AA - 2021

Authors:  Nicholas Stopforth
Managing Director of Amdec Propery Developments
6 May 2021


After being the economy’s worst-performing sector in 2020, the construction industry is set to bounce back this year.

Despite this, South Africa and Egypt recorded the most construction activity. A report by professional services firm Deloitte has found that both countries registered forty projects in a year ravished by Covid-19.

One such project is Cape Town’s largest and most ambitious sustainable R16 billion mixed-use development, Harbour Arch, with construction having commenced back in January last year. And it’s still well on track for completion of Tower One in May 2023.

In recent months, the development of the residential towers has been seen rising above the construction site inching skywards.

“Construction is well on track at what is set to be an iconic landmark that will feature a world-class live, work, and play precinct within the city’s CBD” comments Nicholas Stopforth, Managing Director of Amdec Property Developments.

Currently sitting at around 25 meters above ground level, the development can be clearly seen rising above Table Bay Boulevard. Concrete and structural work on the three-level basement, ground, and two first floors have been completed and the contractor is moving ahead with brickwork and the installation of services. Floors 4-6 are also moving ahead at pace.

According to Stopforth, the transformation of what has been an uninspiring site characterised by vagrancy, warehousing and light industrial, into a safe and enjoyable community-focused environment, heralds a new era of urban living for the CBD.

“Our main contractor, WBHO, is managing the site with great efficiency, and we remain on schedule for completion of Tower One Harbour Arch in May 2023,” says Stopforth. “On any given day we have around 300 workers on site, all of whom are screened and sanitised in accordance with Covid-19 protocols.”

On completion, Harbour Arch will feature six residential towers siting above landscaped public spaces, lined with shops, restaurants, cocktail bars, two Marriott branded hotels, offices, gyms etc. With scenic views and modern, luxurious finishes, apartments in Tower One are largely sold out with only a few remaining for sale.

The concept of development as a vibrant 24-hour precinct for diverse communities is in line with property trends driving urban densification developments that have a positive fiscal impact. Bringing together residential properties with work and lifestyle elements, such as shopping facilities, hotels, and restaurants, means that Harbour Arch promises to become a new centre of activity in Cape Town’s CBD – brining new business and work opportunities to all Capetonians.

“It is not by coincidence that we have joined forces with WBHO as our main construction partner. The fact that WBHO is a Level 1 BBBEE company reflects our commitment to creating an environment that can be beneficial to South Africans from all walks of life” says Stopforth.

The building of the precinct will provide around 20 000 jobs and many thousands more will be created upon completion via retail, extensive hospitality services and the sophisticated security services.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has in many respects changed the way we live, blurring the lines between work and play, highlighting the necessity for community and connectivity. Mixed-use developments like Harbour Arch are perfectly placed to satisfy this kind of lifestyle because they are designed to offer dynamic, safe, sustainable environments that combine commercial, retail, leisure, and residential components,” says Stopforth.

“While it has been a buyer’s market for some time now, mixed-use developments like Harbour Arch remain in high demand. All-inclusive precincts make it easier for people to live close to where they work. The move from suburban to inner city living makes good financial sense if you factor in escalating traffic and sky-rocketing petrol costs. Less time spent commuting not only reduces traffic congestion and carbon emissions, but it also allows people to live healthier, less stressful lives,” he concludes.

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