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Monday Sep 17, 2012

Plan to expand Melrose Arch

The City of Johannesburg has approved a revised Melrose Arch precinct plan which will guide the creation of trendy, mixed-use developments beyond Atholl Oaklands and Corlett Drive to include Birnam, parts of Illovo and Waverley.

The revised plan will guide the city in its decision-making when approving land-use applications it has received over the years since the Melrose Arch development started. The council's approval means that between two and three hectares of land around the multibillion-rand northern Joburg development will be used for the creation of non-residential development.

"Along Scott Street in Waverley, for instance, there has been quite a lot of pressure to increase the intensity of the space," said Nkateko Shipalana, senior specialist in strategic planning at the city's development planning division. "At Fourth Street in Birnam we are proposing a three to four-storey development in terms of what will be considered nonresidential development."

Properties to the west of Atholl Oakland Road can be developed with residential 3 zoning at a density of 60 dwelling units a hectare, the city has envisaged.

Shipalana said the revision process was supported by information from developers and increased pressure to accommodate other developments beyond the current Melrose Arch node.

Melrose Arch is one of the most prestigious commercial spaces in Joburg and the opening of its 34 900m² office space recently increased its market standing.

Valued at between R4.5 billion and R5bn, Melrose Arch consists of upmarket offices, shops and hotels. The recent expansion included additional retail space, offices, about 360 residential flats, a new sixstar international boutique hotel, public areas that reflect the urban fabric of the area and a super basement with 10 000 additional parking spaces.

Siphalana said what the city council was looking at was similar to the creation of two neighbourhood shopping centres.

He said the city had consulted with all residents' associations in surrounding areas on the proposals contained in the precinct plan.

Saturday Star

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