Consortium announces further US$ 1 billion investment in V&A waterfront to create “Riviera of South Africa”

Published October 29th, 2006 - 10:56 GMT

The Dubai World and London & Regional Properties consortium have announced plans to invest more than US$ 1 billion in the V&A Waterfront over the next four years, following its successful purchase of the development last month.

 

The consortium has outlined a three-stage development strategy which will see improvements to the Waterfront starting immediately. 
 
The first stage, over the next six months, will see landscaping and beautification measures, additional car parking space, commercial facilities and improvements to pedestrian access to the area.
 
The second stage, over the next three years, will ensure the V&A Waterfront is one of the highlights of the World Cup 2010, with the development of new hotels and resorts, creation of promenades, and entertainment areas, marinas, new shopping developments and new apartments and offices.
 
The third stage will see the development of new facilities to consolidate V&A Waterfront’s status as a leading global resort, with potential elements including a new yacht club and further marina development, a cruise ship terminal, a train station and improved connections to the airport.
 
The details were announced by James Wilson, chief executive of Nakheel Hotels & Resorts, a Dubai World company which will be leading the development of the Waterfront on behalf of the consortium.  
 
At a speech in Cape Town today, he said: “Our vision is to create the Riviera of South Africa, developing a resort that will become a global attraction.
 
“We are bringing the resources, skills and expertise that have transformed Dubai to this exciting development, building on the strong foundations already in place.  By partnering with world class brands and developers, we aim to take the Waterfront to the next level.”
 
Speaking at the IPD/SAPOA Property Investment Conference in Cape Town, James Wilson showed initial drafts of the master-plan for the development, which have been created by leading international planners WS Atkins and Partners Overseas.
 
Hassen Adams, a member of the BEE consortium, said: “The reason we originally approached experts in Dubai and the UK to join our consortium is that we wanted partners who could not only think big but deliver big.  We wanted to work with someone who could help us bring the soul back to the Waterfront.  That is what this project will see.”
 
The bulk of the new developments could be completed before 2010, when South Africa hosts the World Cup. 
 
Wilson said: “The World Cup in 2010 is a massive opportunity for South Africa to showcase itself on a global stage.  We plan to make sure that Cape Town is seen as one of the highlights, with a waterfront to rival any in the world.
 
“But we are also looking to the long-term, with plans that ensure the Waterfront becomes one of the leading tourist destinations in the world.
 
“A critical element of the area’s success in the run-up to 2010 and beyond will be the ability of international visitors to get to Cape Town.  We are hopeful that an open skies transport policy can be agreed, to help this process.  It is essential to get more airlift into Cape Town.

 

“The true potential of the V&A Waterfront, and of Cape Town and its surrounding area, can only be unlocked when all of us – public and private sectors, national and international partners – work together with common goals.  The public sector in particular will be critical and I thank them for their support so far.”
 
The V&A Waterfront project brings together Dubai World’s investment company Istithmar, leading UK-based pan-European property company London & Regional Properties, and a number of South African Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”) investors.  Their consortium was successful in its bid to purchase Victoria & Alfred Waterfront last month. Today’s announcement is further demonstration of the joint venture’s commitment to regenerate the waterfront community and transform Cape Town.
 
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is a mixed-use prime waterfront real estate development in which shopping and entertainment venues are intermingled with office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments in the residential marina and active fishing port.   Its leading hotels include Sun International’s Table Bay Hotel and The Cape Grace.  Established by South African Government-owned Transnet in 1988, V&A Waterfront now attracts more than 22 million visitors a year, making it Africa’s number one property, leisure and retail development.
 
The V&A Waterfront contains 603,000 square metres of approved bulk development rights, of which 45 per cent remains to be developed.  
 
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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