PE’s Tramways terminus transformed

2017-02-01 06:02

SPECIALIST contractors, GVK-Siya Zama, have completed a R54 million project to transform Port Elizabeth’s previously derelict Tramways building into a mixed-use development.

The building now features an assortment of tourism, leisure and entertainment facilities, as well as office spaces. It also serves as the new headquarters of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), which drove the project.

The initial phase of the project involved the restoration of the former tram and bus terminus to its previous glory while carefully preserving its many heritage elements. Following the success of this stage, GVK-Siya Zama was tasked with making additions to the existing building.

These included a new boardroom, garages, generator room, refuse room, parking area under the freeway together with the installation of air-conditioning systems and electrical works to the new phase as well as a spectacular rustic landscape design.

GVK-Siya Zama was also responsible for overseeing the creation of an artwork on the external facade of the building. A Capetonian artist was enlisted to design the piece and local small, medium and microenterprises were commissioned to complete the panels and carry out the installations.

Barend Delport, Regional Managing Director at GVK-Siya Zama, shared, “The combination of the team’s passion for the history of the building and in-depth know-ledge of the site made the second phase a triumph.”

He said that one of the most interesting components of the project was the creation of purpose-made furniture, such as desks, cabinets, tables and chairs, from recycled timber and steel which were reclaimed from the original building.

The development will add great value to Nelson Mandela Bay and its residents, as it can be rented out to the public for functions such as weddings, conferences, concerts and markets.

Furthermore, the chef school on the property will be focused on social development by providing hospitality traineeships and courses.

“We firmly support the MBDA’s objectives of reversing the trend of urban decay and bringing people and business back into the inner city by leveraging existing assets. We believe that the renewed and improved Tramways building does just that,” concluded Delport.

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