Demolition pends

2017-03-21 06:02

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A historical pair of buildings in the city centre could be turned to rubble, if a demolition permit is awarded.

The owner of 192 to 198 Loop Street has applied to Heritage Western Cape for a demolition permit on the “old Bo-Kaap style houses that were likely built in the late 1700s”, confirms ward councillor Dave Bryant.

One of the two buildings, on the corner of Loop and Buiten streets, used to be a Madame Zingara restaurant and was razed by a fire in September 2006.

The purple building has been empty ever since, and so has the Ivory Room next door.

The property changed hands early in 2007. The purple townhouse has been boarded since the fire, and has reportedly been a site of antisocial activity.

In 2013, plans emerged to restore the purple building after the Madame Zingara group took over the lease (“Zingara to bring back magic, People’s Post, 3 October 2013).

But this never materialised.

The property owner had not responded at the time of going to print.

Suzette Little, Mayco member (North), says the buildings have local heritage value and have been listed as Grade III by the City of Cape Town.

“The property also falls within the heritage protection overlay of the city. Heritage Western Cape requested the owner to prepare a heritage impact assessment to assess the heritage significance of the buildings before a decision on alterations or demolition of the buildings can be taken,” she says.

Heritage Western Cape had not responded at the time of going to print.

The City’s problem buildings unit has been dealing with the property since 2012 but the buildings have never been officially declared as problem buildings, explains ­Bryant.

The current condition of the property is “derelict and unsightly”, says Little, and illegal occupation and antisocial behaviour, including drug abuse, have been recorded there.

“The owner secured the property to prevent unlawful entry, but this has not deterred some persons who continue to break the barriers that were erected to prevent entry,” she says.

“The owner is cooperating with the problem building unit to resolve the issues. It is for this reason that there has not been an official declaration of a problem building.”

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