Additions to thriving Rosebank
Derived from Engineering News
Rosebank is a hive of activity. Mutual Square - with Game opening in October and more offices - will be expanding next month, and The Zone has recently undergone a massive extension creating extra retail and restaurant space. A marked increase in foot traffic has been noticed and the restaurants have experienced a significant rise in trade, says Samuel Silwamba, regional development manager at Old Mutual.
Given the impressive train and bus passenger statistics, this is no surprise. According to Errol Braithwaite, technical executive at Bombela, in the month since the Pretoria to Rosebank line opened about 750 000 train passengers and about 125 000 bus passengers have been transported over 24 million passenger-kilometres (about 600 times around the world).
Barrow Properties development group is developing an office block alongside 67 residential units on the corner of Oxford Road and 11th Avenue, 1km away from the Rosebank station. More than 60% of the residential units - ranging between R1.2-million and R1.8-million - have been sold and all of the offices have been let.
Neil Barrow, financial director at Barrow Properties, says the proximity to the station was a major driver of the decision to develop the area as is the fact that Rosebank is undergoing a major rejuvenation. Barrow Properties believes that within the next five years Oxford Road will become a hugely desirable commercial node.
Barrow writes: “We recently concluded one office development on the corner of Oxford Road and 11th Street, and have started a new residential development right next door. The office development has 3,685m2 of rentable space, 3,141m2 of which is already occupied by SBV Services (Pty) Ltd, a cash-in-transit company, under a 10 year lease. The residential development is called Ipanema, and is scheduled for completion by August next year. The development consists of 60 one, two and three bedroom units, of which 36 units have been sold so far.”
The Mall of Rosebank, owned by Hyprop Investments, is due to undergo a complete revamp from the first quarter of 2012, extending the footprint from the current 38000m² to 63000m² across Bath Avenue onto the Rosebank Gardens. The extension to the Mall would have gone ahead without the Gautrain, but its existence is hugely beneficial.
The proximity of the Rosebank station to Kingsmead College, a private girls' school, has also meant that parents from Pretoria are now considering sending their daughters there. Cailin Wandrag, marketing manager at Kingsmead, says the school plans to start actively marketing in Pretoria and Midrand where top established schools are hard to find.
The new phase of the Gautrain opened not a moment too soon. Johannesburg has been rated as the third worst city to drive in out of the 20 most economically important cities in the world after Beijing and Mexico City.
About 30% of the local commuters polled believed traffic had improved "somewhat" or "substantially" this year, compared to 19% last year, and this is no doubt due to the Gautrain as well as highway improvements.