Modderfontein redevelopment in South Africa

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The Modderfontein redevelopment project was intended to provide a mixed-use property located near Tambo International Airport in South Africa. The Chinese developer, Shangai Zendai had planned to build the $8 billion project at the 1600-ha site over 15 years.

Unfortunately, Zendai was unable to move forward with the Modderfontein redevelopment project and it got paused by mid-2016. The developer purchased the property with the intention of building a high-end, mixed-use development comprising both housing and office spaces. In the end, Zenaida’s plans for the project were incompatible with the city’s vision.

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The City of Johannesburg didn’t want a luxurious global hub for the Modderfontein redevelopment project. Instead, the city demanded that the developer include at least 5,000 affordable homes in its plans. Additionally, the city also wanted the project to be compatible with and complement its public transport system.

Zendai wasn’t ready to fully integrate the city’s wishes into its original vision for the Modderfontein redevelopment project. As a result, the city ended up pulling out of the planning process. Eventually, the project’s owner, Dai Zhikang, sold his stake in the project to the China Orient Asset Management Company.

Reported in Apr 2014

US$8 Billion New City Project for Modderfontein, Johannesburg

By Simon Peter

A US$ 8 billion new city project has been unveiled for Modderfontein east of Johannesburg by a Chinese company, Shanghai Zendai. The project which will occupy 1,600-hectare land between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton was announced by Shanghai Zendai founder and Chairman Zikhang Dai during an investor briefing hosted by him in the Modderfontein Reserve.

Shanghai Zendai is a Chinese company that operates 3 major businesses; urban development, tourism development, and finance. The company has had projects of the same magnitude like the Himalayas Center and Thumb Plaza in Shangai China and is expected to generate long-term growth for Modderfontein.

This mega project will focus on infrastructure with the initial construction directed at schools and houses. The city will include nine functional zones, the central business district, an international conference and exhibition center, an entertainment center, a silver industry and retirement industry, an international residential community, an education and training center, a sports Centre, a trade and logistic park, and light industry park.

Shanghai Zendai Chairman Dai said the city will retain the name Modderfontein because that sounds good and that they have committed to creating 50 000 jobs in the next 15 years. This is a significant number and will help to reduce the high joblessness rate in South Africa.

According to Engineering News, the Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is outpacing growth in the rest of the world, with the region’s economy expected to grow by 6.1 percent in 2014. The construction industry is keeping up with the pace of future demand, as industrial, commercial, and residential infrastructure projects crop up at an increased rate across the continent.

September 2014

Construction of US$ 7.66b new Modderfontein city in South Africa to start next year

Hong Kong-listed property development Group Shanghai Zendai will be constructing a US$ 7.66bn new Modderfontein City in South Africa starting next year. The project will comprise the construction of a university, schools, and a contemporary African gallery. Development of infrastructure, among them a Gautrain station planned for the next four to five years, is part of construction works awarded about US$ 273m.

The city will mainly host international residents, the local middle class, and pensioners, all about 100, 000 in number. The new Modderfontein City will join the list of Modderfontein’s nine functional zones. It will create 50, 000 jobs and it is expected that 1, 000 firms will use it. Local authorities have already received an application to declare the area an economic development zone, in readiness for the new Modderfontein City.

The new city will come about as a result of the need for access to information technology (IT) and integrated public transport systems. The CEO of Zendai Development South Africa Anthony Diepenbroek noted that this would be “the South African City of the Future”.

Zendai property group outlined its ambitions in April about the development of the 1 600 hectares, which would also offer mixed land use. The company bought the Modderfontein property for US$ 0.09bn last year from AECI, a South African explosives and chemical company.

Diepenbroek also noted that access to IT and cost-effective public transport would see Modderfontein develop into an urban center similar to the world’s major urban centers. Chinese investors have availed funding for the new Modderfontein City project, and Gauteng area authorities have endorsed the construction/development.

Diepenbroek noted further that by 2050, the population of the African continent will have doubled, making the continent home to 25% of the world’s population. The new Modderfontein City would, therefore, help ease population pressure.

The envisioned is a sustainable ‘smart city’ where cost-effective IT and public transport infrastructure will be made available. Information systems will be channeled to buildings in the city at relatively low costs. Dwellers will also have access to an integrated public transport system according to Diepenbroek.

“Our vision is that the new city will become a unique landmark that will transform Modderfontein into an international cosmopolitan asset with a cultural and art element,” said Dai Zhikang, the founder of Shanghai Zendai Investments.

When the new Modderfontein City is completed, it is expected to be home to 100 000 people offering commercial, retail, and residential developments.

SA’s Modderfontein new city of the future will be built on technology & integrated public transport

Demand for accessible information technology and cost-effective integrated public transport systems will see Modderfontein’s new city become a center with population densities similar to some of the world’s major urban centers.

So says Mr. Anthony Diepenbroek, CEO of Zendai Development South Africa which, as part of Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Zendai Group, will be driving the project to develop 1 600 hectares of land in Modderfontein, near Johannesburg over the next 15 years.

‘Modderfontein new city, the new growth node in Gauteng and South Africa, will cost an estimated R 84 billion in the process of moving from drawing board to reality.

“The South African city of tomorrow will be driven by the twin needs of access to information technology and viable integrated public transport systems. Both of these factors are aligned with prevailing development principles which demand that population densities maximize economic delivery of services – the higher the population density, the less the cost of delivering what are the cornerstone requirements of any major new urban development.

