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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:07 PM   #901
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Darter View Post
Ink closed a long time ago.....building is collecting weeds
Damn that's sad, ink was the ish though...
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Old June 6th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #902
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In about two months I will be returning to my beloved Jozi. It is also good to see that many things are happening!

http://joburgcentral.co.za/show_arti...?articleid=576

Two more Afhco buildings

In 2008/9 the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) spent some R8-million on the upgrade of public spaces on the eastern side of the city in Doornfontein, Bertrams and in particular the Ellis Park precinct before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Another significant property development on End Street was the building known as 120 End Street, which was formerly the Old Mutual building, and was converted from office space to affordable apartments by Afhco.

When construction on this project started in 2007, it was the world’s largest conversion of office space into housing space, consisting of 924 units, more units than are available in Johannesburg’s iconic Ponte building.

Plit said that 120 End Street currently stands at 90% occupancy, and construction of the retail level on the ground floor is taking place, after Shoprite had been secured as the anchor tenant.

Afhco has bought the entire city block and will develop pedestrian walkways, as well as upgrade the End Street Park, which has already taken place. Plit said that Afhco has invested some R300-million into the precinct.

Afhco has also contributed to social upliftment in the areas where it works, and has built a primary school, called CityKidz on Mooi Street. Children of Afhco staff got first preference for registration at the school, followed by tenants of Afhco buildings, but the general public could also send their children to the school.

Adapted from a Christy van der Merwe article found on Engineering News on 11 May
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Old June 6th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #903
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This is really innovative stuff, and great to see happening in the area around Joubert Park. What bothers me most, in general, about South Africa, is how we are afraid and ashamed of poverty. It is the same in the US. Poor people are not criminals. Gentrification should not be a vehicle for moving poor people to the periphery again. It should include them. But eish, we in Joburg would often want to see all poor people trucked off to Vlakfontein. Replacing them with the rich. This project, in my view, creates a sense of space. It empowers the people that live in that area. Adding to the vibrancy of the neighbourhood.

Skaftien - a cooking idea

“Skaftien is neither charity nor a funding institution,” says their website www.skaftien.org. “It does not seek to be objective because nothing ever is. It seeks to be accountable, responsible and relevant.” This ‘experiment in independent cultural philanthropy’ is inspired by Sunday Soup in Chicago, Feast in Brooklyn, and the numerous independent chapters of international meal-based micro-grant awarding initiatives. The debate that evolves at these meetings is as important at the awarding of the grants.

Closer to home, Skaftien is informed by Stokvel as practiced by Keleketla! Library and its affiliates, a long term 'study' of community-based saving scheme popular in townships and rural areas of Southern Africa. Skaftien was introduced to Kelekatla by Pittsburgh-based artist Kevin Clancy, who had a very fruitful residency at The Drill Hall.

The next Skaftien is on Sunday 5 June at 3pm, at Keleketla! Library, The Drill Hall Precinct, on the corner of Twist and Plein Streets, Joubert Park. Phone 011 333 1112 or 073 548 9441, or write to skaftien@keleketla.org

Keleketla!

The Drill Hall, built in 1904 as a military barracks, underwent a R10-million refurbishment project almost decade ago, funded by the City of Johannesburg and led by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA). The building was declared a heritage site and a public open space in 2004 in a bid to recognise its layers of history and importance as a tourist attraction.

Today, there is comfortable seating available to the public and the walls are covered in bookshelves. Children are scattered around, quietly reading, browsing, or sitting behind a row of Apple Mac computers. Further down the hall you will find artworks and products made from recycled tomato crates, hand printed T-shirts and homemade paper.

This project, housed in one of the wings of the Drill Hall, is the Keleketla! Community Resource Centre. It was started in 2008 as a library with funding from the National Arts Council and books sponsored by Exclusive books, Rotary and individuals.

The project is managed by six young men in their twenties who all studied the arts, acting or media, and see the initiative as a chance to practice their art, create a community of artists and give back to the people in the Joubert Park area. They get funds through sponsorships and by auctioning donated artworks and hosting exhibitions and performances.

