Cape Town CBD’s 15-year ‘overnight success’

Cape Town CBD’s 15-year ‘overnight success’

One of 22 MyCiti bus rapid transit stops in the Cape Town CBD.

The Cape Town CBD is being called an overnight success story, according to Rob Kane, chairperson of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), speaking at a business breakfast on June 4 attended by property companies involved in investment and development.

“The overnight success has been 15 years in the making – in November this year, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District will celebrate 15 years in operation, and its next five-year business plan begins in July.”

He thanked the CCID’s partners at the City of Cape Town and central city property owners for the confidence they had shown in the area, and said: “together, we’ve laid a solid foundation over the past decade and a half, and now investors are voting for the CBD with their rands and developments are rising from this foundation.”

At the CCID’s last business breakfast – in 2014 in the then newly opened Portside building – an attempt was made to predict how the CBD skyline would continue to change over the course of the next five years.

But Kane said this was now quite difficult to do, because investment and development are rapidly changing the Cape Town CBD.

‘They are enabling us to transform, and what’s happening in the CBD now really is akin to the science of chemistry – bringing together elements that form a reaction far greater than the sum of their parts.”

Each year the CCID publishes a guide – The State of Cape Town Central City Report – that looks back at the previous year in assessing the economic climate of the CBD.

“Last year we had just released the 2013 report, and noted that the value of property in the CBD was around R24 billion, according to the city’s official property valuations for the 2013/14 financial year. In addition to this and the R1.6bn Portside building that had just opened, there was about another R3.4bn in the pipeline between construction and planning to come online within the next five years.

“However, while compiling the latest report (2014: A year in review) the CCID’s research team documented a further R1.46bn worth of development under way or on the cards. And astonishingly, between the release of the 2014 report and today, another conservative amount of R1.95bn of investment has been announced in just the past three months. I say ‘conservative’ as there are some investments and refurbishments whose figures have not yet been revealed by developers.”

The new confirmed investments include:

A R70m upgrade by the Department of Public Works to the Master of the High Court building in Albertus St.

The Sentinel, a new R200m residential development on the corner of Loop and Leeuwen streets being developed by the Nova Group in association with the Dogon Group.

Tsogo Sun’s development of the SunSquare and StayEasy hotels on the site of the old Tulip Hotel in Bree Street, totalling R680m.

The transformation of the old Triangle House in Riebeek Street into a R1 billon residential and hotel development, a collaboration announced by Radisson and Signatura just last week, to be opened by September next year.

Said Kane: “A year ago, we predicted that residential property would be the new wave of development, and we are thrilled in particular to see this happening as demand has significantly now outstripped supply in the central city. And we think that people wanting to live here and be closer to their places of work and play is the biggest thumbs up any CBD can receive for a downtown area.

“Add to this the growing accolades we are receiving as a city in which to do business, and we are reminded how important a strong CBD is for the metropole as a whole.”

The third annual edition in a series of reports on the economic climate of the CBD, the latest The State of Cape Town Central City Report: 2014 – A year in review is available from the offices of the CCID (email or online at


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