MBDA To Acquire And Redevelop Small Buildings To Reinforce Urban Renewal

SEPTEMBER 3, 2014

Mandela Bay Development Agency CEO Pierre Voges says the Agency wants to acquire two derelict buildings in the Hope Street area adjacent to the Belmont Terrace/Bird Street upgrade.

In a report to the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Committee, Voges points out that the overall objective of urban renewal “is to attract private sector investment through catalytic public sector investment”.

He notes that the municipality has already handed over a number of buildings to the MBDA for project management purposes.

These include the Athenaeum, Tramways Building, Telkom Park and the Mermaid Precinct in Russell Road.

Voges says the MBDA has now embarked on a process of acquiring small buildings that are adjacent to or in upgraded areas to “redevelop them for a purpose driven by market demand and so reinforce the urban renewal impact”.

At its meeting yesterday, the committee agreed that the MBDA should be given a mandate “to investigate and revitalise all derelict buildings” across the metro.

In terms of the committee’s resolution, the MBDA will be mandated to enter into negotiations with the owners of both public and private buildings “with the intention of taking them over in the form of a lease or purchase”.

In a report to the committee, Executive Director Anele Qaba said the metro was characterised by a number of derelict buildings, some of which have been abandoned for a considerable period of time and were now in ruins, adding that this was affecting “the look and image of the city” and has serious implications for tourism and investment.

He said that the state of some buildings painted a picture of the metro “as a ghost and abandoned city”.

Qaba pointed out that the MBDA was already playing a critical role in this regard, for example with the old Tramways Building.

He said it was the view of the directorate that the MBDA should develop “a property division that will help deal with these buildings”. - MetroMinutes.

 

Photo courtesy of www.vansa.co.za