Building renovations upset motorists

Pedestrians share the street with motorists. Photo: Thato Mahlangu.

The closure of a sidewalk on the corner of Lillian and Struben streets has upset many commuters and motorists.

The sidewalk was closed due to renovations of an old city building.

Motorist Bokang Mashabela said it was good that the building was being revamped, but the closure of the sidewalks was a nightmare for motorists as traffic was congested.

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“We almost hit people with our cars when we approach these streets as they (pedestrians) have to stand on the street while waiting to cross it,” said Mashabela.

The building undergoing construction, previously known as the Centre Forum and now known as Sharon’s Place, is owned by property group City Property.

City Property’s spokesperson Lize Nel said commuters should be patient as the revamp would add to efforts to beautify the city.

She disputed claims made by pedestrians and motorists that the development around those streets was the reason for traffic congestion.

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“Normal traffic congestion existed prior to the development of Sharon’s Place, especially with the prevalence of taxis in the area,” said Nel.

“The traffic situation around Johannes Ramokhoase and Lillian Ngoyi has however, been compounded with the simultaneous construction of Tshwane House and Sharon’s Place.”

Sharon’s Place, will not only be a convenient shopping destination for those who frequent the area between Lillian Ngoyi, Struben and Johannes Ramokhoase streets but will also offer residential solutions.

“It is currently being redeveloped into a people-friendly residential and retail hub,” Nel said.

She said Sharon’s Place would consist of 400 modern, upmarket city apartments with a choice of bachelor, one and two bedroom units, plus 289 parking bays on two levels.

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Shoprite and Clicks will be the two anchor tenants in the 5 000sqm retail space.

“It is ideally situated for people who will be working at Tshwane House across the street but other people can also apply for residence,” she said.

Nel said the development would cater for young urban families.

“The building will also offer an extensive leisure area on the podium level that will be a deal-clincher for people who are keen to have outdoor space to relax and mingle,” she said.

“It will also include braai facilities as well as a netted area for ball sports.”

Nel said the company has made plans in making sure both commuters and motorists were safe during the construction of the building.

“Probuild is the main contractor and is responsible for what happens on site,” she said.

Nel said the construction company had applied and received the necessary permission from the metro to temporarily close parts of the streets around the development.

“We will also upgrade the sidewalk. We had to redirect the flow of pedestrians and vehicle traffic around the development.”

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Nel said the multi-million rand development would be completed later this year and would create jobs and business opportunities for locals.

Pedestrians share the street with motorists. Photo: Thato Mahlangu.

Traffic in Struben Street has been affected by the development. Photo: Thato Mahlangu

The closure of the sidewalk caused pedestrians to share the road with motorists. Photo: Thato Mahlangu.

Struben Street has been affected by the development. Photo: Thato Mahlangu.

The development of the former Centre Forum is said to be the reason for traffic congestion in the city centre. Photo: Thato Mahlangu

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Thato Mahlangu
Journalist

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