Agriculture and agroprocessing group Tongaat Hulett continues to advance the Bridge City development, north of Durban, with half of the sites within the Bridge City Town Centre having been sold and only four sites still available in the 17 ha Bridge City Business Estate.
Developed as the second leg of the Effingham Development joint venture public– private partnership between the eThekwini municipality and Tongaat Hulett, the mixed-use development would provide for light industrial use, as well as accommodate medical, commercial, retail and residential elements.
As the civils and services contract for the business estate had been completed, construction of the new projects could now start, Tongaat Hulett Developments development executive Brian Ive said in a statement on Monday.
He expected the development to attract companies in the retail, residential, warehousing and logistics sectors, owing to its close proximity to major arterial routes and to the King Shaka International Airport.
“Major infrastructural upgrades that include the construction of a half diamond interchange off the M25 that will provide dedicated access into Bridge City and to Phoenix Industrial Park and upgrades to the road network around Bridge City, will further enhance this.
“We believe infrastructure delivery is key and will go a long way to establishing Bridge City as a centre of excellence in an area that was previously underserviced,” he remarked.
Ive added that construction of the 500-bed Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital – a State hospital that formed part of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health’s Hospital Revitalisation Plan – began in February and had already reached the second-floor level.
“The structure will be complete by the end of 2018, with finishing and commissioning expected in 2019. It will open at the end of 2019, creating massive job and residential development opportunities within Bridge City,” he said.
Three town centre sites along Bridge City Boulevard had, meanwhile, been sold for the development of a 150-bed private hospital. The design review process had been completed and plans were being submitted for approval, with construction of this facility expected to begin early next year.
Ive added that there were plans to build residential accommodation above the Bridge City Shopping Centre, as well as on the northern side of the retail complex.
The shopping centre, which would anchor the town centre and offered 68 000 m2 of retail space to major retail brands and chains, was considered the precursor to other retail developments.
Moreover, crucial services offered by the Magistrate’s Court, the hospital and the offices of various government departments, were expected to increase the footfall through the area.
“However, the key to creating a thriving regional precinct and attracting investors will be the development of Bridge City into one of the city’s largest intermodal transport facilities.
“On completion, it is expected to be the second-busiest transport interchange in the city, second only to Berea Road and Warwick Junction,” said Ive.
The Bridge City railway station, which was commissioned in early 2014, was located beneath the Bridge City Shopping Centre and saw 22 trains running to and from Bridge City to the Durban central business district (CBD).
The first phase of the GO!Durban integrated rapid public transport network was also well under way and expected to be completed in 2018, with Bridge City as the meeting point for three bus rapid transport corridors linking it to the Durban CBD, Pinetown and Umhlanga.
“It is expected that, once Bridge City is fully developed, the railway station and intermodal facility would accommodate some 100 000 commuters a day.
“As soon as the transport nodes are complete, we expect property prices to appreciate considerably, which ensures sound long term return on investment for developers,” he observed.