by Civil Engineering

R1.6-billion Portside project

Project Focus

Cape Town's R1.6-bn Portside project
Cape Town's R1.6 Billion Portside Project

Representatives of First Rand and Old Mutual Property signed the agreement appointing Murray and Roberts for the R1.6-billion project in Cape Town earlier this year.

FirstRand CEO, Sizwe Nxasana, says Portside is an extension of the group’s commitment to investing in the development of Cape Town and the region, providing sustainable economic stimuli and creating much-needed jobs.

In terms of a co-development and ownership agreement concluded last year, half the landmark tower, with 32 floors, will house the provincial headquarters for the three divisions of First Rand Bank – FNB, RMB and Wesbank.

The remaining 25 000m2 of AAA premium grade office space will be available for leasing through Old Mutual Property from the first quarter of 2014.

Occupying the city block between Buitengracht, Hans Strijdom, Bree and Mechau streets, in the emerging financial district on the Foreshore, Portside will also have 1 200m² of banking and retail area with easy access from all sides on the ground level.

Peter Levett, managing director of Old Mutual Property, says Portside illustrates the long term nature of property investment.

“The site assembly by Old Mutual Property took place in two transactions nearly 20 years apart. First the Brian Porter property in Bree Street was bought on a sale and leaseback basis in the mid 1980s and then the balance of the block from the City of Cape Town in 2007,” Levett said.

Levett says the visual, environmental and social impact of Portside was key to the design process.

“The design had to provide Old Mutual and FirstRand with two distinct business addresses in the city. Moreover, the location in a central city urban conservation area meant the design needed to be highly sensitive to the historical and environmental character of its surroundings,” Levett said.

Designed jointly by DHK and Louis Karol Architects, Portside will capitalise on views of Table Mountain and the bay. All floors have spectacular 360-degree views as the tower sits on top of a parking podium that has space for 1 450 cars.

The project team plans to submit the building for formal green star rating to the Green Building Council of South Africa, says Stephan Claassen, provincial head of FNB.

“We intend to make Portside a benchmark of environmental sustainability in terms of both construction and building management processes, and have worked closely with the architects to ensure that it serves to raise the standards of green design, indoor environmental quality, and the reduction of energy, water consumption, waste production and management production and negative carbon emissions for tall buildings,” he said.

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