Bo-Kaap “monster” R1 billion development approved

Update (January 2017) :

Cape Town’s executive mayor Patricia de Lille has given final approval for the R1 billion development. The development is set to provide 4 000m² of retail space, lifestyle activities and 250 residential apartments. The building currently on the site houses a car dealership.

According to the developer, the building will target a Green Star rating by incorporating environmentally sensitive development and modern energy efficient technology. Construction could start in June or July this year.

Update (August 2016) :

Residents of Bo-kaap have filed an appeal against the decision by the Municipal Planning Tribunal that the R1 billion development would not affect the heritage resources of the area.

In a report compiled for the Bo-Kaap Ratepayers’ and Civic Association and submitted as part of the appeal Fabio Todeschini argued the developer failed to submit a detailed assessment of the existing character of the area around the site to establish clear design indicators from a heritage resources perspective.

The Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA), has endorsed concerns that the building would be inappropriate from an urban design perspective. More than 1 000 residents of the area objected to the development, but these were dismissed by the tribunal.

The appellants have also argued that the tribunal’s view that the applicant had a right of which he could not be deprived to build up to 60m, was incorrect in law. “Property rights are not absolute and are limited by legislation,” they contend.

The association has asked for an opportunity to deliver oral arguments before the appeal authority.

Mayor Patricia de Lille has the final say on the matter upon the advice of a technical team. The association has asked that this panel include a heritage specialist, a traffic specialist and a civil engineer.



A Sketch-up model on Google Earth showing the proposed development in its context (courtesy Rick Brown Architects)

A Sketch-up model on Google Earth showing the proposed development in its context (courtesy Rick Brown Architects)

A 19-storey mixed-use building with 249 residential units and 324 parking bays accessed off Shortmarket Street and with approx. 5000 sq.m of commercial and retail on the ground floors is being proposed on the edge of Bo Kaap. This proposal is 60m high on Buitengracht Street and 38m high on Rose Street. According to the website of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association it is “much larger and higher than anything else in the area, with the exception of the unattractive and out-of-place Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital”.

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association as well as many other interested and affected parties are “strongly against the development, in its current form, but are in favour of sensitive, appropriate and inclusive development”.

Visit the website here and read the full report of the report on the objection here

Bridges not Barriers” is a campaign spearheaded by the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association to resist inappropriate and insensitive development in the Bo-Kaap, Central Cape Town. It also aims to contribute to the wider dialogue around the kind of city we want to live in.

See more Cape Town Development Updates here


  1. Bo-Kaap residents appeal decision on R1bn building
  2. A look at the controversial new high-rise going up in Cape Town


  1. 117 on Strand