O.R Tambo International Airport, South Africa’s biggest and busiest port of entry, just unveiled the first phase of a R4.5 billion mixed-use development that will see its Western Precinct acquire new offices, retail space, hotel and conference facilities and additional transit-related services.
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At a sod-turning ceremony for its Western Precinct development, an 8.5-hectare site, General Manager of the Airport, Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana detailed the airport’s plans to unlock the development potential of 180 000 square metres of bulk for a mixed-use development to be located on the northern precinct of the airport.
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Construction begins this month with an anticipated completion date for the first phase of the end of 2020. Ms. Pityi-Vokwana was joined at the ceremony by members of the Western Precinct Consortium, which won the bid for the first phase. This phase will see construction of three six-storey office buildings, above podium with a floor area of 33 000 square metres.
Ms. Pityi-Vokwana, says “As the busiest airport in Africa and the international gateway to South Africa, it is imperative that O.R Tambo International Airport remains an international landmark with world-class infrastructure and a large variety of services for all users and markets. The Western Precinct development forms part of a strategy to expand our offering and to drive new sources of growth for the entire region.”
In addition to this development, O.R Tambo International’s Airports Company long-term Infrastructure Master Plan features midfield cargo and midfield passenger terminals, each requiring several billion rands in further investment. These developments will accommodate growing passenger demand and expand the midfield cargo facilities at the airport to accommodate up to two million tonnes of air cargo annually.
“At the same time, airport users will start to see upgrades to the existing terminal buildings. So, we are entering a very exciting period in the life of our airport which supports about 38,000 jobs in and around the precinct,” says Ms. Pityi-Vokwana.
The mixed-use development will consist of a variety of buildings which are framed in such a way as to form a boulevard at the international departures level, where a variety of retail commercial and ancillary buildings each open onto a vibrant energetic ‘street’ environment serviced by lively restaurants, corner cafes and bars. The iconic structure will house all the vertical and horizontal circulation functionality in a clear and legible way anchored by the Gautrain station at its core and will provide a unique architectural language to Africa’s largest airport.
The first phase buildings will provide for:
• Corporate head office for Airports Company South Africa and the South African Civil Aviation Authority and
• Common-use facilities such as a fitness centre, canteen and creche.
The development will improve the connectivity from the Gautrain station and to existing hotels and facilities via pedestrian friendly connections to the international terminal building.
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