To decrease and eventually eliminate the sinkholes;
Increase the ripple pond investments;
Support the economic sectors;
Intensify urban management and
To maintain and upgrade infrastructure.
A new breed of developers has emerged to tackle challenges and entrepreneurial projects at both the residential and commercial end of the spectrum. With office earnings potential remaining muted, 2004 saw the listed sector as net sellers of assets to the new 'turn-around' entrepreneurs, many of whom are investing in residential stock.
Office investments recorded a 4,5 percent rise in value from R1 014/m2 in 2002, to R1 418/m2 in 2003 and with further growth in 2004 expected according to the Investment Property Databank (IPD) report. More importantly, this is the first time positive capital growth was recorded in the city centre since the database's inception in 1995.
Pitched at the new entrepreneur grouping, in particular, the Better Buildings Programme is gaining momentum, facilitating a turn around of blighted buildings with significant rates and taxes arrears. The portfolio has grown from 28 buildings to over 50, but the programme is battling to keep pace with demand from potential investors. Luxury apartment conversions are taking place in numerous select "character" buildings in price brackets equivalent to the north.
An area of some 26 city blocks on the eastern end of the CBD, bounded by Jeppe, End, Commissioner and Von Weilligh streets has emerged as a Fashion District. Some 32 buildings in the fashion core occupying a total floor area of 120 000m2 and a combined value of R30-million were identified for potential investments.
Newtown launched a R200-milion 4700m2 private-sector mixed-use (retail, commercial and residential) development comprising 3 850m2 of office space at asking rentals of R55/m2 and 850m2 of retails space at around R70/m2.
The Gauteng Tourism Authority relocated from Rosebank in 2005 to take up nearly 50 percent of the office space. Newtown is supported by new traffic infrastructure that includes the Nelson Mandela Bridge to Braamfontein and the M1/Carr Steer interchange.
Tenants in the node include Blue IQ, the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, a state-of-the-art science exhibition centre, the National Design & Crafts Centre, Museum Africa, Tourism SA, Gauteng's arts and culture department, African restaurant Moyo, the Market Theatre, and other complementary tourism-orientated businesses.
A R100-million revamp of the Oriental Plaza in Fordsburg just to the west of Newtown was announced and will include a major food court, multi-purpose hall, gym, banking hall, the supermarket chain, franchise stores, multi-level parking, cinema complex and hotel.
Letting opportunities at Constitution Hill open for 36 000m2 of office and 2 000m2 of retail space. The Constitution Hill Development Company is open to various development models, including doing the design, obtaining funding, erecting the building and letting the space to interested tenants, as well as facilitating organizations in building their own building under a long-term lease arrangement. The Hyatt group has planned a limited-service hotel on the 9ha site and a variety of government and nongovernmental organisations express interest in office space.
Johannesburg is now designated the largest Urban Development Zone (UDZ) in the country, comprising just under 18km2 of residential, industrial and commercial areas in and around the central business district. This initiative is expected to boost current efforts to regenerate Johannesburg's inner city, as developers and property investors take advantage of tax concessions to build and renovate buildings in designated areas.