Keleketla! is a Pedi word used as a response to the beginning of a story. It is a form of acknowledgement that ‘I am here, willing to listen to your story with active participation’. In line with this, the project aims to foster cultural literacy by encouraging personal, free engagement with books, art, music and film.

Although the library is still an integral part of Keleketla! and their interaction with the youth in the area, it has evolved into a media hub that includes an internet lab, sound studio and space for projects, rehearsals, exhibitions and performances.

“We wanted to create a safe environment for children to go to after school and a space where people can be creative,” says Malose Malahlela, in charge of Keleketla! branding and communication. “Our biggest achievement is maintaining consistency in the community and in the kid’s after-school activities.”

This Story by Media Man used source material for Keleketla! from Linda Krige’s article, found on The Good News
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Old June 6th, 2011, 05:58 PM   #904
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For me this article is quite powerful. And a reminder that if we don't take the existing tapestry of a community into account we will only replace it with a skeleton of a neighbourhood. Liveless and dead. We all complain about how hawkers are not using the linear markets. We fail to ask ourselves whether these new markets take the needs of the vendors and the shoppers into account. in creating a new Newtown, are we losing some of the old stories, the stories that truly makes this a place that people would like to visit? Johannesburg has many soulless malls. It would be sad if Newtown becomes one of them.

The fresh Prince of Newtown
http://mg.co.za/article/2011-06-06-t...nce-of-newtown
Go to Newtown in Johannesburg a few times and you will probably bump into Prince Twala, a tall, scrawny, eccentric figure wearing dreadlocks with a touch of peroxide who seems to know everyone.

When we sat down for an interview, appropriately at Sophiatown, a popular restaurant near Mary Fitzgerald Square, our talk was constantly interrupted by a stream of people, who stopped to say hi, to ask for directions or just to acknowledge the district's most famous denizen.

"Prince Zo Zo" one fan called out. "Prince of Newtown," another shouted.

Jeweller, artist and musician, Prince was born in 1971 to a musician father, Simon Jika Twala, of the Flaming Souls, a jazz outfit. He has taken a different path to his father -- for years he has fashioned rings from cutlery. After years on the street, he has moved to the Unity Gallery on President Street and his jewellery (some of it silver-plated and worth more than a thousand rands) is on sale.

When Prince and his younger brother first showed interest in music, their mother wasn't impressed. "Do you want them to have many wives?" their mother put the question to his father. But their mother, resigned to the idea of Prince going into music, told him to go to an institution where he could be taught formally. "I decided to go to music school, the Alexandra Arts Centre," he said.

He owns 13 guitars and is part of Studio Waste Production, a music collective. On the day of the interview, he had just been to the studio.

He has lived in Newtown for 20-odd years and has been a witness to the area's development. Bordered by Johannesburg's CBD and Fordsburg, Newtown was originally known as Coolie Location. Using the bubonic plague that swept through the location at the turn of the 20th century as an excuse, the council razed the settlement and moved the Indian, African and coloured residents who lived there to racially segregated areas.

After decades of being left to its own spatial dynamics, Newtown was designated as a cultural precinct several years ago.

Vibrant past
Sci-Bono, a science centre for school learners, was erected; the Workers' Library was refurbished; restaurants Sophiatown and Capello's occupied the district's prime real estate on Central Place, also home to radio station Kaya FM; a fragile Kippies, a Jozi landmark, was stabilised but remains unoccupied; Mary Fitzgerald Square is being revamped; and a mall is going to be built next to the Market Theatre complex.

In some ways Prince is the slightly buried shard that sticks out from a vibrant past -- his sharp, quirky dress, melodious tsotsitaal and informal demeanour are a throwback to another era. He could be the only remaining human historical constant whose eyes have seen Newtown undergo "gentrification".

He tells me of a horse stable next to the Bassline and of a "warehouse for artists" where Sophiatown is. He knows who nicked the bronze microphone that was part of the statue of Brenda Fassie. He worked at the Bassline when it was known as Megamusic Warehouse and personally knows the artist who made the rather ungainly statue in front of the Workers' Library.

He looks back fondly to when the Horror Café, next to the SAB World of Beer, was a vibrant venue, hosting reggae and poetry shows. It was unoccupied for a long time but is now an occasional venue run as Shikisha by the brothers Mzwandile and Ziggy Thabethe, the owners of Sophiatown.

