Sea Point building to be demolished

Erf 12, the white building, will be demolished in a year or two.

A Sea Point building dating back to around 1912 is set for demolition and property developer, Ryan Joffe Properties, plans to build an apartment block in its place.

The Heritage Western Cape (HWC) Appeals Committee confirmed that the demolition of the structure on the 1442m² erf had been approved as there was insufficient heritage significance to warrant retention.

“The demolition is subject to further appeals and development applications not within the ambit of HWC,” said Michael Janse van Rensburg, the chief executive officer of HWC.

Ryan Joffe, of Ryan Joffe Properties, says they bought the property at 231 Main Road, 18 months ago and believed that through its development they could contribute to the rejuvenation of Sea Point.

“There were a number of squatters and drug dealers in the building when we took over. There was no running water, there was faeces everywhere and the building itself was in a seriously bad condition,” said Mr Joffe.

“We paid everyone to leave so they could go and live somewhere else. We cleaned up the building, upgraded the rooms and made it a decent, safe place to live that has water, electricity and internet access. The tenants know that their stay is temporary but we will be open to discussion when the time comes,” he said.

Heritage consultant Ashley Lillie recommended that the HWC allow the demolition of the building as the building is not considered as having a heritage grading higher than IIIC.

“Given the extent to which the building has been altered both internally and externally (the first floor elements notwithstanding), together with the context which is devoid of conservation worthy characteristics, no reason is seen as to why authorising the demolition should not be issued by Heritage Western Cape,” Mr Lillie said.

Mr Joffe said besides Sea Point being a popular tourist area, with rugby (Western Province) moving to the Cape Town Stadium in nearby Green Point, and other events being held at this venue, he believes that there will be a need for more accommodation.

“We want to add value this area and will probably build a hotel there with a similar product and feel to what we have done at The Rockefeller. Visitors and people living here will be able to walk to the stadium or to the promenade. However, we are aware that the process of approval could take a year or two and we will gauge closer to the time what the market demands,” he said.

As Erf 12 falls under the general business zoning, Mr Joffe said this would allow them to build up to a height of 28 meters.

“If you look at what was there before the Glengariff came along, I mean this area was notorious for robberies. It wasn’t a safe place. So the Glengariff has brought value to this area; it’s a safe neighbourhood now,” Mr Joffe said of the Glengariff, a mixed-use building apartment on Main Road.

One of the business spaces at Erf 12 is being refurbished.