R800 million plan to revamp Centurion CBD – including adopting a ’24-hour city’ model
The City of Tshwane has given notice of its intention to solicit representations and inputs in respect of the Centurion Central Business District Precinct Plan, which will form part of the Spatial Development Framework of the City of Tshwane.
The Centurion CBD is a prominent and growing node in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan and Gauteng Province.
As the city has grown over the years – being a central node in the larger multi-metropolitan region of Joburg, Waterfall, Midrand and Pretoria – challenges such as traffic congestion, urban management (including regular flooding) and ad-hoc growth and development have emerged in the area.
City of Tshwane said these issues must be addressed for the node to function optimally. In addition, there is still vacant land within the Centurion CBD that must be developed to its full potential, it said. In this context, the city has identified the need for a Precinct Plan to be produced for the area.
“The purpose of the Centurion CBD Precinct Plan will be to guide future development and investment within the Centurion Precinct by recommending projects and partnerships to ensure the successful implementation of projects.
“By undertaking a good development planning process, it can be ensured that future developments will be integrated with existing developments to create a fully functional, liveable and sustainable precinct,” the city said.
Among the key developments being recommended in the plan are:
- The rehabilitation of the Hennops river and Centurion lake;
- The development of a pedestrian “pathway” bridge connecting main routes in the precinct;
- A new conference centre and hotel precinct next to Centurion Mall;
- Various road upgrades and new intersections along main routes;
- New campuses for tertiary institutions or colleges;
- New high-density residential blocks to be built in key areas (potential for 17,500 new dwelling units);
- The adoption of a ’24 hour city’ model.
The precinct plan also includes priority projects with estimated pricing. The total value of estimates available comes to over R790 million. This encompasses some priority projects and not all the build and development costs. The city said that the estimates are broad guidelines and that each project would need its own detailed feasibility study and project costing.
These are some of the key proposals in the plan:
The core focus of the plan is for a new precinct right next to Centurion Mall, which encompasses residential, business, medical and educational facilities. This precinct would then connect to another major route in the city through a pedestrian ‘gateway’ which is planned to be built across the river and lake.
Hotel, conference centre and ground floor retail, including an entertainment component
This land use will serve to attract visitors to the area, and ensure that the CBD Core Area gains prominence at a regional scale.
Educational and high-density residential
This would complement the existing Damelin and Centurion Academy facilities.
“Even though the demand might not be as high as indicated in the urban form, it is important to take note of the development intent to avoid large open parking areas,” the city said.
“It is also important to establish an integrated and well-defined public realm between the facilities and with the street interface.”
Corporate Office Flagship, Residential, Retail
This portion of the development is strategically located for a landmark building. The aim of this precinct is to avoid monotonous land uses and to activate the area on a 24h cycle. It is therefore recommended to enforce a land use mix of at least office, residential and ground floor retail for this section.
The location of the site and development potential could be ideal for the development of a small government precinct to consolidate all required government services such as Labour and Home Affairs within walking distance of each other and public transport facilities. This should further be discussed with the National Department of Public Works & Infrastructure (NDPWI).
Currently, no government facility is planned for the Centurion area.
Formalised public transport facility
The proposed facility is allocated to replace the existing informal facility on the site. It is important to follow a public-participation process and liaise with the various stakeholders who will be using this facility to ensure that it meets all the requirements and result in a well-used and practical development.
It is further proposed that the building allows for additional parking facilities, appropriate retail and potentially residential.
The large open parking areas on the southern end of the Centurion Mall adjacent to South Street is proposed to be developed with residential.
The inclusion of residential development within walking distance of public transport and the mall will benefit both these facilities and accommodate a population that could function without private vehicles. Parking could be accommodated at the basement level.
An earlier concept from 2000 imagined a ‘bazaar’ pathway between Centurion Mall, across the lake, and connecting main routes in a single line. The initial idea was that various retail activities could take place along this pedestrian path.
The new proposal keeps the pathway but opts for a more integrated approach, where the route passes through other adjoining developments. The route should be wide enough to also accommodate cyclists, the city said.
The city said that a 24-hour city model should be strived for, especially in the CBD. Mixed use with complementary land uses ensures that the area can be used by a diverse range of people at various times of day and night for various activities.
The proposed plan has received the necessary support from government departments and ward councillors affected, and the city will now embark on a public participation process.
The public participation meeting will take place on Saturday, 27 August 2022