The CIDC has moved beyond its crime and grime objective without losing these twin elements as building blocks. The CIDC’s vision, as articulated in 2009 by its Urban Management Consultant, Peter de Tolly, is
“Make Claremont CBD the top mixed-use centre in the metropolitan area by capitalizing upon, and enhancing, its compact, heterogeneous and permeable nature and its multi-modal accessibility, thereby ensuring the creation of a high-quality urban environment that is an attractive place to work, shop, play and live for all stakeholders”.
To further quote, Peter de Tolly:
“The CIDC’s Vision seeks to make Claremont CBD the top mixed-use centre in the metropolitan area for all stakeholders. This is profound as it gives the CIDC an ethical base from which to operate. It requires the alignment of property owners’ economically-driven needs with broader social and environmental needs. The CIDC has had two main emphases since 2000. Improving the management of the CBD by focusing on crime, grime and social issues, and upgrading the physical environment, by improving accessibility to the area and mobility within it (the Taxi and Bus Interchanges and the Claremont Boulevard), and the physical appearance and amenity of the area; i.e. making it a place (the place!) to go to”.
These initiatives have to continue, but they now need to be expanded so that the Vision of the CIDC can be fully realized. The process of growth management is ongoing, involving not just the CIDC and the City but the multitude of other stakeholders. The CIDC has developed a good foundation from which to move forward, it just needs to maintain the momentum.
A number of significant investments by both the private and public sectors in the Claremont business district have ensured that Claremont’s development objectives are significantly met and has ensured the Claremont CBD is a major retail and commercial investments hub within the wider metropole. These include:
- Levy contribution by CIDC levy payers, which saw a direct investment of over R34 million.
- Private Investment – which is an agreed mechanism for Urban Regeneration and shows business confidence in an area. Examples of this type of investment include the 95 apartment development called Seven Miles South, which was sold out within 10 days of launching; the MontClare mixed-use development which saw over R450 Million spent on this SAPOA award winning development for innovative excellence in property development at the SAPOA awards held in Sun City in 2010; the Claremont which saw tired retail being developed into a mixed-use residential and retail development with 322 apartments and 520 undercover parking bays.
- Public Investment – the most significant piece of public investment in Claremont was the R38 million development of the Claremont Public Transport Interchange, opened in October 2008. This integrated transport hub caters for over 30 000 commuters on a daily basis.
- Return and arrival of new business – such as the acquisition of a local call centre by the Global multi-million dollar E-telecare Global Solutions, which will see at full capacity 1200 new employment opportunities in Claremont. In 2009 Juta and Company also arrived in Claremont, opening its new flagship book store in the Sunclare building and moving its head office operations to the office space above.
- Public private investments – the jewel in the crown of public private investments is undoubtedly the partnership between the CIDC and the City of Cape Town, which saw over R45 million invested, which saw the building of the Claremont Boulevard.
There remains, however, an unfinished agenda within Claremont which requires the multitude of stakeholders, the CIDC and the City of Cape Town to maintain the momentum of urban development and regeneration. These include:
- Integrated transport solutions, which build on the significant investments in infrastructure already available in Claremont.
- A land use transport model, which allows for ongoing monitoring of growth and change within the greater Claremont area.
- A myriad of street light, street furniture and pedestrian and cycling upgrades, which allow for greater movement of people within Claremont.
- The implementation of Council’s Four Square’s Policy, which will also allow for greater pedestrian movement in dignified public spaces.