THE R2-billion Baywest Mall, which will become the biggest shopping centre in Nelson Mandela Bay, is set to unlock other developments in the western suburbs, such as a massive affordable housing project and a road that will connect Walker Drive to Cape Road.
The project will create 3000 permanent jobs and 7000 indirect jobs during the construction phase. It will also significantly boost construction sector suppliers as developers plan to spend about R700-million on building materials.
A presentation about all the plans for the Baywest City development was made by its managing director, Gavin Blows, to councillors at the infrastructure, engineering and energy portfolio committee meeting yesterday.
Blows said a massive development was planned for the area after the shopping mall was up and running in 2015. It would include office parks, residential nodes, private schools with associated sporting facilities, hotels, a hospital complex, a motor city, a light industrial precinct and a lifestyle centre.
The two co-developers, Abacus Asset Management and Billion Group, have planned for 2500 residential units to be built around the mall over the next seven years.
They are also forging ahead with plans for a R280-million roads contract to construct the Redhouse-Chelsea arterial road. It will link the mall to the N2 freeway and will give motorists easy access to Walker Drive in Sherwood and to Cape Road.
The road, which will include two carriageways, two bridges and lanes to accommodate the IPTS buses, is being funded by Baywest City (R101.7-million), Sanral (R120.6-million) and the Bay municipality (R59.6-million). Construction company Basil Read was awarded the contract for the road, expected to be completed by December next year.
Blows said there were 2500 residential units planned for the first phase of the development as well as a private school, a hospital and office developments.
"Baywest will be involved in some of the retail and commercial developments, but we'll release the rest to the market, for local developers. Affordable housing is a component of the development. The city is keen for an affordable housing and bonded component to be part of the Baywest development.
"It will not be grant housing or RDP-type housing, but rather rental stock housing and affordable bonded market developments, which will sell for up to R800000," Blows said.
"The metro – which owns land adjacent to the Baywest property – was keen for 2500 low-cost housing units to be developed and Baywest developers would build about 500 of those units on its land, mostly north of the N2 freeway," he said.