A look at the winning R8.3 billion bid to change Cape Town’s Foreshore

The City of Cape Town has announced the winner of its bidding process to change the face of the city’s Foreshore district, which is home to its infamous incomplete freeway.

The winning bid was ‘Proposal F’, headed by Mitchell Du Plessis Projects, trading as Mitchell Du Plessis Associates (MDA). Core development costs could reach R8.3 billion, and will take at least a decade to be realised, upon passing all approvals.

Seven proposals were received from the private sector in February 2017. After an initial screening for responsiveness, six of the proposals were then exhibited at the Civic Centre where the public was invited to express a preference.

The six proposals have since been evaluated by the city, which considered the proposals against a list of evaluation criteria prescribed in the Request for Proposal documents.

The MDA proposal put emphasis on affordable housing, which is tough to come by in Cape Town where property prices have skyrocketed in recent years.

Among other things, the MDA proposal also covers the completion of unfinished sections of freeway – these are the connections to and from Helen Suzman Boulevard; and the connections to and from the N1 and N2 freeways – and the development of approximately 3,200 market-related residential units and a minimum of 450 affordable residential units.

“MDA proposes to complete the unfinished highways, and to finance or cross-subsidise the new roads and affordable residential units through the development of upmarket and mid-market residential units,” the City said.

“It is proposed that the market-related residential units be located in 11 new tower blocks with heights ranging between 63m, 123m, and 143m with views of the mountain, sea, and harbour. The towers will extend across four precincts within the Foreshore area on the strip of land between the new freeways.

According to the proposal, the different heights and location of the towers will ensure that the iconic views of Table Mountain and the sea from the harbour and public spaces are retained.

The location of the proposed four precincts is as follows:

  • The CTICC parking garage;
  • The area between the existing freeways and Heerengracht and DF Malan Street;
  • The area between the existing freeways and DF Malan and Jan Smuts Streets; and
  • The area between the existing freeways and Jan Smuts and Christiaan Barnard Streets.

The tower blocks will rest on podiums which will also partially support the new freeway viaducts.

The new viaducts or fly-overs will be higher than the existing freeways. According to the proposal, this is to provide enough space, natural light and airflow for the development in the podiums. The proposed podiums beneath the highways will accommodate the bulk of the affordable residential units, parking bays, convenience and specialty shops, retail space, and community facilities.

In this way, the space under the highways will be transformed into a lively urban environment, the City said.

Part of the proposal is also to build another 10 residential buildings on the northern edge closest to the harbour under or between the existing east-bound freeways between DF Malan and Christiaan Barnard Streets. These buildings will host affordable residential units.

MDA’s proposal is also said to ecologically sensitive and addresses the impact of the development on the environment with water, energy, and lighting design solutions, the City of Cape Town said.

“Grey water recycling, rainwater harvesting, and water treatment systems are included, as are measures to mitigate the impact of high winds and noise.”

The build costs of the core development are estimated at R8.3 billion (2017 rand value), which includes the new highway infrastructure. The development is to be largely self-funding.

It is anticipated that the building work could commence in 2020, subject to the successful completion of the Stage 2 process, and all mandatory property disposal, development and other statutory processes, and approvals. Given the scale of the proposed development, it will take at least a decade to come to fruition.

Read: A look at the 6 proposals for transforming Cape Town’s infamous unfinished freeway

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A look at the winning R8.3 billion bid to change Cape Town’s Foreshore