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Friday Jul 15, 2016

V&A's Silo projects nearing completion

Cape Town, despite tough economic conditions, is bucking the trend when it comes to construction, with several projects worth billions of rand nearing completion, which will be a welcome contribution to the city's economic and job prospects.

This includes mixed-use development at the V&A Waterfront and Foreshore area comprising hotels, residential and retail development, as well as the Cape Town cruise liner terminal.

An artist's impression of the first phase of the new Canal District.

Carla White, spokeswoman for the V&A Waterfront, said several projects were nearing completion either this year or next year, among them the No 3, 4, 5 and 6 Silos, the Silo Hotel and the Zeitz Muzeum of Contemporary Art Africa (Mocaa).

The No 3 Silo is a 79-unit apartment building of one- to four-bedroom apartments, scheduled for completion early next year. No 4 Silo will be the Virgin Classic Health Club, opening later this year; No 5 Silo, a 14 500m2 multi-tenanted office space and home to PwC and Werkmans Attorneys, opens this month, while No 6 Silo will house Carlson Rezidor's concept hotel, the Radisson Red Hotel, which will open next year.

The Silo Hotel is a 27-key boutique hotel and sits in the elevator portion of Zeitz Mocaa, scheduled to open early next year.

White said the first phase of the R700 million mixed-use development, the new Canal District at the V&A Waterfront, was under way with a corporate head office for British American Tobacco South Africa as the first project, named Waterway House.

She said the V&A Waterfront's acquisition of the Amway and Queen's Hotel buildings in 2014 has extended its southern border on to Buitengracht and the Canal District will straddle both sides of Dock Road.

"The Canal District as a whole ties strongly into the arterial route that connects the city centre to the V&A Waterfront and into the main pedestrian route that runs along Dock Road."

White said the cruise liner terminal redevelopment was a two-phase project. The first phase will see the completion of a passenger terminal in December next year and the second phase will include the development of a larger building that includes cold storage.

"We see the terminal being an extension of the activity of the V&A Waterfront."

Rob Kane, chairman of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District, said the growth of the V&A Waterfront contributed significantly to the development of the CBD. He added that for many years, the section of the Foreshore closest to the V&A Waterfront and the port remained largely an area of car parks and concrete.

"So what you've had for the past decade is two areas of Cape Town, the rest of the CBD closer to the mountain and the V&A Waterfront, both vibrant and dynamic in their investment growth and potential, developing literally side by side, and yet experiencing a huge disconnect at the edge of the Foreshore.

"However, slowly over the past decade, we've begun to see the Foreshore transform, rejuvenate and reconnect with what has become a very popular CBD in terms of the opportunities it offers."

He said simultaneously, the Waterfront had grown and "we are now seeing the two areas moving closer together, reconnecting again for the first time in nearly 90 years".

Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the V&A Waterfront had turned Cape Town's fortunes around and set the tone for the CBD's redevelopment.

"We now have the best, safest and most prosperous city centre in the country. More important, however, was the number of jobs that it had created and the investments and tourists it had attracted to the Mother City."

She said the chamber was particularly excited about the development of the new cruise liner terminal, as cruising holidays had become a big industry and Cape Town would now be better placed to gain a larger share of the business, which in turn would create more jobs and business opportunities.

She added that the Western Cape had been fortunate in that commerce and industry in the region had been more diversified and had escaped the worst effects of the slump in commodity prices.

"Our unemployment rate is lower and the prospects for our service industries are good. To some extent we have bucked the downward trend in the national economy, but we still have a great deal to do."

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Cape Argus

 
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