Negotiations for the first property sales within the recently released 17-hectare Bridge City Business Estate – a prime location just 17 km from the Durban port and 23 km from King Shaka International Airport – are well underway.

The entire 60-hectare Bridge City development, which includes the mixed use of commercial and residential in the Town Centre and Business Estate, is expected to attract public and private investment totalling over R10-billion. Of this, the newly released Business Estate is expected to contribute R1-billion.

Cyril Gwala, Tongaat Hulett’s Development Director responsible for Bridge City, the Riverhorse Valley Business Estate and Cornubia, is confident that that the entire Bridge City Town Centre and Business Estate will be a reality within the next five years. He says the Bridge City Business Estate, which is predicated on a mixed use model similar to that of the highly successful Riverhorse Valley Business Estate, is a greenfields development that is expected to transform the surrounding communities of Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK).

Massive strides have already been made in the Town Centre and services have been being installed. Construction began with the vibrant Bridge City Shopping Centre in 2008. This provides for 68 000 square metres of retail space and is tenanted by some of the biggest names in South African retail, including Spar, Woolworths, the Edcon Group as well as restaurants such as Spur and Chicken Licken.

The Bridge City Shopping Centre is one of the anchors of the 43-hectare Bridge City Town Centre, together with the iconic regional Magistrate’s Court, which opened in May 2013. Additional key developments within the new Town Centre are expected to include a R1,2-billion, 450-bed public regional hospital, for which the piling and services have already been completed. The hospital has experienced unavoidable delays but it is expected that construction will begin within the next two years.

Existing subdivided and saleable sites are available for mixed use (retail, offices and residential development) directly across from the Bridge City Shopping Centre and along the Bridge City Boulevard, which crosses the Town Centre and Business Estate and provides opportunities for retail fronting onto the main thoroughfares.

In addition to the provision of residential accommodation above the shopping centre itself, central key sites have been set aside for multistorey residential developments directly opposite the Bridge City Shopping Centre. High rise developments of between six and eight storeys that will have good city views will provide significant residential bulk as will proposed four to six storey ‘walk-up’ units. These are expected to accommodate professionals employed by the medical and legal businesses as well as other commercial and industrial operations.

Gwala says both Bridge City and the Riverhorse Valley Business Estate are testament to the power of public and private sector partnerships (PPPs) to deliver on industrial development. The Bridge City Development is a joint venture between the eThekwini Municipality and Tongaat Hulett. Tongaat Hulett also plays the role of project manager responsible for implementation of the project on the ground as well as the mandated sales agent for Bridge City.