MBDA’s Bold Plan for Heart of Port Elizabeth CBD

OCTOBER 21, 2014

The Mandela Bay Development Agency has unveiled a bold new plan for the heart of the Port Elizabeth CBD that includes the purchase of the Old Post Office that will be used to create a new council chamber.

In a report to the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture (EDTA) Committee, which meets on Thursday, Agency CEO Pierre Voges points out that the possibility of a new council chamber has been mooted for some time.

Council currently meets in the Wool Board building in Military Road.

Voges says that the creation of new council chambers in the CBD “could further enhance urban renewal and the viability of the CBD.

He adds that the present council chamber in the City Hall is too small “and at some point a new council chamber, with accompanying offices and boardrooms will have to be considered.

“Not only will it be a more cost-effective option than a completely newly built facility, but it will enable a further upgrading of the CBD and the broader city centre.”

This, he adds, is in line with the philosophy that CBDs are “engines of growth” and that “if a CBD dies, then a region dies.

“This trend can be reversed with the creation of a council chamber in this precinct.”

Voges explains that the MBDA is working on a concept that will include linking a number of buildings.

These include the City Hall, Feathermarket Hall, the Wool Board and Old Post Office with multi-level parking created on the space opposite Newspaper House.

This land would also have to be purchased.

The CEO also reports that R7 million will be spent in the current financial year on the revamping of the Vuyisili Mini Square, and that it is hoped to start construction around April next year.

Council approved spending of R30 million on the project spread over three years.

The square will be designed in such a way that there will be no public parking with additional parking created behind the Feathermarket Centre. - MetroMinutes.


Photo courtesy of bookabillboard.co.za