On the corner of Rose and Strand streets, bordering the CBD and Bo Kaap, a R1 billion development is set to be built. This comes after a two-year battle between residents of the iconic Bo Kaap and the developers, in an attempt to prevent the construction of the “monster building”.
Construction at 117 Strand Street (where the Midmar building now stands) will begin soon, and the mix-use development will include retail space, a Virgin Active, residential apartments and offices.
As tired old buildings make way for trendy new ones, a little bit of history is rewritten, but the area itself will forever retain its roots in the past. Strand Street was so named because of its proximity to the beach before much of the waterfront land was reclaimed. The midday noon-gun on nearby Signal Hill is a constant reminder of the early 1900’s and the vibrant Bo-Kaap with its brightly painted houses and equally colourful characters adds to the tradition and charm of this unique setting.
Is someone going to let them know the noon gun has been going off since 1806? Awkward. That’s why I prefer THESE people (their building is way better).
Anyway, more than half the flats have already been sold off. According to BusinessTech, this is the costing:
A 45 square metre studio apartment in the block is being sold for R2 270 000, while a 59 square metre 1bed/1bath unit is selling for R2 695 00.
The most expensive offering is a 2 bed/2 bath 234 square metre penthouse priced at R14 150 000, while a smaller unit, at 187 square metres with 3 bed/3 baths is priced at R11 250 000.
Talk about exclusivity.
When asked why the City approved the building’s plans, Johan van der Merwe, Cape Town mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, said that the development “aligns with the city’s planning policies for the area in that it will facilitate inner-city densification.”
He said that the scale of the building is acceptable “with taller parts orientated along the commercial main road, which is Strand Street, and the smaller less intense components situated towards the back of the development, abutting the Bo-Kaap residential neighbourhood.”
However, the Bo Kaap community is tired of the gentrification slowly making its way into the area. According to News24:
Shaboodien said Bo-Kaap residents didn’t mind the neighbourhood diversifying, but newcomers had to respect their customs.
“I mean, it’s a noisy suburb. We have people coming here to sell snoek, or whatever. Our children play in the streets,” said Shaboodien.
“For example, recently, a prominent member of the community died and we had a commemorative event for her on an open piece of grass. We put up a big screen and were celebrating her life. At about 8pm, the police came over … One of the new residents had laid a complaint! They should just have come over and engaged with us.”
Damn, Cape Town’s CBD is just too small for this kind of fuss. We really need to be looking at the development of neighbouring areas so we can do away with congestion, stepping on toes, and thinking a city space provides all the solutions.
Just look at Johannesburg’s biggest corporate districts.