Multi-billion development kicks off in Port Elizabeth

MARCH 14, 2016

Five major projects worth over R1.2bn announced as roll-out of Baywest City commences

Developers behind the Eastern Cape’s first live-work-play integrated precinct development, Baywest City, have announced the kick-off of five major developments this year which will total more than R1.2 billion in value.

Over the next two years, Nelson Mandela Bay residents can look forward to the addition of a modern residential development, green-rated office blocks – in addition to the green office block set for completion later this year – a top international hotel, two high-end restaurants and a lifestyle centre sporting a Virgin Active gym, among others.

Representing a total investment of over R1.2 billion, the projects will see the much-anticipated Baywest City precinct boosting the local economy through job creation and shaping a business, retail and lifestyle hub in the western suburbs along the N2 freeway. The concept for the precinct roll-out, say developers, is similar to how Cape Town’s Century City and Durban’s Gateway developments have unfolded.

The lynchpin of this concept, the R2-billion Baywest Mall, already occupies 90 000m2 at the heart of the new precinct and has announced record festive season trade after opening its doors in May last year.

According to Baywest managing director Gavin Blows, the intention was to grow the precinct into a secure, modern mixed-use environment.

“All the developments will ultimately complement each other and create one of the fastest growing nodes in Port Elizabeth.”

Blows said Baywest City would offer a fresh and exciting development that embodied the ease of the live-work-play lifestyle.

First on the cards for this year is the 228-unit residential component, which will comprise a mix of modern freestanding homes and townhouses in a high-tech, secure gated community off Walker Drive opposite the mall.

Blows said construction on the high-end residential village, which will have a total built area of 46 000m2, was expected in the second half of 2016.

Scheduled for construction in the latter part of the year is the precinct’s second A-grade office block – a modern, green-star rated multi-storey building with high-speed fibre connectivity, a gross lettable area of 8 000m2 and ample basement as well as ground-level parking.

“Our research shows that there is a high demand for A-grade office space in the western suburbs,” said Blows, adding that the new office block would comprise two buildings.

“Most staff and managers reside this side of town and getting in and out of Baywest is far easier than other nodes. Businesses will be able to occupy space ranging from 150m2 to an entire building.”

Boasting an environmentally sensitive design, the A-grade buildings were targeting a four-star Green Star certification from the Green Building Council SA, he said.

“Another purpose-built, three-storey office block, which carries a five-star as built rating, is currently under construction. It’s set for completion by the end of this year and will be the first green-rated commercial building in the Eastern Cape.”

Blows said the two-year plan further included the establishment of two freestanding “destination eateries” – top-end restaurants either new to the city or extremely popular – overlooking the conservation area bordering the N2 freeway.

“Another major project is a 20 000m2 lifestyle centre incorporating the latest design Virgin Active gym and several big-box retail outlets.

“We have had a great demand from non-mall retailers that prefer larger space.”

He said the lifestyle centre would house hardware, furniture, home and outdoor outlets in addition to the 3 300m2 gym.

“Baywest City visitors and travellers can also look forward to a 150-room international hotel, as well as an Engen 1-Stop service station with 24-hour convenience offerings.

“This is simply the next phase in a 20-year plan. The take-up so far has exceeded expectations,” said Blows.

Image: BREAKING GROUND:  This graphic shows the multi-billion rand projects scheduled to break ground at Baywest City this year. The mixed-use precinct will include office, retail, lifestyle and residential components.