new Ponte opens doors to style

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Residents of the New Ponte building in Johannesburg will move in by October.

When plans to refurbish the flats were unveiled last year, it was to be called Ponte City. But, it has now been renamed New Ponte.

The 54-storey building offers potential owners one of six different styles of finish, from Glam Rock, Future Slick, Moroccan Delight, Global Fusion, Zen-like to Old Money.

Built in 1975, the 200m high Ponte has always been a furnished rental block, with 470 flats.

It has one of the best views in town and it is famous for its flashing neon advertisement.

Initially opened as one of the best places to live in the city, by the late 1980s it decayed into a haven for criminals and druglords.

There was even a proposal in 1998 to turn Ponte into a prison.

From 2001 the flats were cleaned up and a new security system chased out the criminals, but the building needed renovation.

The developers wanted to return the building to its former glory.

Prices range from R412000 for smaller units to R920000 for a top-end three-bedroom apartment, and more for a penthouse.

One was recently sold for R5million and they are all fully furnished.

The developers negotiated with landlords around the city to accommodate tenants already occupying the building at the same rentals they had been paying at Ponte.

New Ponte lies at the centre of different urban renewal programmes that include the R170million upgrade of Hillbrow and Yeoville pavements, storm water drains and lighting.

It is also on the route of the planned Bus Rapid Transit system and near the Gautrain station.