R300m flats to boost EL jobs

Hundreds of suburban apartment homes will be built next to Hemingways Mall in East London next year.

The R300-million 320-unit residential development will be built on prime land by the Billion Group, it was announced yesterday.

The development forms part of a major R6-billion investment in property development in the country in 2018 by the Billion Group and will see the creation of hundreds of jobs, the corporation said in a release.

Billion Group development director Dewald van Staden said construction of the 320 units would commence in the second half of 2018. The new development would be built adjacent to Hemingways Mall.

Van Staden said the units would be walk-up rental apartments, “classed as entry-level, high density with a focus on affordable quality”.

Mthatha-born Sisa Ngebulana’s company plans to dominate the property development sector next year with a number of multimillion-rand developments which include the construction of a R350-million Ngcobo mall, a R100-million Mthatha casino and entertainment centre – which includes conference facilities, bars and restaurants and movies located next to the Billion Group’s 60000m² BT Ngebs City Mall – and the four-star Mayfair Hotel.

In Port Elizabeth, 580 residential units are to be built in the Baywest City precinct, next to the 90000m² Baywest Mall.

Other developments will be carried out in Cape Town’s city centre, Forest Hill City precinct in Centurion and in Hebron in the North West province.

The Billion Group owns Hemingways mall and the new development will be an expansion of the mall precinct.

Billion Group commercial director Vuyokazi Njongwe, raised in Mthatha, said the planned developments for the Eastern Cape next year were “a continuation of our unwavering interest in the Eastern Cape, a province that has, for many years, been neglected. We think that it needs the same kind of infrastructure as the rest of the country”.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch last week Ngebulana, who grew up in Corhana just outside Mthatha, said the group planned to invest R16-billion in the Eastern Cape region over the next 10 years.

Border-Kei Chamber of Business executive director Les Holbrook said the chamber was informed about the company’s long-term plan for the Hemingways Mall precinct.

“The mall was just phase one of their plan and now the complex, which will be located on the other side of the mall, will be phase two. The area is known as the Cambridge Good Shed. The chamber is aware of the plan to further develop the area and we welcome the development.”

“Any development in the metro is good for the metro.

“It is one of the ways we can sustain economic growth – by having ongoing development in building and premises,” Holbrook said. — mamelag@dispatch.co.za

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