R1,45 billion Loftus project takes off

Traffic calming measures for Loftus Park.

 

Construction has started on the massive R1,45 billion Loftus Park project which is set to drastically transform the area around the Loftus Versfeld stadium into a bustling business and leisure hub.

Site establishment was in progress and five tower cranes would soon adorn the Arcadia skyline, said Thinus Delport, director at developer Abland.

In addition to erecting the buildings, the developers will also improve roads and infrastructure in the area as well as safety and security.

Several tenants had already been signed to rent space in this comprehensive development which would include premium grade commercial office space, hand-picked shops with novel retail outlets, a state-of-the-art gym, restaurants, an open air piazza, a sports medical centre, a sports exhibition centre and a four-star hotel.

Delport announced that the mixed-use development will host the first Radisson RED hotel in South Africa. The world’s first Radisson RED Hotel opened in Brussels, Belgium only last month.

“Loftus Park is proud to welcome this new concept as part of the project’s first phase,” he said.

Radisson RED is a new lifestyle select brand inspired by the ageless millennial mind-set and has a forward thinking design.

Situated on the northern side of Loftus Versveld, Loftus Park would be built in three phases and could also see the northern façade of the iconic rugby stadium being refurbished to fit in with the look and feel of the new development.

According to Delport, the recently completed earthworks was a major project on its own and required the excavation and removal of no less than 270 000 cubic metres of earth to the depth of 10 metres (three storeys) over 90% of the 3,78-hectare site.

Abland, which co-owns the development with Pivotal Fund, said focus on precinct developments extended past the boundaries of the construction site to improving safety and security, pedestrian access, parks, streetscaping, landscaping and the planting of trees in public areas and traffic intersections in the node.

“Service upgrade initiatives for Loftus Park include the upgrading of traffic intersections, reducing traffic bottlenecks in Park and Kirkness streets with additional lanes, new traffic signals, traffic calming measures, street lights and pavements aimed at improving the flow of motorised and pedestrian traffic in the precinct as far afield as Magnolia Dell,” Delport said.

Additionally, substantial upgrades will be effected to the storm water system in Kirkness and Bond streets.

By establishing the Loftus Stakeholders Forum, the developer had taken the lead to partner with the four “ivy league” schools in the area, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, Blue Bulls Company, University of Pretoria and the Clydesdale community to improve the precinct in general and safety and security in particular.

“This initiative now extends further into Hatfield through the University of Pretoria’s establishment of the Hatfield Stakeholders Forum, which has the same objectives.

“From the outset, the project was planned in collaboration with the Bulls rugby union. The focus is to enhance the use of the stadium precinct and improve existing commercial uses in and around the stadium,” Delport said.

“A further goal is to formalise and boost the under-utilised tourism potential that Pretoria has to offer.

“The Sports Exhibition Centre, which will be much more than a traditional museum, is envisaged for the northern pavilion of Loftus Versfeld, and will form part of phases two and three of the development.

“The centre will include interactive displays, social media participation, memorabilia, sports tours for all ages, and will host various community sporting events.”

He said Loftus Park will also benefit from the frequent presence of sport celebrities in its restaurants and on the piazza, as a result of its location.

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Stephané Bothma

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