Durban set for R4 billion multi-use development

With more than 4 000 homes included in the now under construction multi-use eventual R4 billion Bridge City Urban Renewal Development on a 60ha site in the north western area of eThekwini its developers are emphasising the importance they place in home creation.

The first large batch of 1 000 homes forms part of the initial phase of the development, which is being kick-started by a 40 000 sqm retail centre located on top of a planned below ground railway station linking Durban to the North Coast.

The current R30 million earthworks is expected to be completed by the end of the year allowing an immediate start on the above ground development of the site.

Unveiling plans for the public-private partnership project between Tongaat Hulett property arm, Moreland Developments and the eThekwini Municipality in Durban this week, Moreland’s commercial and industrial director Mike Deighton said Bridge City through its incorporation of major retail activities, commercial and light industrial business zones and residential component offered a comprehensive and quality lifestyle.

Intended to serve the severely under-serviced needs of the approximate 800 000 residents in the Inanda, Ntusuma, KwaMashu and Phoenxi (INK) area, Bridge City will also include a range of civic needs. First sales in the project have been concluded for a regional magistrates court and a 450-bed provincial hospital. Deighton said interest from both public and private sector developers in Bridge City had been enormous. This included a developer for the retail centre and four developers interested in the residential component.

Bridge City will become one of the largest development initiatives within previously disadvantaged areas in the country and stimulate economic growth in INK in the same way as the Umhlanga Ridge Town Centre stimulated development of the coastal belt north of Durban.

Funding has been applied for from national government for a new interchange on the M25 and the proposed railway station and a regional inter-modal transport facility. The railway connection has been identified in eThekwini’s Integrated Transport Plan a key element in both the restructuring of Durban’s public transport system and in the success of Bridge City.

While emphasising that readiness of the homes was dependent on early development of the project, Brian Ive, Bridge City’s senior project manager was hopeful that a start on the construction of the first residential unit would be commenced by the end of this year while the start of the 1 000 units above the shopping centre would be in early 2009 with completion within two years.

The price of units would be in the affordable price range, but the scale of the project also allowed for upmarket homes, such as penthouses of R1m plus.

Ive noted that the PPP is hoping to rezone an adjoining 17ha site to Bridge City for special zoning rights, which would also include a residential component.

Bridge City, when completed will support 700 000 sqm of developed area and about 200 000 sqm of retail space. An estimated 26 000 jobs will be created during the construction of the project and 25 000 permanent positions when completed.

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