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Face-lift for CBD

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Face-lift for CBD

by Tammy Petersen
10 Oct 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The heart of the Athlone CBD will soon receive a face-lift to establish district offices for the Departments of Planning and Building Development Management as well as Roads and Storm Water of the city.

The lease for the improvement of Ledger House, situated in the CBD, was approved by the mayoral committee after a year of broad discussion and negotiations with the city council.

According to Allie Dhansay, one of the three main instruments of Athbiz which consists of local business owners, the development should be ready by 1 December and R6 million has been assigned to the project.

Property professional Sumaya Taliep, who concluded the deal, says the redevelopment will be "adding value to the broader area" - a significant moment for the Athlone business district, broader Athlone community and local communities.

"The location of these offices in Athlone demonstrates the city's commitment to improving service delivery standards by providing a conveniently located one-stop service centre and forms part of its implementation of the decentralised service delivery model," Taliep says.

She believes that this serves as a vote of confidence in the area.

"The location of this service centre will attract hundreds of people, customers and employees in the Athlone CBD every day, which will be a major economic boost for business in the area."

Mixed-use development and the introduction of residential development into the area are also being encouraged.A proposal for the establishment of a RED Door office in Athlone has also been proposed to the MEC for Planning and Economic Development, Tasneem Essop. RED Door offers advice to new and existing small businesses.

"The main objective is to provide a business support base for emerging entrepreneurs, where there is access to skills and development for both skilled and unskilled business people and previously disadvantaged individuals," Taliep says.

Refurbishing has already started and contractor Ganief Kamish says the project programme is on schedule. Council has also strategically developed a broader Athlone District Spatial Plan which will be up for public comment within the next few weeks.This will determine how much space will be allocated to each department.

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