City of Cape Town announces qualifying bidder for Foreshore Freeway Precinct development

Foreshore Freeway Precinct

The City’s appointed Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) has now concluded the first stage of the bid evaluation process for the Development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct.

Seven proposals were received from the private sector by the submission date of 9 February 2017. After an initial screening for responsiveness, six proposals were exhibited in the Civic Centre in March last year. The public was invited to express a preference as stipulated in terms of the proposal call. These six proposals have subsequently been evaluated by a multi-disciplinary BEC who considered the proposals against a list of evaluation criteria prescribed in the Request for Proposal (RFP)documents.

The deliberations of the BEC throughout the evaluation process were observed by external independent auditors. The Stage 1 evaluation process has now been concluded and the BEC has announced that Mitchell Du Plessis Associates (MDA is the qualifying bidder for the development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct).

MDA’s proposal entails, among others, the completion of the unfinished sections of the freeways – these are the connections to and from Helen Suzman Boulevard; and the connections to and from the N1 and N2 freeways. Furthermore, the development proposes a combination of approximately 3 200 market-related residential units and a minimum of 450 affordable residential units.

Land that has been identified for development

The core development area is City-owned land, and is approximately 6 ha in size. It is located under and between the existing Foreshore Freeway viaducts between the northern edge of the central business district (CBD) and the Cape Town Harbour.

The other sites that the qualifying bidder has identified as part of their proposed Foreshore Freeway Precinct development are the Ebenezer road maintenance depot; the MyCiTi Prestwich bus depot; the Gallows Hill traffic centre; and the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) parking garage. All of these properties are owned by the City.

The proposal explained

MDA proposes to complete the unfinished highways, and to finance or cross-subsidise the new roads and affordable residential units through the development of upmarket and mid-market residential units.

It is proposed that the market-related residential units be located in 11 new tower blocks with heights ranging between 63 m, 123 m, and 143 m with views of the mountain, sea, and harbour. The towers will extend across four precincts within the Foreshore area on the strip of land between the new freeways.

According to the proposal, the different heights and location of the towers will ensure that the iconic views of Table Mountain and the sea from the harbour and public spaces are retained.

The location of the proposed four precincts is as follows:

  • the CTICC parking garage;
  • the area between the existing freeways and Heerengracht and DF Malan Street;
  • the area between the existing freeways and DF Malan and Jan Smuts Streets; and
  • the area between the existing freeways and Jan Smuts and Christiaan Barnard Streets.

The tower blocks will rest on podiums which will also partially support the new freeway viaducts.

The new viaducts or fly-overs will be higher than the existing freeways. According to the proposal, this is to provide enough space, natural light and airflow for the development in the podiums. The proposed podiums beneath the highways will accommodate the bulk of the affordable residential units, parking bays, convenience and speciality shops, retail space, and community facilities.

In this way, the space under the highways will be transformed into a lively urban environment.

Part of the proposal is also to build another 10 residential buildings on the northern edge closest to the harbour under or between the existing east-bound freeways between DF Malan and Christiaan Barnard Streets. These buildings will host affordable residential units.

Importantly, the qualifying bidder’s proposal is ecologically sensitive and addresses the impact of the development on the environment with water, energy, and lighting design solutions. Grey water recycling, rainwater harvesting, and water treatment systems are included, as are measures to mitigate the impact of high winds and noise.

The build costs of the core development are estimated at R8,3 billion (2017 rand values), which includes the new highway infrastructure. The development is to be largely self-funding.

It is anticipated that the building work could commence in 2020, subject to the successful completion of the Stage 2 process, and all mandatory property disposal, development and other statutory processes, and approvals. Given the scale of the proposed development, it will take at least a decade to come to fruition.

What is next

The conclusion of the Stage 1 process does not confirm MDA as the successful bidder in this process.

In the next step of this RFP process, negotiations to conclude an agreement between MDA and the City will commence as soon as practically feasible after expiry of the period provided for bidders to lodge any disputes, objections, complaints and queries in terms of Regulations 49 and 50 of the Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations.

The agreement will stipulate the conditions and requirements to be followed by MDA during the second stage.

During this time, MDA will have to finalise an investment plan and secure the financing for the project, determine the phasing and dependencies, and refine their technical parameters, among others. The final award to MDA will be subject to the successful conclusion of the Stage 2 process.

The Stage 2 process will inform the planning and approval processes, as well as formal public consultation processes, that will take place in accordance with all applicable legislation and City policies.