By March next year one of Cape Town’s busiest train stations, Langa, will have a 5,000m² specially tailored pedestrianised shopping centre to cater for the 45,000 commuters who use the station daily.
It will be the newest commuter-based retail development in the country and forms part of the extensive recent urban upgrade of the Langa station and its surrounds by the City of Cape Town.
The developers behind Langa Junction shopping centre, Nu-WayHousing Developments and its sister company Krisp Properties, broke ground on the project in early July. They have already secured one of South Africa’s leading food retailers as the anchor tenant of the centre, which will have 11 other stores, two ATMs and eight smaller spaces of about 15m² specifically aimed at entrepreneurs and SMMEs.
About 100 jobs would be created during the construction phase of the R60m development. A further 200 permanent jobs would be created once the centre opened, Krisp Properties executive director Jordan Mann, also the executive director of Nu-Way Housing, said.
“The newly-built overhead commuter bridge linking Langa Junction with the station and the Epping industrial area means a high volume of foot traffic for the centre daily,” said Mann.
According to shopping centre architect Boets Smuts, of Smuts & de Kock Architects, the development of the centre and the upgradingof the area by the city went hand-in-hand. The centre was designed to be “pleasant and convenient”, said Smuts.
“It will be the first convenience shopping centre for Langa. There is a need for centres like this, so people don’t need to take a train to town to do their shopping,” he said. “Convenience centres are rising in townships all over South Africa.”
Langa Junction went hand-in-hand with the new pedestrian link over the railway line to the Epping industrial area, said Smuts, adding that the station forecourt upgrade ran parallel to the new centre.
“The forecourt upgrade consists of soft and hard paved landscaping, pedestrianisation of certain areas and formal stalls for local traders. It will all add up to an existing urban space and will hopefully make the Langa community proud,”Smuts said.
Mann said the plan was for the centre to be a hub for public transport commuters.
“The railway has been upgraded into a modern transit station which serves commutersvery well. Langa Junction is a very good fit for the station itself,” said Mann, adding that Langa junction was on course to open in February next year.
The suburb, well known for its apartheid struggle history, is also frequented by tourists.
“We are creating a shopping experience for commuters and residents in the area. We are also addressing a major need for retail in the area. The community and retailers have been very keen for us to get this centre up and running,” said Mann.
Mann said it was the developer’s aim to not only maximise job creation within the community, but also to improve the skills base of the area.
The developer’s presence in the area spans back to the early 2000s when Nu-Way developed 300 housing stands in the community. The town planning for the shopping centre was also completed at the time, said Mann.
“It was always our intention to put a shopping centre in Langa,” said Mann. “We have earmarked adjacent land for the future growth of the shopping centre.”
There was also a Project Steering Committee in place which met every two week to discuss matters affecting the community, such as security, local labour and contractors, he said. A Community Liaison Officer (CLO) had also been appointed. There were also talks with the main contractor,Granbuild, to train local bricklayers and other disciplines during the building process.
“We are providing skills to the local community for plastering, brickwork, scaffolding and ceiling installation. So, for example, when the bricklayers arrive on site, they choose people from the community to work on the project,” said Granbuild contracts manager Winslow Hare.
“The majority of the sub-contractors will come from the local community. The specialist contractors dealing with plumbing, air conditioning and electrical will come onto site and involve local contactors on those jobs.”
ABOUT THE DEVELOPERS
Krisp Properties and Nu-Way Housing are part of the Nu-Hold Group which has several successful developments completed and underway around South Africa, including the R500-million Clearwater Office Park along Johannesburg’s Atlas Road, which is being built to compliment the OR Tambo Aerotropolis, and the planned Olifantsfontein Industrial Development in Johannesburg for which town planning has recently been approved.
The group is also in the advanced planning stages of developing a R6-billion “city within a city” holsitic lifestyle and low cost housing estate, to be constructed on the outskirts of Nelson Mandela Bay, on a 3,200 hectare site. The plans include provision for clinics, hospitals and shopping centres.
Krisp Properties already boasts successes which include Randburg Office Park, Ebony Park Shopping Centre in Midrand and Sandton Office Park.
Distributed by Brian Anthony Communications
Brian Anthony Hayward – Nu-Hold media liaison
+27 (0)413734100 / +27 (0)84 250 2932