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Wednesday Jul 03, 2013

FNB plans news headquarters for KZN

Banking giant FNB is investing R430 million in the development of its new KZN regional head office complex in the burgeoning Ridgeside precinct between uMhlanga Rocks village and Gateway.

An artist's impression of the R430 million FNB Acacia House development, near uMhlanga Rocks village and Gateway.

FirstRand boss Sizwe Nxasana turned the ceremonial first sod marking the start of construction yesterday.

Nxasana said the development would be a landmark for Durban as a "green" building and would see the consolidation of a number of the group's divisions, including FNB and RMB, into a single regional HQ complex.

"The development of this new building, called FNB Acacia House, represents a significant milestone for our group in KZN. This is an extension of our continued commitment to investing in the development of the city and region, creating much-needed jobs in line with the government's employment development and social upliftment agenda," he said.

The building would accommodate 800 to 1 000 FNB and RMB staff over five floors, and have four underground parking levels. Preggie Pillay, KZN provincial head of FNB, said construction was under way with two cranes on site.

The development would see the creation of 1 000 direct and indirect jobs, he said.

KZN Economic Development and Tourism MEC, Michael Mabuyakhulu, said the development was a vote of confidence in the city and would have a positive impact on growth in the province.

eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo also welcomed the project as a "major investment" in Durban.

The development is the latest project in the Ridgeside node, which was "master planned" by Tongaat Hulett Developments.

The site of the FNB development was originally earmarked for a R660m five-star Marriott Hotel resort in 2006, but the global financial crisis saw the deal fall through.

The 140ha Ridgeside precinct has attracted billions in investment and is being developed in commercial, residential and leisure phases.



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