Tongaat Hulett development

2007-12-19 00:00

A multi-billion rand development opposite Gateway mall, which includes three hotels and an office park that will house head offices of leading national corporates, has been given the go-ahead by the eThekwini Municipality.

Peter Staude, chief executive of agricultural and property giant Tongaat Hulett, confirmed yesterday that the new development node, which covers 140 ha of prime real estate between Umhlanga Rocks Drive and the M4 and M41 highways bordering La Lucia and Umhlanga, has been earmarked for three hotels, including a R1,3-billion five-star resort.

Staude said Umhlanga Ridgeside will ultimately comprise of 150 000 metres2 of commercial/mixed use space, 100 000 m2 of offices and 3 000 residential units. This is expected to attract investment of between R8- to R10 billion, create 65 000 construction-related and 16 000 permanent jobs and generate over R50 million in rates per year.

He said the first developments are a mixed-use area adjacent to Umhlanga Rocks Drive and a commercial office area alongside the M41.

“The mixed-use area will encompass a 40 000 metres2 [interior decor] design quarter and a 10 000 metres2 Mr Price concept store, as well as a number of new hotel/resort developments. A total of R1,3 billion is being invested in an 80 000 metre2 resort, which will cater for thousands of visitors to the region each year. This is one of three hotels planned. Two are marked as five-star facilities. The commercial area will feature a 100 000 metres2 office park.”

He added that future phases will concentrate on residential units, ranging from stand-alone units to four- to eight-storey apartment blocks.

Umhlanga Ridgeside’s design hinges on “new urbanism” and is expected to take shape as “an energy-filled, cosmopolitan hub, with broad, tree-lined boulevards, well-maintained public spaces and natural conservation areas”.

“While sugarcane farming is important, it seemed a pity that the most prized land in our city was used to grow sugarcane. We are grateful to Tongaat Hulett for their foresight in agreeing to develop this land for commercial and residential use,” said city manager Michael Sutcliffe.

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