Cape Town - Property developer Amdec on Thursday launched its R10bn Harbour Arch development, which will be located in Cape Town CBD's foreshore area.
It will be based on a similar concept to that of Amdec's Melrose Arch development in Johannesburg.
At the launch Nicholas Stopforth, head of development at Amdec, told Fin24 that they expect to start construction by the end of the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2018. The first of six phases should be completed by the end of 2020.
The first phase would include 432 residential apartments with an anticipated selling price of about R1.7m upwards. The most expensive apartment is likely to cost about R7m, according to James Wilson, CEO of the Amdec Group.
He explained that the development aims to be affordable to young professionals. It will be geared to allow for pedestrian traffic at all hours and offer residents accommodation together with other lifestyle elements, all in the same location. There will be an emphasis on security.
Harbour Arch will be developed on a 5.8ha site at the confluence of the N1 and N2 freeways and includes retail, offices, residential apartments and two Marriott branded hotels. Motor dealerships will be situated at street level.
Wilson told Fin24 that the land where Harbour Arch will be developed has always been in commercial ownership. Currently car dealerships are operating there.
"We are not taking any land from previously disadvantaged individuals in order to create upmarket property," said Wilson. He added that the anticipated R10bn funding will come from Amdec itself - "we are a large business with a strong balance sheet" - as well as from its business partners and banks. It also looks to gear from sales due to the phased development approach.
The development is expected to take five to ten years to full completion. It will ultimately consist of six individual towers above a landscaped pedestrian walkway running the entire length of the precinct. This eighth-floor “Central Park” will be tenanted by restaurants, coffee shops, cocktail bars and gyms as well as convenience retail and lifestyle outlets.
The pedestrian walkway:
Harbour Arch’s initial development phase – No 1 Harbour Arch – will comprise 432 apartments, two motor dealerships, retail, leisure, and commercial office space. In addition to a residents-only pool, exercise area, and terrace all located on the 17th floor, the building will also feature a roof garden and viewing deck on the 24th floor.
Stopforth explained that "new urban architecture has become a global phenomenon where you live, work, play, relax, and stay in a safe, convenient, sustainable and community-focused environment".
The pedestrian "central park":
At the launch Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said the investment will boost the local economy and be another vote of confidence in Cape Town. He believes it highlights how the Mother City's CBD is "probably the most functional and investable on the continent".
"South Africans are voting with their feet, with many coming from Gauteng to live in Cape Town," he added.
Cape Town's Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille said the City has to balance economic development with high-density affordable housing located close to the city.
"Investment must coincide with our social responsibility to inclusive economic growth, job creation and an integrated community,” she said. "My role is to make sure the water is running."
The first phase of the Harbour Arch development is expected to create about 2 500 construction jobs. The two Marriott branded hotels will secure about 350 permanent jobs, with additional opportunities in the various retail spaces.
According to Laurie Wener of Pam Golding Properties (PGP), they have already been "swamped" by enquiries about the new development.
She said about half the buyers in Cape Town's CBD are from outside the city, and that there is an increase in small families wanting to live in the inner city. They are looking for sophisticated city living without security issues.
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