The future of Cape Town Station: A glimpse of the redevelopment

PASSENGER Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) is planning a R1bn facelift of Cape Town’s train station as part of a broader R8bn redevelopment of its stations around the country.

The development, to be carried out in partnership with the Eris Property Group, is part of Prasa’s broader programme of improving the financial position of the state- owned rail agency by increasing the returns it generates from its property portfolio. Prasa is embarking on a massive upgrade to its rolling stock as well as signalling systems and is keen to unlock value from its property assets to help fund its capital expenditure programme and funding its day-to-day operations.

The first phase of the proposed redevelopment will include the introduction of a shopping precinct and the construction of a three-star hotel, Grant Rock, the executive director for asset development at Prasa subsidiary property management unit Intersite, said this week.

The model that is being used will give developers tenure on the properties for periods between 20 and 50 years depending on the type and the extent of the investments made, Mr Rock said.

On the Cape Town development Mr Rock said the developers would need to demolish some of the buildings in the station while new ones would also need to be built.

“They proposed various phases for the development because you need to take cognisance of the operational needs of the station,” he said. Development of the project is likely to begin in about two years , with the agreement being finalised in the next three months.

In some instances, as with the Cape Town station, there is rezoning work that is required as all of Prasa’s property assets are zoned for rail-use only. Prasa has a large property portfolio which is housed in its subsidiary Prasa Corporate Real Estate Solutions which includes 374 rail commuter stations and 4200ha of land in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. These are in turn managed by Intersite.

Source: The Business Day