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Monday Sep 09, 2013

Langa railside shopping centre gets the nod

The City of Cape Town has approved Joburg developer Krisp Properties' plans to develop a 5 000 sqm pedestrianised shopping centre alongside the busy Langa train station.

An artist's impression of what Langa Junction will look like.

The approval comes alongside plans by the city to invest in pedestrianising the area by paving and landscaping the station forecourt and access roads.

According to shopping centre architect Boets Smuts of Smuts & de Kock Architects, the development of the centre and the city's gentrification plans went hand in hand.

'The centre is designed to be pleasant and convenient,' says Smuts.

'It will be the first convenient shopping centre for Langa. There is a need for centres like this so that people don't need to take a train to town to do their shopping.

'It's also very central - it will be within walking distance for many residents in nearby suburbs and the Epping industrial area is just across the railway line.'
Krisp Properties executive director Jordan Mann says the plan is for the centre to be a hub for commuters using public transport.

'The railway has been upgraded and is now a first world station. Langa Junction is an ideal fit for the station, and we hope to have the centre completed by the second half of 2014.

'People will be able to pop into the centre after work, before taking the train home.

'The beauty of Langa Junction is its location right next to the station, making it easier for commuting residents. We are creating a shopping experience for commuters and residents in the area.'
The suburb, well known for its apartheid struggle history, is also frequented by tourists.

'We are addressing a major need for retail in the area. Retailers have been clamouring for us to get this centre up and running,' says Mann.

According to town planners NuPlan, the lack of amenities in Langa township and the adjoining Epping industrial area 'more than warrants the construction of a local shopping centre, as no other commercial/ retail opportunities exists within the immediate environs'.

'Because of the proximity of the proposed shopping centre to the Langa station, the centre has been designed around pedestrians with easy, safe and well-balanced pedestrian links, walkways and landscaping,' says NuPlan town planner Dirk Larsen.

'The centre will form an integral part of the Langa station precinct. It will be an easily accessible centre, allowing residents ongoing access to amenities so fewer longdistance trips will be required, which will reduce travelling expenses for the community in general.'

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