City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Councillor Ruby Mathang has described the development of Newtown Junction as a major and important step in the rejuvenation of the Johannesburg inner city.
The R1,3 billion mixed-use development, in the heart of the Newtown Precinct, was officially opened last week. It boasts a 36 000sqm shopping centre, 30 000sqm of office space, a Planet Fitness gym and four levels of parking space that can accommodate up to 2 400 vehicles at a time.
Developed by Atterbury Properties, the junction signals the growth of Johannesburg’s city centre as well as the revival of the city in a way that preserves its heritage and history.
“This is by far the largest private sector investment in the city’s urban renewal programme and a significant move towards turning back the clock. In the early 1900s, the very spot where the Newtown Junction is situated was a hive of activity,” Cllr Mathang said.
“It [accommodated] the fresh produce market’s potato sheds, which delivered daily sustenance to the people of the city and the rest of the country, and storage sheds for mining companies.
“We hope the Newtown Junction will also deliver daily sustenance ... by providing our people with much-needed work and the City with additional revenue.”
The junction is situated in the middle of Newtown’s cultural district, near Museum Africa and the striking 1913 Edwardian building that was redeveloped into the popular Market Theatre.
Construction started in October 2012. The development was facilitated by the Joburg Property Company (JPC) and has seen the South African Heritage Resources Agency’s inputs being carefully considered due to the historic nature of the site.
The Newtown Junction’s retail area, which includes anchor tenants such as Pick n Pay and Shoprite Checkers, have incorporated a portion of the steel warehouses (potato sheds) originally designed in 1910 for storing vegetables and fodder that were distributed to fresh produce markets across the country by rail.
There are four basement parking levels, two retail levels above the parking lots as well as three levels dedicated to office space above the retail portion.
A portion of the building was constructed under the elevated M1 highway, which required “a very unique geometry” to accommodate the highway piers.