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Friday May 02, 2014

Historic Sea Point school attracts many proposals

More than a quarter of the 20 'expressions of interest' submitted for the redevelopment of the former Tafelberg School site in Kings Road, Sea Point, have come from the education sector.

Tafelberg School on Main Road Sea Point.

'There is an insatiable demand for educational space along the eastern Atlantic seaboard,' said Frank Cumming, the consultant working on the project.

There has also been a submission from Communicare for affordable housing.

The 1.7 hectares of prime land, which takes up almost an entire block, is owned by the Western Cape government.

It is vacant, save for one tenant who has been ordered to leave by next month.

Cumming told the city's ward 54, which includes the Sea Point area, that the project was in the early concept stage. It could be at least five years before there would be any building work on the site.

The development forms part of the provincial government's regeneration plan for provincial land that could be better used.

The province held an investor conference in March to attract interest from the private sector.

Cumming said about 20 expressions of interests were submitted, many from educational institutions. He said these included primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and a few from overseas entities.

The proposals would be considered in the next few months. A formal request for proposals would then be issued.

Another site in Kings Road has been snapped up by the French School, which said the educational market could compete with the private sector.

Although a 'notional' plan at this stage, Cumming said the government had set out its vision for the site. This included a public square or public park on the main road, and some sort of mixed-use activity alongside a residential-led development.

There was space for up to 155 dwellings, and for retail and office space.

The development could create an opportunity for a precinct like the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cumming said.

The site is well-located for public transport, including the myciti bus routes, and would be ideal for a high-density residential development where car usage was kept to a minimum.

Any development would maintain the heritage integrity of the site.

Cape Argus


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