No takers for city building

2014-07-23 00:00

THE Human Settlements Department is in the process of selecting a company to develop the dilapidated Westpoint Lodge situated in Durban’s Margaret Mncadi Avenue.

Department spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said yesterday the search for a developer came after state-related institutions, eThekwini Metro and Durban University of Technology (DUT), showed no interest when they were offered the opportunity to buy it.

It was envisaged they could use the building for social housing and student accommodation, respectively.

While eThekwini spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said the metro was to assess the suitability of the building for social housing, she said it was in a very bad state and was condemned by the fire and health departments.

Alan Khan, DUT’s senior director of corporate affairs, said: “The building did not suit our needs and it required a significant amount of investment to renovate.”

Baloyi said since the two institutions showed no interest, the department invited companies to develop the property.

“The department is currently looking at all the responses to that advertisement for expression of interest,” he added.

When the department announced plans to dispose of it last year, eThekwini valued the building at R5,9 million and an independent valuer, at R5,2 million.

The building is currently occupied by families who will be moved once the department finds them alternative housing when the property is disposed of.


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