Cape Town Station will be transformed into a retail and entertainment hub by 2010, with a R480-million upgrade of shops and informal trading areas.

In a presentation to the city’s Good Hope subcouncil, Intersite’s Pierre Cronje said public/private partnerships were needed to build a new “creative Cape Town Station” of an international standard. “We need to upgrade for 2010, but also for beyond.”

Cronje said R480m had already been approved for the 2010 priority projects. These included upgrades of the station deck precinct, the retail outlets and informal trading areas.

According to a survey of commuter needs, informal traders should only be in designated areas, the station should offer better quality eateries with restaurants for families, all alcohol outlets should be closed and tourism-related activities should be based at the station.

Cronje said 60 percent of commuter and shoppers moving through the station were not spending money there. The station forecourt precinct would include formal retail activities, more technology shops and recreational facilities.

The Strand Street precinct would have convenience shops for commuters who have little time for shopping. There would also be two accessible ticket offices.

Cronje said shop fronts on Strand Street were already being demolished and the new shops would be ready by April or May. Shops on the Old Marine Drive precinct would be used by long-distance commuters and tourists using the airport/rail link. There would also be medical facilities.

The station deck would be reserved for informal trading, but with lockable permanent stalls.

None of the traders already working on the station deck would be asked to move. There would also be some office space on the deck. Cape Town Tourism would have an office at the station.

Good Hope subcouncil chair JP Smith said plans to take the railway lines underground would change the flow of the city. It would also recover substantial office and retail space.

PUBLICATION: (Cape Times) (Page 7)
AUTHOR: Anél Powell
DATED: 24th November 2008