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Randburg CBD’s upliftment

The
plan, which is about to enter the second year of a five-year cycle,
will see the whole triangle of land, between Selkirk, Bram Fischer and
Jan Smuts, developed, says executive manager of planning and strategy at
the JDA, Sharon Lewis.


According to the Randburg central business district Urban Development Framework
(UDF) and proposal approved by the City Council in July and November
2010, respectively,  the Southern portion (land parcel 1 in diagram)
will be sub-divided from the rest of the site, with 2.27Ha to be
developed for social housing by Johannesburg Social Housing Company
(Joshco) while the Northern portion of 6.4Ha will be made up of a
mixed-use property development that will be able to house municipal and
social services, including the taxi rank, the Bus Rapid Transit
facility, the library, the licensing department and more affordable
housing.


This
decision, says Lewis, was taken, as the City Council decided instead of
burdening the “full development, which is going to be a PPP (public,
private, partnership), with a very high requirement for affordable
housing, we would take a portion of the site and develop it
independently. The southern portion, which is on the Selkirk street
side, is going to be developed by Joshco and it will be owned and
managed by it.”


Joscho
will be behind the development of 735 units, modelled on Newtown’s
Brickfields. The units will be built next to the Randburg Taxi Rank to
service a “working class, pedestrian market, which is very much what
Randburg has become”, says Lewis.


Phase 1 has already started, which includes the demolishing, upgrade of the road and bulk infrastructure, says Joshco’s Obakeng Nyundu.

Parallel to that adds Nyundu “we are doing detailed designs, and the tender process for phase 1” will go out early next year.

Infrastructure
upgrades, such as storm water, water, and road upgrades, aligning the
internal road to the existing road, will also be done, as and when the
money becomes available, says Nyundu.


The
JDA will be responsible for: supporting the City to implement the UDF,
participating in a co-ordinating committee, representing the City in
interaction with the private sector, making plans for some public
environment upgrading work and facilitating the PPP in collaboration
with the Johannesburg Property Company, which holds the asset on behalf
of the City, says Lewis.


It
will also work on a phased public environment upgrade depending on the
availability of budget, adds Lewis. This will start in 2013, with plans
to upgrade the Hill Street Mall, followed by making some of the streets
in the office environment more pedestrian friendly, so that Randburg can
be more of a transit hub and then going into the residential part of
the CBD.


Both
Lewis and Nyundu said it is difficult at this stage to say what the
value of the project will be, but Lewis said it will be “significant”.



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