The City of Cape Town will, on 8 July 2016, issue the prospectus for the development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct in the Cape Town central business district. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for urban developers to address the city’s traffic woes and affordable housing needs in return for the rights to develop one of the most valuable, vital and iconic precincts in the Mother City. Read more below:
The prospectus will provide investors and developers with all of the information they need for devising a development proposal for this precinct – a strip of City-owned land that is located under and between the existing and unfinished highways between the city’s northern edge and the Cape Town Harbour.
The strip of land is 6 ha in size and 140 m wide. It is situated in a prime location and has the potential to provide developers with a significant return on investment.The City will make this prime land available to the successful bidder for development in return for the provision of road infrastructure that will resolve the future of the unfinished highways; address current and future traffic congestion; and address the lack of access to and from the central business district (CBD).
Another pivotal requirement for prospective bidders is that their development proposal must provide housing opportunities for a diverse cross-section of income groups.
A percentage of this development therefore must be earmarked for affordable housing opportunities. This can be developed within the Foreshore Freeway Precinct itself or on other sites supplementary to the core development area in the CBD. Proposals that do not clearly elaborate on this component of the development will be disqualified.
The unfinished highways
The unfinished highways on the western, central and eastern side of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct are at the centre of the most congested entry and exit points to and from the CBD, fuelling calls for the City to finish the highways to provide residents and visitors with easier access to the greater business district, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town Stadium and Atlantic Seaboard, among others.
The City, however, does not have the funds needed to finish the highways, or to address the traffic congestion on FW de Klerk Boulevard, Nelson Mandela Boulevard, Walter Sisulu Avenue, Helen Suzman Boulevard and Buitengracht and the lack of additional access routes surrounding the Foreshore Freeway Precinct. Nor are we likely to be able fund these solutions from our rates base in the foreseeable future.
The prospectus does not prescribe to potential bidders whether their proposals should include finishing the highways as a whole or in part or dismantling them altogether or not – this is up to the bidders to propose.
However, the proposals from the bidders must elaborate on how all three of the unfinished highways will be addressed in terms of transport, access and the alleviation of current and future congestion:
The unfinished highway on the western side of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct is not located within the core development area, but must be addressed in relation to any proposed transport solution
The unfinished highway on the central side is opposite the Cape Town International Convention Centre and parking has been constructed under this section
The unfinished highway on the eastern side is located within the core development area and comprises an inbound and outbound portion
City’s vision for the Foreshore Freeway Precinct
The prospectus requires prospective bidders to address traffic congestion and improve access to and from the CBD. Furthermore, this prime land must be developed in such a way that it creates opportunities for sustained economic growth, job creation (both short- and long-term), affordable housing, and well-designed and accessible public spaces.
As such, the development proposals must address the following:
The percentage of the total development rights in the core development zone of the precinct that is to be earmarked for the provision of affordable housing – this is in line with the City’s vision of eradicating apartheid spatial planning and the commitment to building an inclusive city where residents from lower income groups are provided with the opportunity to live closer to work
Transit-oriented development – in March 2016 the City Council adopted the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Framework which stipulates that new developments should be a high density mix of housing, shopping, recreational opportunities and to respond to transport choices, enabling residents and visitors to walk, cycle or use public transport
The current and future access needs and challenges of the precinct itself and the CBD across all modes of transport, be it private vehicles, public transport, or walking and cycling
The culture, diversity, uniqueness and natural heritage of Cape Town must be enhanced – the development must contribute to the attractiveness of Cape Town as a premier international destination
What the City expects from prospective bidders
While the submissions and development proposals must focus on the Foreshore Freeway Precinct, prospective bidders may include other City-owned land in their development proposals, i.e.:
the site housing Transport for Cape Town’s maintenance depot in Ebenezer Road – the site has access to the V&A Waterfront
the site housing the MyCiTi service depot in Prestwich Street
the site that houses the Gallows Hill Traffic Department
Favourable consideration will be given to proposals that are, among others:
economically viable and largely self-funding
attuned to the social and cultural realities of the city
cognisant of the tourism features and attractions of the CBD
able to unlock the lack of access to and from the CBD and its surroundings
reduce traffic congestion in and around the CBD and ensure that the proposed new development does not add to the problem
add to Cape Town’s iconic status as an international destination
deliver a return on investment for investors, developers, the City, its residents and communities
deliver affordable housing solutions that are integrated with other land-uses
Bid evaluation and public participation
The request for proposals (RFP) process for the development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct comprises two stages. A public participation process will take place during the first stage, before the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) appoints the qualifying bidder(s).
First stage: registered bidders will have five months to compile their proposals and must submit these by 8 December 2016. The development proposal for the Foreshore Freeway Precinct must include a detailed design and 3D model (either a physical architectural rendering or digital animation), accessibility plan, property investment model, and a business plan and financial model – these will have equal weighting.
The multidisciplinary BEC will undertake an initial assessment of every proposal to verify that it complies with the requirements as set out in the prospectus and will conduct an initial scoring of the submissions received.
Those who pass the initial assessment will be requested to present their development proposals and unbranded 3D models of their designs for the Foreshore Freeway Precinct to the BEC.
Public participation: the unbranded 3D models of the proposed designs for the Foreshore Freeway Precinct will be on display at the Civic Centre where the public will have full access to view the models. This exhibition will provide the public and interested parties with the opportunity to see for themselves what the proposals look like, how the bidders propose to address the traffic congestion, and how they propose the Foreshore Freeway Precinct should be developed in terms of affordable housing, etc. The public will have three weeks to view the models and to make comments.
The BEC will deliberate over the development proposals and presentations, taking into consideration the outcome of the public participation process. Only once these processes have been completed, will the BEC appoint the preferred bidder(s).
Second stage: the qualifying bidder(s) will enter into an agreement with the City. This agreement will set out the conditions and requirements of the rest of the process to be followed.
The issuing of the prospectus for the development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct is a bold and innovative step by the City to find a sustainable and long-term solution to a number of challenges we are currently facing.
We are looking forward to working together with a partner from the private sector who will be able to provide us with an imaginative and creative proposal and development solution that will be to the benefit of all of us living in Cape Town.