MBDA unveils its revival plan for Baakens Valley (see plans)

MAY 29, 2015

The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) on Thursday presented bold plans to build a massive retail hub, a pedestrian bridge, social housing and a parking garage that will feed into the Port Elizabeth inner city.

The plans, which were revealed at a briefing at Bridge Street Brewery, are part of a major renewal project that the agency has earmarked for the city’s Baakens Valley area.

However, the MBDA said that the plans would still need to go through the process of getting the necessary approval from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) council.

After that, the Municipality would also begin a process of lobbying for funding from National Treasury on behalf of the MBDA.

If the plans and funding are green-lighted, the agency said that the historic Baakens Valley area will be transformed into an area to work, play and live.

In 2014, the MBDA began the redevelopment of the old Tramways Building in the same valley. The refurbished building will become the agency’s new corporate headquarters.

“The Tramways redevelopment forms part of the envisaged Baaken Valley/ Bridge Street development which will connect with the future waterfront development on the Transnet land cleared for this development by the Transnet National Port Authority to further grow this leisure and recreational precinct,” the agency said then.

“The result of this development will see the area transformed and will attract both national and international tourists and private sector investors, as the MBDA works on the philosophy that investing public sector money in needed areas will be a catalyst for private sector investment.”

The project follows similar phased rejuvenation efforts conducted by the MBDA around Bird Street and Belmont Terrace in Port Elizabeth’s Central area. The Donkin Reserve, Parliament Street, Govan Mbeki Street and Strand Street have also seen similar renewal projects.

Similar upgrading projects have also been undertaken in the Nelson Mandela Bay’s townships.

See the proposed revival plan for Baakens valley below;