VENTURES AFRICA – In a ground breaking investment deal, leading investment and property company, Atterbury Property Group will build a new 1.3 billion rand ($157 million) mixed-use retail and business development, Newtown Junction, in Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD).
Newtown is in Johannesburg’s inner-city. The new property will be developed in Newtown’s historic Potato Shed buildings, between Museum Africa, Mary Fitzgerald Square and Carr Street, which have been abandoned for a long time. The Potato Sheds were originally built in 1912 to supply and store produce for the market complex. It was built beside the rail siding because most produce transported into Johannesburg arrived by train.
When remodeled, Newton Junction, which will be adorned with artistic and heritage attractions of the Newtown precinct, will feature a 40,000 sqaure metre shopping centre, offices of about the same size, a hotel, gym and four levels of basement parking providing 2 400 bays.
The Poultry Sheds and the original station master’s residence will also be part of the development.
“The age and significance of the buildings means the development is following heritage regulations. The buildings will be sensitively adapted into a quality shopping centre that celebrates the cultural significance of the site and its buildings. The architecture will be an appealing mix of old facades and new structures. This fits with Newtown’s identity which blends old and new beautifully,” Director of retail at Atterbury Property Developments, Cobus van Heerden said.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Atterbury Property Developments, James Ehlers, added that “Newtown Junction will be sustainable while preserving Johannesburg’s history and revitalising our heritage, and create a space that is relevant to those who live, work and travel in the city today. Newtown Junction will be a unique, lively hub where people can shop, eat, relax, linger and connect with one another and the unique and compelling city legacy surrounding them.”
The developer assures that apart from creating an exciting, relevant shopping and leisure asset for Johannesburg and its citizens, Newtown Junction would also create an estimated 1 700 jobs during the development phase.
Ehlers confirmed that the project had received the backing of the Johannesburg Property Company and counsel from the SA Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) for the important heritage ingredients of the development.
Apart from this, the new project have gained enthusiastic support from many leading businesses as Chain stores Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Mr Price, Truworths and Foschini had all confirmed their brands for Newtown Junction’s shopping and fashion experience while Nedbank was consolidating its offices within the Johannesburg area to Newtown Junction.
The project started in April 2012 with the evacuation of the four-level basement which is around 80% completed, is expected to about take two years to complete.
The building work is expected to commence this month, October 2012.