If you find that you feel like saying hi to Prince and giving him a hug, you are in good company.

In 1997 the Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco, for the duration of her stay for the Johannesburg Biennale, sought out Prince for company and never went anywhere without the streetwise artist.

"Yeah," he sparkled as he recalled the biennale, a major milestone in Johannesburg's cultural development. "I was involved in organising the troupe of artists for the carnival," he said.

He counts many artists as his friends and acquaintances, people such as the late Fassie, director and actor James Ngcobo (Prince made some of the costumes and jewellery for Ngcobo's production Thirst) and kwaito star Pitch Black Afro. But it was when we talked about Newtown that he suddenly became animated, enraged even. "Any town has its heritage and when they kill Newtown they are killing the city of Johannesburg. We liked it the way it was," he said.

"'We need to change the environment', the JDA [Johannesburg Development Agency] says. But why are they taking away the good things, vendors and artists who used to work here?
"But the JDA says we are squatters. We are not squatters," he said. "Why can't we keep our monuments? But the people at JDA won't listen to us."

When our talk turned to monuments, he said in his fast-paced musical drawl that the JDA should install mementoes to "remind us what it used to be like back then".

That was a cue to speak about the old Kippies club, where the hunched bronze figure of the legend Kippie Moeketsi sits in spectral silence. The club was refurbished a few years ago but remains firmly shut. "It's like a haunted building," he said.

Human traffic in Newtown follows its own internal logic and refuses to be supervised by the city's planners. Jeppe Street, for instance, is busy with people visiting Xarra Bookshop, Sophiatown, the Bassline and Kaldi's Coffee Shop.

Across the street squats the sprawling Museum Africa, which receives a steady trickle of visitors, mostly tourists. Also on the square sits Niki's Oasis, a restaurant that might seem closed but is in fact open. But the French Institute of South Africa (Ifas) and Afronova, the gallery owned by Henri Vergon, have moved to Braamfontein.

There are several other buildings and spaces, the function of which one can't work out and which seem to have been determined by people poring over a map of the city.

Take, for instance, the vendor stalls on President Street, next to the SAB World of Beer. It is a brilliant idea to provide stalls for hawkers but the problem is that they rely on people wandering about and that part of Newtown isn't much used by pedestrians -- and there is only one ATM in the whole precinct, next to the Market Theatre.

We are still a cash society (a Kashmir of sorts) and without access to mobile speedpoint machines the vendors are struggling and being frozen out. Perhaps when everyone else is gone, Prince will be the only fixture in Newtown. Perhaps then he will be king, but will he have any courtiers?
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Old June 6th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #905
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Lupini loves Joburg

Working at the company inspired his interest in contemporary architecture. His company, Lupini Architects, which he has been running for 33 years, incorporates this design style in much of its work, which ranges from factories and shopping centres to the Linden swimming pool.

“I like it all,” he says, referring to jobs he takes on. This is why he has a policy of never saying no to potential customers. “When I established my business, my first job was at a friend’s factory, where I had to convert the toilet to an eastern women’s toilet. Since then I’ve never said no to any job that comes in,” he says.

This means he and his team have tackled buildings in Braamfontein, auditoriums and music rooms at Pridwin School, and shopping centres around Gauteng. “To date, we have renovated about 12 or 14 buildings in Braamfontein, including interior design.”

It is not only his own work which he enjoys, though. He takes pleasure in attractive buildings in general, and there are several in Johannesburg he considers his favourite. “Constitution Hill is one of my favourites because it recognises what was there before – a prison – yet it is not dominated by anything other than contemporary architecture,” he says. “Its cubic forms and treatment of finishes make it a friendly building, even though it is an official one.”

The Apartheid Museum is another of his pets. “Joburg, in terms of other South African cities, is architecturally rich and very profuse,” he says. “It is a vibrant city, which is an over-used expression but no doubt true, and there is nowhere as integrated. You can meet people at cocktail parties and strike a business deal then and there.

This, he feels, contributes to why Johannesburg was ranked the world’s third best city in Wallpaper magazine’s Wallpaper Design Awards in January this year. Wallpaper is an internationally renowned high-end magazine, based in London. It covers design, fashion, architecture, travel and lifestyle.

