Cape Town Station Set for facelift

19 Jul 2016

Cape Town - Cape Town station is set to get another facelift - this time a 120-room hotel, office and retail complex on a part of the forecourt of the public transport exchange area worth R1 billion.
More than a year since Prasa submitted a rezoning application to allow for the development, it was approved by the council’s spatial planning, environment and land use management committee (Spelum) last week.

A top view of Cape Town Station taken from the Southern Sun Hotel. The station is set for yet another upgrade, with plans for a R1 billion hotel, business and retail complex. Picture: Ross Jansen. Credit: CAPE ARGUS
It approved the rezoning of 35 000² of the forecourt area on the western portion of the property, adjacent to Adderley Street, from a transport zone to general business.
Subject to Mayco approval, the rezoning paves the way for a consortium of three property developers to submit building plans for the development which willprovide for over 27 000² of office space and 17 866² of retail area, 175 parking bays, and a 3 000² medium-rangebusiness hotel over three levels. The development was not expected to exceed 54m in height.
Prasa would pay a development contribution for the upgrading of the local services infrastructure.

In 2010, Prasa Corporate Real Estate Solutions (Prasa Cres) invited development partners to undertake and manage the redevelopment of portions of Cape Town Station.
A consortium comprising ERIS Property Group, Accessio and Emira Property Fund was selected to partner with Prasa, Prasa Cres and Intersite. Eris Property Group’s development manager Dacre Hattingh said construction was only expected to get under way next year, with completion set for mid-2019.
The rezoning application was submitted to the city over a year ago, but was delayed because of the finalisation of a site development plan for more than 6 000² of residual retail space as a result of the World Cup upgrades.
While a leasing arrangement between Prasa and the developers was still under discussion, it was expected that the complex would be leased for a period of 45 years.

Hattingh said a hotel chain group had not yet been decided on, but that there had been interest from a particular group. The hotel was expected to be fairly simple, serving the overnight needs of businesspeople.
The proposed development of the public transport forecourt follows two major upgrades to the Cape Town Station over the past eight years - the R408 million overhaul of the station for the 2010 World Cup, including the Adderley and Strand Street concourses which were completed in 2011, followed by the R126m redevelopment of the Parade forecourt, which was completed last year.
In a report to Spelum, city officials who assessed the application said the proposal would unlock economic development, job and business opportunities in the city centre.
Furthermore, it would enhance the station, was in keeping with the immediate context of the area and in line with its densification policy.
The application was also subject to a heritage impact assessment given the heritage value of the site and the buildings.
The city’s main concern, however, was the increase of traffic to the area.

The main vehicular access would be via Old Marine Drive.

A transport impact assessment for the application revealed that the daily peak trips for the proposal was in excess of 150 trips. This translates to an increase of two vehicles a minute to the surrounding road network which is seen as significant in the context of the CBD.
But the Spelum report noted that hotel guests would probably be brought to and taken from the property via tourist bus services.
It was expected that staff employed in the office and retail complexes would use public transport, minimising the need for excessive private parking. “The anticipated traffic impacts are manageable, even though additional studies must be undertaken,” said the report.

Lindsay Dentlinger