(Durban) – Ground is set to break on the R6bn Durban Point Waterfront project, which will see the city’s coastal skyline changed by skyscrapers and high-rise developments.
According to a report by Iol, infrastructure roll-out for the development is set to start in June 2016, where development will continue in preparation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
A total of 750,000 square metres will be developed, including high rise skyscrapers in excess of 55 storeys.
Other infrastructure upgrades include the extension of the promenade and all surroundings roads, public transport networks and water and electricity channels.
The development is being headed by the Durban Point Development Company, co-owned by eThekwini municipality and Malaysian property group, UEM Sunrise.
UEM Sunrise modelled the development partly on schemes in Miami, Cannes, Copa Cabana and Surfers Paradise in Australia.
As much as R2 billion has already been invested in the development project, with some reports stating that the final total investment will be over R6 billion.
Durban is home to a new wave of developer interest, with the city receiving a separate proposal for another R6 billion sky-scraper to be built in the area.
A proposal was put forward by the Durban Tower Development Company to erect a 88-story skyscraper near the Moses Mabhida stadium, which would ultimately become the highest building in the southern hemisphere.
Both the Tower and Point projects have been met with opposition from Durban residents, who say that the skyscrapers would destroy the city’s modest skyline, and cast massive shadows on the surrounding areas, ruining its scenic views.
The Point development companies previous responded to such criticisms, saying that 80% of the views in the area will be unaffected by the development, and that the formation of the proposed skyscrapers would save the beaches from being overshadowed.