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CORNUBIA - SHAPING UP

Category Umhlanga New Development

SHAPING UP The ongoing Cornubia Development in Umhlanga, Kwazulu Natal is tailored for those who value time, convenience and safety and want practical city-within-a city living

Few years ago it would have been barely credible to imagine that a multi-billion rand mixed use and mixed income development that, on completion, would alter the Umhlanga skyline being unveiled. Now it is a reality, with the site full of construction activity.

The Cornubia Development is a milestone development by any standards. Scheduled to last 20 years, it is eThekwini's first Cabinet Lekgotla national priority project. There will be 80ha of industrial platform and over 1 Million m2 of commercial floor area. Approximately 400ha of land will be included into a rehabilitated open space system. It will be the home of the next major industrial area in the north, with linkages to the new international airport.

Furthermore, it will provide some 24 000 homes of which 15 000 are proposed for subsidised housing (by the Municipality in partnership with the Province who view Cornubia as a key flagship project) and the balance for a wide range of affordability levels. The residential development caters for all income groups. Over 60% of Cornubia will accommodate fully subsidized houses for the indigent (those that qualify for a provincial housing subsidy), affordable housing for low-income housing (rental) as well as middle to high-income bonded housing.

More than half the site will accommodate affordable housing. The first phase of the project will yield approximately 2 500 subsidised units and 80ha of industrial land with the necessary social facilities and amenities required for such a development. With a gross area of more than 300ha, Cornubia's commercial and mixed use developments will make provision for almost 2 million m2 bulk. These commercial opportunities will be located close to the N2 freeway and M41 corridor.

Approximately 250 000m2 of office bulk is being planned in this precinct alone, and it is envisaged that it could well beto be the next premier office park estate in the Umhlanga/Mt Edgecombe area. The commercial nodes will provide opportunities for retail, as well as the larger big box destination outlets, offering more than 892 000m2 of commercial bulk.

Targeted predominantly towards the mid-market and with a different tenant mix, Cornubia's commercial nodes will not be designed to compete with the nearby Gateway and Crescent retail precincts, but will instead aim to augment and complement these developments

Parking will be both basement and structured parking, but more pedestrianisation will be encouraged, with a greater focus on landscaping and the creation of more appealing urban spaces in line with the larger development's new urbansim approach. Almost 921 600m2 of mixed use bulk will be provided, offering retail, offices and high density residential opportunities in the form of sectional title apartments. Modeled on Johannesburg's Melrose Arch and Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, Cornubia's mixed use precinct will be highly accessible to key sub-metropolitan routes making it a premier location in northern Durban.

Planned as an environment-friendly and eco-sensitively designed light industrial development, Cornubia's Industrial and Business Estate will attract substantial interest from both developers and investors alike. Situated in the northwest corner of Cornubia, adjacent to Ottawa and less than 15km from the new King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy, the estate lies less than 5km from Umhlanga's Town Centre and Gateway precincts, and will be highly accessible from the N2 freeway, M41 and R102.

The 200ha gross development will provide 80ha of industrial platform providing a total of 480 000m2 of bulk. Sites will be designed to allow flexibility for all the needs of developers and purchasers with both subdivision and consilidation permitted. The development will make provision for light industrial uses, including warehousing, distribution, service orientated business and office.

A large portion of the business estate will comprise of a landscaped and rehabilitated wetland and open space system. The industrial and business estate will aim to offer attributes such as safety and security, traffic accessibility, environmental sustainability, an attractive landscape, proximity to 1 October / December 2012 labour pools and an excellent work environment will make Cornubia's industrial development a highly soughtafter industrial and business estate in northern Durban.

The development of Cornubia is in accordance with sustainable development principles with higher densities, a wide range and integration of income levels, employment and economic opportunities, substantial provision for schools, clinics and other social facilities, predicated on viable non motorized and public transportation and extensive open spaces.

The choice of the site was driven by many factors. Cornubia development is strategically located (some 151(m south of the new King Shaka International Airport) between the historically created and disadvantaged areas of Phoenix, Ottawa and Waterloo and newer areas of Mt Edgecombe and Umhlanga and has been planned to integrate these very different and disparate communities in a manner which adds value and enhances linkages and opportunities to all.

Numerous economic spin-offs are anticipated to arise from the Cornubia Development. The project will provide substantial housing opportunities as well as employment and economic opportunities and will serve as a benchmark for future developments in South Africa. It is envisaged to create 42 830 permanent, quality jobs and approximately 387 590 construction jobs sustained over a 15 year period. More to the point, total estimated investment in buildings and infrastructure is R24 Billion at current prices. Rates generation will amount to over R237 Million per annum with other public benefits including VAT and Tax receipts of R3 Billion during the construction phases only.

Shapinc up INFRASTRUCTURE Founded on sustainable development principles Strategically located Economic spinoffs, The Cornubia Development has clearly left no stone unturned in terms of catering for amenities. The provision of social and public facilities (schools, creches, clinics etc) is based on a 5-minute walk (radius of 400m). Other facilities and amenities such as multi-purpose halls, post office, police stations, hotels/motels, churches etc will also be provided.

Cornubia will also boast a BRT (bus rapid transport) system, hence a multi-nodal transport interchange for taxis and buses will be planned. This is aimed at ensuring that pedestrians have access. Other amenities in close proximity are Kwazulu Natal coastline, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Mount Edgecombe golf courses and King Shaka International Airport.

Cornubia is certainly taking shape with construction having already commenced on the 1st phase, which will see the access road and 486 units complete by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, Construction is progressing well at the industrial estate with the first few platforms ready before the end of November this year and first transfers going through in March next year.

The estate is almost sold out, with only 27ha left for sale, a key indication of the huge pent up demand for industrial land and the shortage of this in the Durban area. Now those that value time, convenience and safety want practical city-within-a city living have something to look forward to.

Author: NEW WORLD CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE 01 Oct 2012 Page 56

Submitted 28 Aug 13 / Views 2971