Multi-billion rand expansion projects planned for Port Elizabeth’s western suburbs

Baywest City co-developers Abacus Asset Management and Billion Group have reiterated their confidence in Nelson Mandela Bay with the announcement of a multi-billion rand expansion of Baywest City with several key projects to break ground over the next 24 months.

An artist’s impression of one of the green-rated office parks that will be going up at Baywest City over the next 24 months.

Over the next two years, Bay residents can look forward to the addition of a residential development, more green-rated office buildings in addition to the green office block set for completion later this year, a top international hotel, two popular restaurants and a lifestyle centre, among others.

Representing a total investment of over R1.2 billion, the projects in the Baywest City precinct will boost the local economy through job creation and shaping a business, retail and lifestyle hub in the western suburbs along the N2.

The concept for the precinct roll-out, say the developers, is similar to how Cape Town’s Century City and Durban’s Gateway developments have unfolded.

The lynchpin of this concept, the R2bn Baywest Mall, already occupies 90 000m² at the heart of the new precinct and has announced record festive season trade after opening its doors in May last year.

According to Baywest managing director Gavin Blows, the intention is to grow the precinct into a secure, modern mixed-use environment.

“All the developments will complement each other and create one of the fastest growing nodes in Port Elizabeth.”

Blows says Baywest City will offer a fresh and exciting development that embodies the ease of the live-work-play lifestyle.

First on the cards for this year is the 228-unit residential component, which will comprise a mix of modern freestanding homes and townhouses in a high-tech, secure gated community off Walker Drive opposite the mall.

Blows says construction on the high-end residential village, which will have a total built area of 46 000m², is expected to start in the second half of 2016.

Scheduled for construction in the latter part of the year is the precinct’s second A-grade office block – a modern, green-star rated multi-storey building with high-speed fibre connectivity, a gross lettable area of 8 000m² and ample basement as well as ground-level parking.

“Our research shows there is strong demand for A-grade office space in the western suburbs,” says Blows, adding that the new office block will consist of two buildings.

“Most staff and managers live this side of town and getting in and out of Baywest is far easier than other nodes. Businesses will be able to occupy space ranging from 150m² to an entire building.”

The A-grade buildings with an environmentally sensitive design are targeting a four-star Green Star certification from the Green Building Council SA, he says.

“Another purpose-built, three-storey office block, which is targeting a five-star as built rating, is under construction. It’s set for completion by the end of this year and will be the first green-rated commercial building in the Eastern Cape.”

Blows says the two-year plan further includes the establishment of two freestanding “destination eateries” – top-end restaurants either new to the city or extremely popular – overlooking the conservation area bordering the N2.

“Another major project is a 20 000m² lifestyle centre incorporating the latest design Virgin Active gym and several big-box retail outlets. We have had strong demand from non-mall retailers that prefer larger space.”

He says the lifestyle centre will house hardware, furniture, home and outdoor outlets in addition to the 3 300m² gym.

“Baywest City visitors and travellers can also look forward to a 150-room international hotel, as well as an Engen 1-Stop service station with 24-hour convenience offerings.

“This is simply the next phase in a 20-year plan. The take-up so far has exceeded expectations,” says Blows.

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