Johannesburg's Inner City Revival
Category Johannesburg: Newsletter News
Johannesburg's inner city as well as its surrounding areas have been earmarked by local government for massive expansion and development in 2020. The transformation is aimed at creating a resurgence of life and community in the inner city as well as introducing more diverse 'live, work and play' neighbourhoods through improving public-private partnerships.
In this article we take a closer look at these projects and how they will effect property prices and businesses moving back to the city.
The Newer the better - right?
In 2019, we heard of exciting announcements made by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba where he outlined the plans for the city. These included a R20-billion investment into new inner city developments, aimed at building affordable residential units and student accommodation.
Along with this, Jewel City and Towers Main - two keystone projects marked for redevelopment in 2020 - are set to undergo a redesign which will filter into surrounding areas. Although closed to the public for decades, Jewel City of yesteryear formed the heart of Johannesburg's precious gems and metals trade. It's revamp will cover six city blocks, including the iconic 30-storey Towers Main (one of the city's 10 tallest buildings) in the Absa Precinct. The project will connect it to Jewel City which, in turn, will be connected to the upbeat and artsy Maboneng. The three precincts will be linked by a massive pedestrian-friendly walkway the length of some 10 city blocks, complete with street furniture, lighting and art.
The revamp will include 20,000 square metres of commercial office space; 7,000 square metres of retail space at completion; 1,550 new residential apartments; 40,000 square metres in brand new buildings; Safe pedestrian urban precinct; Vibrant living, shopping and office environment of six city blocks; School; Clinic; Gym; Ample parking; Convenience retail; Fast food outlets and restaurants - all set to be ready this year. For progress images, read more here.
Tebogo Moletsane at API Property Group says, "These developments are ideally situated to cater to the needs of what people in the inner city crave. There is no doubt that they are going to be the best place to work and live in Joburg central."
In addition to making the city a safe, easy and accessible place to live and work, there are also plans to improve its aesthetics. Speaking at the Inner City Partnership Forum at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in November last year, artist Hannelie Coetzee spoke on Public Art Building Future Cities. In these upcoming projects Coetzee will be working with the Joburg Roads Agency and Johannesburg Development Agency in beautifying the city through art and design.
Property development driving economic change
The last few decades have seen deteriorating services and crime result in depressed land and property prices in the Joburg CBD. However, the resilient city has always harboured suburbs that have remained solid investments. As the CBD becomes more popular among investors, and with the help of the aforementioned developments, property prices are likely to improve over the next few years.
According to City of Johannesburg, "Property-led regeneration has been an important tool in area-based economic initiatives. Direct and indirect stimulation of construction activity is seen as a means to boost economic growth and inward investment, by providing commercial and industrial floor-space, and improving the physical environment."
What we can expect?
With all the new projects expected to kick off this year and continue into 2021, it's safe to say that Johannesburg can expect to have a mini-facelift very soon.
The inner city project is designed to cater to the specific need within these markets at the moment while also improve the quality of life and access for a lot of people. Some of the things we can expect are:
- An influx of more people into the areas (students, businesses and investors);
- Raised income and capital within the city;
- An expansive property market;
- Affordable accommodation;
- Job creation;
- A thriving local economy;
- In line with this - prices of properties will vary with a cost that suitable for students right up to businesses;
- More urbanism and development will make these area better work, live and play environments for the younger generations;
- The changes will assist in making Johannesburg an innovative and smart city that utilises sustainable development.
Author: API Johannesburg