In the heart of Johannesburg
Where exactly is Jewel City situated, and what is the scope of the development?
Jewel City is located in the eastern CBD of Johannesburg on Fox Street, perfectly placed between the existing Maboneng and Absa precincts. Jewel City consists of six city blocks, five of which have existing commercial buildings on them. Our plan is to redevelop the five commercial buildings and build a new residential building, resulting in a mixed-use precinct consisting of around 1 000 residential units, 20 000 sqm commercial space, 4 800 sqm retail space and 750 parking bays. We’re also planning some cool sporting and community facilities.
The plan is also to open up the precinct which has been closed to the public for several years, and pedestrianise Fox Street, creating a safe, green, energetic place for people to enjoy in the inner city.
How far along is the process, and what is the expected date of completion?
Work will start this November, with the stripping of the existing buildings and earthworks for the new building. We will then start to refit the existing buildings and construction of the new building will commence early in 2019 with phased completions starting from November 2019 up to April 2020.
Mixed-use and urban regeneration is the way of the future, especially in urban settings. What makes Jewel City so perfect for that part of town?
There is a high demand for affordable inner-city housing and so far, that which has been provided are in many instances isolated in terms of design and servicing. Jewel City offers us the opportunity to create a scenario where people would not have to leave the immediate precinct. People could literally work, live, learn, shop and play in Jewel City.
How many people do you envisage living in Jewel City? Who is the target market that you’ve identified for the residential component?
As mentioned, there will be 1 000 units in Jewel City with an additional 1 800 DiverCity-owned units outside of the precinct but within a two-kilometre walking distance; ultimately there will be over 4 500 people staying in and around Jewel City. Our target market is the working and middle-class individual and family.
What will the community and sporting facilities entail?
We plan to have a school, gym, rooftop soccer facilities, basketball courts, a supermarket, restaurants and line shops across the six-block precinct.
How are the different partners in DiverCity involved in the project?
The project will be co-developed by Atterbury and iThemba, with Atterbury taking overall project lead as well as lead on the commercial and retail elements. iThemba will be providing their expertise and vast experience on the residential developments.
Building a new development in the middle of a busy city… what are the particular challenges and how do you overcome them?
Building in the CBD of Johannesburg has its challenges. Contractors’ laydown areas and access to the site during peak traffic times are going to require careful consideration and planning.
Site security is always a risk, wherever you build, but we are confident that we will be able to manage and mitigate all risks. #
The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) is very supportive of this project and with the support of the JDA and the Johannesburg City Council this development is set to change the inner city for good.