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By Don Robertson | Jul 06, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

PROPERTY development in the inner city of Johannesburg is bucking the recessionary trend and is set to continue to do so for years to come.

Property consultants told Sowetan that with about R7,5billion invested in Johannesburg property since 2001 and a further R5,8billion in refurbishment in the five main areas of regeneration in and around the CBD, the city is set to become Africa's residential hot spot.

A number of commercial projects have been undertaken, but most of the refurbishing has been to redevelop buildings for residential use.

One company, Aengus Property Holdings, is due soon to announce a R1billion investment in up to 4000 residential units.

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) has been instrumental in the investment by private developers over the past years, though its financial contribution has been relatively small.

The areas that have been targeted by the JDA are Braamfontein, Newtown, Greater Ellis Park, the Fashion District, High Court Precinct and Jewel City.

Also being rejuvenated are areas such as Berea, Hillbrow and Yeoville.

JDA chief executive Lael Bethlehem said investments by the agency had totalled R392million and included the replacement of pavements, street lights, revamping public parks, providing sports fields, improving public buildings and adding art work to public areas.

About 20 projects have been undertaken.

Johannesburg City pays for the work that JDA undertakes in partnership with Blue IQ while the JDA cooperates fully with property owners and developers.

Bethlehem believes that the rejuvenation of the CBD could take five to 10 years to complete, leading to lower vacancies, higher turnover and increased rentals.


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