SA Affordable Housing in its April/May issue looks at the new The Bronx (and no it’s not the borough of New York City, but part of the R10-billion Sky City development south of Johannesburg).

The Bronx at Sky City. Image credit: Central Developments

The Bronx at Sky City. Image credit: Central Developments

Specifically, we look at a sub-project, called The Bronx @ Sky City, consisting of 534 apartments, which is the first of three phases, eventually totalling 1 634 apartments. The broader Sky City development will ultimately consist of 14 500 free-standing homes of which 2 600 have already been built and occupied since the beginning of 2017.

The greater Sky City project should be an active construction site for the next 10 to 15 years, and the new city may one day have a population of 70 000, says director at Central Developments, Sakkie Wolmarans. The Bronx at Sky City is being undertaken by Central Developments of the Cosmopolitan Projects and Central Developments Property Group – a business unit which constructs and manages its stock of affordable rental housing. As owner and manager, the company will thereafter be permanently on site.

The 534 units comprising The Bronx @ Sky City consists of a mix of bachelor, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments all for rent, with the lowest rental at R3 000 per month, up to R5 100 per month. The 2 600 freestanding homes of the eventual 14 500, have already been completed and occupied at Sky City and sold freehold. Slated as one of the biggest privately funded property developments in Gauteng, the new project is positioned on a portion of agricultural land just south of Alberton and Katlehong known as Watervalspruit.

Wolmarans says The Bronx is the next stage of the Sky City development, and itself will have three phases, with a second and third currently in the early planning stage. “We initially looked at the social housing model, but then decided to have no government subsidy element.”

It is an ‘integrated development’ with each floor containing four units in a mix of sizes, and therefore different income groups in line with global housing trends. There has proven to be a ready market for the units, as there is not much other serviced residential stock in the area due to lack of available land. Wolmarans says applications have consequently come from all over Johannesburg such as Soweto, Katlehong and Thokoza once they realised the commute even to Sandton, Randburg and the CBD was relatively quick. Most of the residents use public taxis, and a permanent taxi hub is being established on site, alongside a taxi association head office. Security is a major element of the project, and taxi security at the planned transport hub will be provided by means of biometric identification for all taxi drivers.