Joburg CBD revamp appears to be paying off

Posted On Tuesday, 14 November 2006 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Confidential in Johannesburg's inner city continues to rise, attracting new investors willing to tackle projects in both the residential and commercial markets, says a report released on Monday. vBusiness confidence was found to be highest in the cultural arc development zone linking Braamfontein to Newtown.

Amos MasondoThis suggests the CBD revitalisation project, which experienced a slump in the 1990s, in line with trends seen in many other world cities, is paying off.

The Johannesburg Development Agency's (JDA's) 2006 Performance Indicator, launched last night by city mayor Amos Masondo, shows rising business confidence in the CBD, with 75% of participants saying turnover had risen, against 67% last year; and 68,6% of businesses expected profits to rise. This shows a steady rise in business confidence from 2003, when only 35% believed they would see an increase.

More than 59% of respondents believed the city would continue to improve, especially when it came to crime, although fewer people than last year believed they had seen a decline in inner-city crime.

Crime levels in the city were static.

At the same time, the number of people who felt unsafe walking in the streets fell from 54,4% last year to 48,6%. Also down was the number of people who felt policing initiatives were insufficient, falling to 41% from 51% last year.

Forty percent of respondents felt security in the inner city was better than in the rest of Johannesburg. This was higher (58%) in the cultural arc district.

There was a notable increase in the number of people who felt signage in the inner city was better than the rest of Johannesburg, with 68% seeing an improvement, up from 30% last year.

When it came to parking, however, 68% of respondents in the CBD and 70% in the cultural arc district felt there was not enough parking, although this was down on last year.

Nearly 46% of respondents were unhappy with litter on pavements, although this was down from 52,5% last year.

The report found that businesses continued to move to the CBD, with vacancy rates in A- and B-grade properties continuing to decrease. Braamfontein reported a 4,9% rise in occupancy rates, which compares favourably with Rivonia's 5,2%. Midrand saw a 13,5% increase and Rosebank 6,4%.

The report said the survey echoed many of last year's findings, although there was improvement when it came to economic data. "The JDA is now facing the issue of how it can re-ignite excitement around new developments in the inner city which are likely to be more incremental and less dramatic."

Randburg's CBD, which was also identified for revitalisation by the council, is a significant contributor to the office market in Johannesburg. It has seen a steady decline in A-grade vacancy rates, down from 17,5% to 6,8%. B-grade vacancies also dropped steadily but rose to 13,3% in the last quarter - although that remains below the 2004 figure.

Crime in Randburg has seen a steady decrease since a peak in 1998-99; however, here too there is a perception among respondents that crime has remained the same.

Of concern was that figures relating to business confidence in the area were down on last year, with only 25% saying they had seen an improvement in the management of the CBD - compared with 35% last year.

Fewer businesses than last year felt cleanliness had improved, and fewer reported increased turnover. Half the respondents believed Randburg was still seen as dirty and unsafe, up on last year.

However, 84% believed the area would improve where it came to grime and crime, and 73% (from 68% last year) believed business turnover would rise.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 17 May 2014 08:24

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