“Joburg is impressive; there is a nice sense of regeneration, where semi-industrial buildings have been turned into arts centres and places of fun.” Venues such as Arts on Main and the Newtown precinct appeal to him for this reason. He also enjoys how suburbs such as Auckland Park and Melville, where his company has its offices, have retained their old feel by maintaining their “nice leafy streets”.

Lupini’s love of the city’s architecture does not stop there, though. “I absolutely love Soccer City, which has taken the calabash out of the calabash and turned it into architecture.” This is the stadium that won the world’s best sport building at the 2010 World Architecture Festival.

He believes that the architecture of Joburg will continue to flourish, and make it not just an impressive African city but a worthy global one. “The regenerative forces make it a world-class city, no doubt.”

Derived from Lynley Main’s story on www.joburg.org.za on 26 May
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Old June 6th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #906
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Might be cool to join this guy on a tour, don't you think?

Unique tours of CBD

“The aim is to get as many local people as possible out and about in the city, on a budget-friendly tour,” said Jo. Attendees can choose to go on as many tours as they would like. Each is an hour long and focuses on a different aspect of “a particular area or theme or person”, according to Buitendach. “We aim to provide unique experiences that focus on the ‘African City’ and the fantastic history of Joburg, but also on the future and rejuvenation of the city.”

Take a squizz at Mandela’s Joburg, where he and his contemporaries worked and carried out their resistance activities, or get a closer look at Braamfontein and take a walk over the Nelson Mandela Bridge .

Other tours include Old Chinatown, the Ferreirasdorp-Diagonal Street area, a photographic walkabout of Newtown, Beyers Naude Square and a walk down Fox and Commissioner streets, on what Buitendach calls “the pretty side of town”, to look at the buildings and come to a better understanding of the area.

“I think it is a positive and very personal experience with knowledgeable tour guides. People also respond so positively to exploring the inner city, as it is looking fantastic,” she said.

Each tour on Sunday is R40 and departs from the Market Theatre parking lot. To book a spot in one or more of these expeditions through town, email past.experiences@hotmail.com or phone 011 678 3905. Spaces are usually limited to 25 people, so booking is essential.

Taken from the www.joburg.org.za site
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Old June 13th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #907
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thanks for all those interesting articles Jakes.

Anybody knowing what's happening at Shakespear, I see Urban Ocean has adverstised for retail and office space.


Olitzki's upgrade in Fox streets seem to be bearing fruits. Ubank has also moved in.
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Old June 13th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #908
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Rissik Post Office.

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Old June 13th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #909
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Thanks for the update on the Post Office! It makes my heart very happy. Back in South Africa in a month's time!
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Old June 14th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #910
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I think we should organise another tour...BTW I saw Tom on TV yesterday complaining about water shortage in his area.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 06:03 PM   #911
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Mary Fitzgerald Square











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Old June 16th, 2011, 09:53 PM   #912
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END Street Preinct




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Old June 17th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #913
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I like the grassy parts in Mary Fitzgerald Square. So good to see End street steaming ahead!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 10:25 AM   #914
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Joburg inner city confidence rising?
22 Jun 2011



The city nodes of Johannesburg’s central business district, Braamfontein and Newtown, continue to rise as more and more investors are putting money into the redevelopment of these regions according to property management company Broll.

According to the company’s area specialist and commercial broker Keke Khojane there has been renewed interest and huge investment in these areas where old buildings are being revamped and office accommodation is being transformed into new affordable residential units.

Khojane says that in the Urban Development Zone that covers an area of 18 square kilometres, a number of projects are nearing completion while new developments are underway. Investors in the zone receive tax incentives to invest in the city.

He claims that the redevelopment of these suburbs is fuelled by the easy access that these areas provide to the highways around the city as well as the public transport system that allows people to move around the inner city areas with relative ease.

He says that a number of developments around Ellis Park, Joubert Park, Ghandi Square and within Braamfontein’s Corporate Precinct have contributed to the transformation of the inner city nodes.

Khojane claims that the Johannesburg Development Agency has played a crucial role in these projects along with others such as the redevelopment of Newtown on the western side of the city.

