In 2016, seven new developments or redevelopments have been confirmed for the Cape Town CBD, with at least three having a combined value of about R270m. Property values in the CBD have increased substantially, too. Says Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) chairperson Rob Kane: “In 2006, the City’s official valuation of the downtown area was just more than R6.1bn. By the 2014/15 financial year, this official valuation had risen to close to R24bn.

“By the end of 2015, we estimated conservatively that another R8.2bn would be added to this figure over the next five years, with a total valuation of close to R32bn by 2020 across 26 projects. But since January 2016, we’ve heard of at least another seven development projects coming on board. We do not yet know what they will add to the R32bn, but it does illustrate how intensively the CBD is changing.”

Another large transformer of the CBD’s economic landscape is the rollout of the City’s fibre optic broadband network. With R1.7bn spent by the City throughout the metro to connect its own buildings alongside those of the Western Cape Government, the network is now extensive enough to install cables to private buildings. A pilot project introduced by the City’s telecommunications branch in the CBD has resulted in 50 private buildings being connected. Says Tasso Evangelinos, CCID chief operating officer: “It is estimated that by June 2021, about 1,000 CBD buildings will be connected with fibre.”

By Q4 2015 commercial vacancies decreased dramatically to 10% on average. Retail also fared well, with a 95% overall occupancy rate during 2015. Residential property values increased on average from R1.4m in 2013 to just more than R2m by the end of 2015.