“South African lifestyles are changing. Many households are facing challenges associated with urban sprawl. People wishing to own homes are finding that to afford a suitable home they are forced to live outside urban centers.  The penalty for this is that numerous families are allocating an estimated 40% of their monthly income to transport. In some cases, this challenge restricts the dream of homeownership for many families. “

“In this context, a reduction in transport costs, as a percentage of monthly income, allows the saving to be diverted into housing and household expenses.  If this is done in an environment with convenient access to recreational facilities the overall outcome becomes an attractive living and working environment.”

When these factors are taken into account, the advantages of a sustainable (properly planned and developed) ‘smart city’ at scale come into their own, says Diepenbroek.

A planned city offering mixed land use which offers convenient commuting to work, Modderfontein’s new city is near educational and healthcare facilities and provides access to well-appointed apartment living (offering units for sale or rent) then comes into its own.

Diepenbroek says, “Build this on information systems that are ‘piped’ at relatively  low cost into buildings and access to a truly integrated public transport system, and the South African city of the future is born.”

“Although higher densities are perceived to be extreme by some South Africans the difference is that, until recently, the country has not been able to benefit from a city that has been purpose-designed from the ground up – something that has been achieved successfully in other cities in the world.”

He also points out that what must be taken into consideration is that Africa is growing rapidly.  Estimates indicate that the present population will double by 2050 when the continent will be home to about 25% of the world’s population. The middle class is burgeoning across the continent. South Africa, proportional to its population has the largest middle class on the continent, boasting about 8.3 million people.

“The growth of South Africa’s middle class demands that a new integrated approach to development is adopted. The previous system of creating arteries along which people travel to existing urban centers from outlying areas will simply not be able to cope in the medium to long term.  A system of high-density spines is the only sustainable solution; this solution is aligned with the City of Johannesburg’s “Corridors of Freedom” spatial vision.

“Considered development like ‘Modderfontein new City’ is where the future lies.”

The development plan for ‘Modderfontein new City’ therefore presents a natural solution to population pressures. It is located at a natural growth point within Johannesburg, which is growing exponentially, and will enable the existing Gautrain rapid rail network to connect Modderfontein to the Johannesburg CBD, Sandton, Pretoria, and the OR Tambo International Airport. Attention to the development of additional logistics complementing and extending the Gautrain network will further enhance mobility.

With ‘Modderfontein new City’ becoming home to an estimated 100 000 people when it is completed and offering functional development zones which complement urban living (from a bustling CBD to an international conference and exhibition center) catering for work, live and play with the most extensive access to urban open space in Gauteng the stage is being set for the creation of a city that will rank with the best in the world.

“Modderfontein plans to serve as a 24-hour district; a place where people will live and interact in an urban environment that is convenient, efficient, and safe. It seeks to be a place where people will want to live, work and enjoy the benefits of various recreational offerings on their doorstep,” concludes Diepenbroek.

Shanghai Zendai: Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Zendai Property Limited is an investment holding company engaged in property development and property investments in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. The company focuses on the development, investment, and management of residential and commercial properties in China, Shanghai, and Hainan. It also has developed interests in New Zealand and South Africa.

Its activities include the development and sale of apartments, villas, and office premises; provision of travel and related services; property rental, management, and agency services; and hotel operations. The company is headquartered in Central, Hong Kong.

Reported in Sep 2015

Shangai Zendai to construct its first-ever residential development in South Africa

Shangai Zendai is set to break ground for the construction of its first luxury residential development in South Africa.

This project comes in as part of the company’s wider long-term plan to transform its expansive Modderfontein property into a 22km mixed-use property close to the OR Tambo International Airport.

Zendai Development South Africa a subsidiary of Shangai Zendai will be in charge of the project to start the first phase of the luxury residential development in the first quarter of 2016 with completion expected to be in early 2017.

According to the CEO of ZDSA, Anthony Diepenbroek, the development will have modern one, two, and three-bedroom units which will be spread across six blocks. These blocks will each be six storeys across landscaped parks and walkways. The first phase will open 150 of the 300 designer apartments available.

The apartments would be fitted with Miele gas ovens, hobs, extractors, luxury sanitary ware, acoustic windows, energy efficient down lighters, high-speed fiber optic, and WIFI points.

The 12-ha apartment estate will have a swimming pool, outdoor gym, clubhouse, and play area for children. There would also be extensive security, biometric, and closed-circuit television access control.

The price of the apartments will be different depending on the size that one needs.

Reported in Jan 2015

Phase I of the Modderfontein city project in South Africa kicks off

The first phase of the US 7.25bn Modderfontein city construction project located in North-Eastern Johannesburg has finally begun. According to the property developers Shangai Zendai, several electrical substations have already been erected, while at the same time, the first phase of road extension is being worked on.

The spokesperson for Shangai Zendai Ann Sun said that the road extension will involve the expansion of the Centenary Road from R25 to the K113 Northern provincial road. The design phase for the residential development is also being worked on and would be launched to the public in the first half of 2015.

Upon full completion, the Modderfontein development project is expected to be able to accommodate 100 000 residents and different businesses which will ensure that 200 000 get employment.

The development is located 7 km from Sandton and has a floor area of 12 million m2. It is also 20km from the original city center in Johannesburg. Its location is also effective because it’s near transport stations such as the OR Tambo International Airport and Gautrain Station with links to financial hubs.

According to the Chairperson and Founder of Shanghai Zendai Zikhang Dai, in the next three years, the company will use US 0.26m to create a great city. The Modderfontein city development project will be based on ideals of access to information technology and a cost-effective integrated public transport system according to earlier reports.