Khojane points out that much of the redevelopment of Braamfontein has been centred around the University of the Witwatersrand where 20 office blocks have been converted into student accommodation.

He says that once the Gautrain’s station opens in Braamfontein, businesses will invest in commercial properties surrounding it. He claims that commercial property in the inner-city nodes is well priced at about R65 a sqm in Newtown rising to about R85 per sqm in Braamfontein.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:45 PM   #915
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Guys what is happening with the old Ninos site on Main Street? I was sad to hear it has closed (it was a real favorite of mine). Has anything taken its place or is it boarded up? And are there are any other good coffee shops on Main Street now?
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Old July 5th, 2011, 03:55 PM   #916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joburg2011 View Post
Guys what is happening with the old Ninos site on Main Street? I was sad to hear it has closed (it was a real favorite of mine). Has anything taken its place or is it boarded up? And are there are any other good coffee shops on Main Street now?
Something else will open in its place. And there are many other coffee places to choose from (some better than others)! The area is still much more vibrant compared to a couple of years ago. I haven't been downtown since November 2010. Hoping to pop in for a visit when I am back for good in August.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #917
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There's already a new coffee shop opened and it's been operating for more than 2 months now. I just love their carrot cake...thanks to my wife for introducing me to it...
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Old July 6th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #918
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Check my Chancellor house posting on http://johannesburgdailyphoto.blogspot.com/
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Old July 8th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #919
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Braamfontein rooftops

Randlords, a bar and lounge, is on the 22nd floor of 41 De Korte Street. Boasting a 360-degree view of the city, it is accessible by an exclusive lift. The indoor area is large and stylish, surrounded by full-length glass windows. It gives fabulous views from all sides. South Point owns the entire building.

Trevor Latimer, the head of the company’s hospitality division, explains that using the open spaces at the company’s buildings was driven by its vision and strategy to rejuvenate Braamfontein and turn the suburb into a desirable place to live.

“The development of Randlords was driven by the incredible views that the property offers,” Latimer said. “The directors wanted to create a space that would compare with similar spaces that celebrate the inner city skyscapes in New York and Hong Kong.”

He added: “The intention originally was to offer a rooftop bar open to the public, where one could stop while the rush hour traffic subsided. Due to demand and the nature of the space, the business model evolved into what is now offered – an exclusive function space for corporate and private events.”

The rooftop of another South Point development that makes full use of all its spaces is Auckland House. With its Skyline Gardens private penthouse apartments and bar, the building offers accommodation to young professionals.

Each penthouse has a rooftop garden, with garden dividers separating each apartment’s garden from another, giving privacy. “Skyline Gardens, the open rooftop space at 1 Biccard Street integrates with the lifestyle offering that is 1 Biccard – apartments and penthouse lofts for the urban professional,” said Latimer.

Apart from the mini-gardens, another rooftop space at Auckland House’s Skyline Gardens has a cocktail bar, dining and intimate lounge pods. Latimer says that the response from people regarding Randlords’ and Skyline Gardens’ rooftop spaces has been phenomenal.

“The truth is that people want to re-engage with the inner city experience. At South Point we are passionate about the rejuvenation of Braamfontein. These rooftop activations are the beginning of what is still to come.”

The company has more plans – rooftop sports such as tennis and cricket, as well as an outdoor cinema. Within walking distance of the two is the Alexander Theatre. It is owned by Adam Levy, a young developer who owns a number of buildings in Braamfontein. The theatre is on Stiemens Street and was refurbished to include an outdoor rooftop space, used mainly for parties.

Taken from www.joburg.org.za
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Old July 9th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #920
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joburg2011
Guys what is happening with the old Ninos site on Main Street? I was sad to hear it has closed (it was a real favorite of mine). Has anything taken its place or is it boarded up? And are there are any other good coffee shops on Main Street now?
City Park Cafe has opened in its place...

http://joziberry.tumblr.com/post/676...on-main-street

Kramers is still doing a good trade, and there is another coffee shop on that strip, can't remember its name. I see that unfortunately Nando's closed down on Main Street, opposite Gandhi Square. A pity as they always seemed to do well.
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