The first sod has been turned on the R1.2-billion Jewel City redevelopment in Johannesburg’s CBD.
Closed to the public for decades the Jewel City precinct is set to be completely overhauled with 40 000m² of new buildings to be added, while existing buildings will be entirely refurbished.
The revitalised Jewel City will reopen to the public as a vibrant mixed-use precinct. It will be amenity-rich with a school, clinic, gym, parking and convenience retail as well as fast food and restaurants. It will also include 20 000m² of commercial space, 1 200 new residential apartments in its first phase and up to 1 000 in its second phase.
Divercity will launch more than 75 000m² of new residential space in Johannesburg and Jewel City and its surrounds over the next 18 months with more than 80% of the 2 200 new apartments falling within the rental cost range defined as social housing by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority of South Africa.
Besides creating an inclusive world-class ‘live, work, play’ precinct, the Jewel City project will enhance the area and will be fully pedestrianised with a people-friendly walkway along Fox Street. Its pedestrian walk links it with two other Divercity projects; to the west, the new Absa Towers Main redevelopment and, to the east, new residential developments in vibey Maboneng.
Besides creating an inclusive world-class ‘live, work, play’ precinct, the Jewel City project will enhance the area.
The development is also set to create significant employment in the city with an estimated 1 279 temporary jobs and 1 384 permanent jobs. In addition, it will contribute to the municipal and national tax base.
Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba at the opening excitedly extolled the virtues of the new development.
“This is a catalyst for igniting the City of Johannesburg… We can turn the city around… We can’t build it overnight, but this is a beginning. We are ready to do business… This was what South Africa needed. I hope that your investment, your initiative, will trigger other investors to identify the City of Johannesburg as the biggest real estate opportunity in the world today.”
Non-executive director of Atterbury Property Fund Phuti Mahanyela spoke at the landmark event on behalf of Divercity, Ithemba and Atterbury saying, “It is so important to see development and redevelopment right here in our cities. It helps to undo apartheid-era spatial divides and move towards more inclusive environments.”