Supermarket, flats planned for Bridgetown

An artist’s impression of the development planned for Bridgetown.

A new supermarket and housing development are planned for Bridgetown.

A double-storey building is planned for the vacant ground, on the corner of Heideveld and Bosduif roads, opposite Vangate Mall. It will house a Shoprite on the ground floor and 20 two-bedroom flats above, according to the private developer, New Age Property Development.

Further down Bosduif Road, the developer will build a four-storey block of 280 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, offering affordable housing, according to the property developer’s chief operating officer Anver Essop.

Teams started with excavations last week and work on the building was set to start in the next six to eight weeks, he said.

Mr Essop said the area needed another supermarket because Bridgetown was a hub for many areas.

Phase 1 of the project, which includes building the supermarket and 20 flats, will cost R75 million and the second phase, which includes the 280 flats, will cost R220 million.

“We had a community meeting last week, Wednesday June 22, and the community responded well and were happy,” said Mr Essop. “The community requested that we use local labourers, and we’ve promised to do so. Our company policy is to use 50% local labour. We are bringing facilities closer to the community and creating permanent employment.”

There will be 20 flats above the building housing the supermarket.

Bridgetown ward councillor Rashid Adams said future meetings would be held to ensure that the community benefited from the project and that local labourers were employed.

“I feel that the area could benefit from an additional shopping centre,” he said. “It adds value to the area. I told the developer that we must have a conversation regarding corporate investment into our area and what they will give back to out community.

“People will have a choice about where to go shopping. The community is very excited about the development, and so am I. I always view developments as a positive opportunity for our communities.”

However, Nazley Rulumente, who works in Bridgetown, reservations about the development.

“We don’t know how flats would affect the community. It wouldn’t be financially viable for people of Bridgetown because they can’t afford it. You also don’t know what problems come with flats. There’s been no public awareness that I am aware of.

“I don’t think the area needs another shopping centre. What they say and what they do are completely different with regards to employing local labourers. Employing people from the area is not always what happens, so I hope they stick to it, but I am very sceptical.”