A look at the R16 billion mega-development in Cape Town

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The first of six towers in a new mixed-use neighborhood in Cape Town has ‘popped’ on the 23rd floor, 95 meters above ground, just 30 months after the ground was struck.

“Reaching the highest point of Tower 1 at Harbor Arch is an important milestone in our building journey,” said Nicholas Stopforth, director of Amdec Property Developments. “Despite an unforeseen delay following the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, work has progressed at a rapid pace and is on track for completion by May next year.

Main contractor, WBHO, faced a number of significant structural engineering challenges, not least of which was the deep drilling and excavating of the rocks required for the district’s 3-storey super-basement, 11 meters below ground.” , says Dale Blanchard, Contracts Director. at WBHO.

“Working within limited space and access, the excavation process required the removal of 65,000 cubic meters of soil and 5,000 cubic meters of rock.”

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“The wind also played a big part in our building program, especially the higher we went,” he said. “In one of the windiest years in Cape Town’s history, we are delighted that the team was still able to outperform a structure of this massive size in time.”

With just under a year to completion, it has also taken approximately three million man-hours to get there, with tens of thousands of people – including unskilled workers, builders, tradesmen, technicians, engineers and architects – working to build this iconic milestone blossom.

Harbor Arch Tower 1 includes double-volume, glass-fronted retail space on the ground floor – destined for exclusive car dealerships and coffee shops – and further retail space on the eighth floor which will house restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating.

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It also includes 1,188 parking spaces spread over three basements and seven above-ground levels; and 560 residential apartments -82 inclusive rental units, 158 studio apartments, 203 one-bedroom apartments, 58 two-bedroom apartments and 59 three-bedroom apartments.

There is also an outdoor sundeck and swimming pool on the 18th floor, with 360 degree views of the mountains and harbor.

“A multi-billion Rand project of this magnitude requires the technical skill, expertise and dedication of a highly specialized multidisciplinary team,” said Stopforth. “The professional team has proven to be up to the task, with WBHO automatically being the first choice, having successfully built and delivered the R1.4 billion Yacht Club development of the Amdec Group in 2017.”

This $16 billion development by the Amdec Group represents a significant private sector investment in the city of Cape Town. According to James Wilson, CEO of Amdec Group, “More than 20,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase alone, with many more jobs – especially in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors – upon completion.”

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Harbor Arch will create a new gateway to the Mother City. The completed district will include 6 towers covering 200,000 m² of usable space and housing commercial offices and corporate headquarters; a city park and shopping arcade at street level; an open-air piazza on the 8th floor with restaurants, coffee shops and cocktail bars; 2 Marriott hotels with meeting facilities; a flagship health and fitness club, and the largest selection of residential apartments in the CBD.


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