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Gautrain station spurs Rosebank property developments

Rosebank is emerging as an important area of Johhanesburg, with private businesses having invested R6.8 billion since 2010, when the Gautrain station was built.

Developers alone have contributed R4.1 million in bulk service contributions to the City of Joburg.

Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau recently visited the area, and said that because of this huge investment, the city had declared the area one of the 35 priority areas in the city.

This means the city will aim at a 70 percent improvement in service delivery in the area.

“The investment in Rosebank is significant and we have to ensure we can sustain this node in terms of infrastructure and roads.

“These investments have to be maximised for the benefit of the whole city,” said Tau.

He added that because of the intensity of development, there was also a need to talk to people who live in the area.

“We should not forget the interests of residential homeowners who are being swallowed by developments there,” he said.

“We should be mitigating encroachments and should control developments to protect their interests, too,” he said.

Tau said no money had yet been spent on Rosebank because of the construction of the Gautrain and other developments. “When major construction projects are complete, developers’ contributions will be used for road and infrastructure upgrading,” he said.
The Gautrain had contributed greatly to the upgrading of Rosebank and other areas along its route, he said, where densification was being promoted.

The area was also well served with other public transport such as the Rea Vaya bus system, a strong Metrobus service and minibus taxis.

However, Tau said, the city’s planning department was making a critical error in not providing sufficient parking space for taxis.

“There are planning rules about the number of parking spaces for cars, yet for taxis, which are the main form of transport for many people who work in the area, there are no such regulations,” he said.

Lael Bethlehem, chairwoman of the Rosebank Management District (RMD) and Central Improvement District, said there were big plans for the area.

Included in this was helping the city to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

She said the RMD had organised a Sunday public performance project involving community-based arts and culture.

“We have funded and comanaged a traffic and transport study for the area,” Bethlehem said.

“We also recently reached an agreement on park layout,” she said.

On the other hand, she said, the huge investments being made in the area were bringing challenges.

One of the main concerns was that the infrastructure was not geared for such growth. Because of the large volume of construction vehicles, the roads were now in disrepair.

She said there was concern that the millions of rand being paid by developers for bulk services had not been utilised by the council for upgrading roads and services.

R6.8bn in redevelopment

  • Extension and upgrading of The Mall of Rosebank (Hyprop).
  • The Zone II, Holiday Inn and Cradock Square (Old Mutual).
  • The Firs, Fluxmans and various other new office buildings (Investec).
  • Standard Bank 70 000m2 offices plus public open space.
  • Various new office buildings along Jellicoe Avenue, including Oxford Corner (Tiber), Global House and Urban Genesis.
  • Refurbishment of 54 on Bath by HCI.
  • Refurbishment of 160 Jan Smuts Avenue by Growthpoint.
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