heartland in the AECI Centenary bridge, which was officially opened last year and crosses the R44 Stellenbosch-Strand road to link the retail and commercial Triangle housing the recently expanded Somerset Mall,  with the industrial Interchange area.  Once completed, the Heartland-funded road improvements will be handed over to the City Council.

Viola says strategic planning for the remainder of the AECI site by a carefully integrated professional team including town planners, consulting engineers, landscape architects and a heritage consultant is ongoing and Heartland will continue to provide development opportunities across all property sectors.

“Because of its size, characteristics and location, the site offers an opportunity to embrace the principles of new urbanism – approaches that oppose today’s urban sprawl, and provide an integrated way of life in one unique and vibrant mixed use development.  A major design implication is to accommodate a wide range of income groups and to seek to reduce overall movement.

“Another is the importance of retaining green connections between the mountains and the sea. The aim is an intense, integrated mixed-use, pedestrian friendly and vibrant urban area within a beautiful, carefully protected and enhanced natural landscape. Some of the activities of a dynamically-balanced town, such as industry and commercial activity, sportsfields and recreational facilities are already in place. 

“Emphasis in the proposed mixed use development thus will be on retaining the existing green nature on the eastern side of Paardevlei. Tighter development with a higher density will be encouraged on the western side to create a more urban and cosmopolitan atmosphere of residential, offices and restaurants. Development of this node will unlock the greater site and eventually provide access to the coastal area. “

The latest indicators of activity on the AECI property range across industrial, retail and residential development.  In the area north of the N2 they include

development of Waterstone Village, a convenience shopping centre bordered by the R44 and Main Road, and  Schonenberg, an adjacent residential estate.

South of the N2, alongside  the industrial node, The Interchange, the John Konti Property Group is  developing a R14 million multi-use industrial business park and its own R5 million head office within 12,8 ha it bought from Heartland Properties. The Group which has named its land Olive Grove Industrial Estate, recently completed a R12,6 million manufacturing facility there. 

The Links Office Park south of The Triangle offers a prestigious office setting. Developed around a golf driving range, it is close to the Mall and enjoys excellent access to all major routes. All the sites have been sold.

The Somerset Links residential development, across the golf driving range, is now under construction and first phases are expected to be ready by the end of 2005.  Somerset Links is within walking distance of the Mall and The Links office park and offers a true “live work play” environment.


ISSUED FOR Heartland Properties

BY Michael Kerkhoff & Associates

INQUIRIES Wendy Viola 021-852-1154

                   Mike Kerkhoff 021-424-5280

Publisher: Heartland Properties
Source: Heartland Properties

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