PICS: New R300m Durban Point promenade to extend Golden Mile

2017-11-30 13:54 - Suren Naidoo
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Durban - Surf city’s popular Golden Mile is set to be extended by 750m, beyond Ushaka Marine World all the way to the harbour entrance, as part of a R300 million project linked to the Durban Point Waterfront mega development.

Durban Tourism CEO and acting eThekwini Deputy City Manager, Philip Sithole, revealed on Thursday, 30 November that construction on the new beachfront development would commence in January next year.

He was speaking at a media briefing at uMhlanga’s Beverly Hills Hotel on catalytic tourism initiatives underway in Durban, aimed at taking the city’s tourist appeal to a new level.

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'One of 25 catalytic project'

“The Point Waterfront Promenade Extension will be a key asset to our tourism sector. It is one of 25 catalytic projects being implemented and is a powerful demonstration of the commitment eThekwini has to transform the global and investor landscape of our city,” says Sithole.

“Our city is evolving and transforming at a very rapid pace. The catalytic projects planned for Durban will have a huge economic and social impact. The promenade extension is a hugely exciting project that will set the scene for massive investment into the re-energised Durban Point Waterfront development.

“Construction on the promenade will take place from January 2018 through to September 2019. This new section will be 750m long and 30m wide. It will be followed by Phase 1 of the new Point Waterfront development plan, unlocking major investment, including a residential tower, retail mall and a hotel,” he added.

Public amenities as part of the new promenade include change rooms, as well as ablution and staff facilities. A lifeguard facility is planned for the centre of the Point Waterfront Promenade, while new restaurant facilities will also be made available as part of the leisure mix.

'Take Durban’s Golden Mile to whole new level'

“This is a major project that will take Durban’s Golden Mile to whole new level, with the promenade extending all the way from the Umgeni River mouth and Blue Lagoon area in the south, past Suncoast Casino and the planned eThekwini Film City, to Ushaka and the harbour entrance at North Pier. The new Point Waterfront Promenade section will unlock development in the Point precinct and further enhances the current offering along the beachfront.

"It will extend the Golden Mile well beyond 6.5km from the Umgeni River to the harbour entrance, entrenching its appeal as probably the longest beachfront promenade in Africa. Durban will take its place alongside other major beach locations of the world, from Copacabana in Rio to South Beach in Miami and Bondi Beach in Australia,” says Sithole.

The total investment of R30–R35 billion was expected to pour into the Point Waterfront development over a number of development phases, generating increased annual rates for the city of R200 million. An estimated 6 750 permanent jobs where also set to be created. He said the Point Waterfront would also be integrated with the planned new Durban Cruise Terminal, just inside the harbour.

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Malaysian development and investment group, UEM Sunrise, is behind the new Point Waterfront plan, together with the eThekwini Municipality. The initial project, which has been dogged by delays and court action since it was launched in the early 2000’s as an urban renewal initiative, has seen investment of about R4 billion in mixed-used projects, including apartments and hotels.

Sithole said he was happy that a settlement had finally been reached recently between the developer and watersports clubs, which has opened the way for the new Point Waterfront Promenade and larger precinct development to take place.

Mike Jackson, Operations Director of Tsogo Sun Hotels KZN, said the city’s further investment in the Durban beachfront was a great move and would boost tourism.

“It is greatly welcome, and will no doubt spur further investment by the private sector into the Durban beachfront and the new Point Waterfront. It further expands our tourism appeal as a city, where locals and tourists will be able to walk, cycle or run on the promenade from Blue Lagoon all the way to the harbour entrance. It’s fantastic to see further investment by the city in one of Durban’s greatest tourism assets, the beachfront,”  says Jackson.

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