Rumours are rife regarding what is happening at the ‘Ladies Mile Garden Refuse drop-off site’ and the owners/developers have at last allowed us to provide an overview.
In August 2015, the CPOA attended a presentation by the owners (represented by Mr Rashaad Solomon), Shoprite Checkers Property Division and members of their project professional team.
Firstly, it is important to define the property in question as it is not the entire site bounded by the M3, Ladies Mile, Spaanschemat River Rd and Kendal Road (i.e. erf 4724). It is limited to erven 13707 and 13708, together comprising a trapezoidal shaped land portion of approximately 1,5 hectares between the traffic lights and the M3 – around 20% of the whole site.
Rashaad gave an overview of the history of the property which the Solomon family purchased in 1902. They farmed vegetables and grapes for both local consumption and export. The property was considered to be Constantia’s commercial hub and there were 3 farm stalls (fresh produce, butcher and a dairy) where other farmers (of all races) sold their produce and bought provisions. The family were forced to leave the property in the 1960’s under the Group Areas Act.
Having been awarded the property in a protracted land restitution claim process, the family are keen to “bring back what was there”, although obviously farming is not a viable proposition. The Land Claims Commissioner required a business plan from the claimants as part of the Settlement Agreement. Thus the vision for the entire site, including another portion east of the M3, is for a mixed use development including residential and public open spaces which can be cross subsidized with some commercial and retail components.
The proposal for this first portion is for an ‘upmarket’ retail centre comprising a flagship Checkers on the M3 side and signature buildings on the Ladies Mile side including restaurants and convenience shops. A basement will cover the entire site to accommodate parking, services, storage and loading. The intention is to create an ‘open environment’ with low level walling, landscaping and lighting will be ‘low intensity’. Checkers will have a trading space of approximately 2900 m2, and the total development is approximately 9850 m2 including basement parking etc.
A lot of thought has gone into dealing with site access/traffic and the planners have discussed with the City the possibility of a traffic circle at the Ladies Mile/Spaanschemat River Rd intersection.
The application process has commenced, with applications having been submitted to Heritage Western Cape, the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and the City of Cape Town – the Application Pre-Consultation Phase has been concluded with the City.
Subsequent to finalisation and formal acceptance of the Land Use Application by the City, the application will be advertised in terms of a public participation programme whereby the public will be afforded the opportunity to comment on the proposed development.