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Does the ICC complex need to expand?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've added a poll to this as I think the question needs to be asked, do we need to expand again?

The Arena and extra conference space was completed in early 2007, and without this the large swathe of events the city has secured for the coming years with 10000+ people would not have been possible.

The ICC itself has no room to expand on its current site, but the DEC site is not utilised to its full potential. Should this space be reorganised? Demolished? New space built?

And if the answer is yes we need new space, how soon do we need it?

The only concrete stuff we know is that the Coastlands ICC hotel will start rising this year (4 star 270 rooms) and is a much needed extra hotel for the precinct which will also bring more conference space on board when it opens in late 2012/ early 2013.

But where to from here, and when will it be too big?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well the ICC cant physically cut across the road. The main expansion options would be:

Total upgrade of the DEC (Cheaper, faster, short term)

OR

Demolish and start again (MUCH more expensive, loss of facilities for a number of years, but long term thinking.


Or, develop a master plan for the DEC site and start by building new facilities in the open air section near the Hilton. Once complete and running look to demolish the existing buildings.

But demolishing is a very expensive route to take and there will be revenue loss from teh events that the centre currently handles that cant be held in the ICC
 

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I don't think the city will / should demolish and rebuild. It would be too expensive and the city will be wary of taking on more debt. It already gets slack for subsidizing the ICC, although its investment in the ICC is worth every cent. Those who criticize the ICC subsidies (mainly the DA) are shortsighted and just plain stupid as the ICC has brought much needed attention and events to the city. Probably the best investment the city has ever made, bar the 1984/5 and 2010 Golden Mile upgrades.

I do think the ICC should expand, though, to continue attracting mega events. At this point its the largest convention complex in SA. However, when it comes to expo facilities, it may actually rank 2nd.

A few weeks ago I ranked the size of SA's main convention facilities. The ICC ranks ahead of ahead of Gallagher Estate, Sandton CC and CTICC. The old Nasrec (now renamed the MTN Expo Centre, Johannesburg) may actually be larger overall. According to its site, "the Expo Centre can offer over 42 000 square meters of covered space, and an additional 40 000 square meters of outdoor, multi purpose space" (vs 33,000m2 of covered space at the ICC), exluding DEC courtyards (20,000 m2) and the massive centrum site (which probably offers 200,000 m2 of space on one layer, if not more). However, Expo and ICC do target different markets. The MTN Expo Centre markets itself as a specialist expo centre, not a serious convention centre, although it can host conferences too. ICC markets itself as a serious convention centre, although it can host expos too.

I think if the ICC expands, its expansion should be no less than 5,000m2, so that it can compete with Nasrec/ MTN Expo Centre for mega expos (although Nasrec hasn't actually landed any yet, to my knowledge). CTICC has expressed an interest in going for Expo 2020 but unless it expands drastically, Nasrec (and even the ICC) may be a better fit for such a mega event.

In short, I think the DEC should be upgraded and new halls built in available spaces (especially the space immediately opposite the Hilton Hotel; in fact, another hotel can probably be built on that spot). Would be a far cheaper and viable option. I also think that if any new convention facilties are built by the city, they should go up in the Centrum site, which could double as a media centre for any future Olympic bid.
 

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East Coast Massiv
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Well firstly, we will have to see if the expansion will bring in more for the ICC. If the answer is yes then I say why not?

The DEC is rather old and I say in need a revamp. An expansion of it is possible which they can even join to the ICC. The Walnut Road should have that many services running under it so they can lower the road and have it go across.

 

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The DEC parking lot alone is big enough for a new structure to be built (the current parking can be accommodated underground). I wonder if it would be feasible to just permanent close off Walnut Road, as they do when major conferences are hosted? If so, a new structure can go up on the road itself, betw the ICC and DEC, similar to what DB is proposing but without the need to dig a road under the complex, which would add to the costs and possibly present some security issues too (imagine a car bomb going off under the ICC in a drive-through underground tunnel while a conference is underway?).

DB, will you be able to post a pic of the adjacent Centrum site in relation to the ICC/DEC?
 

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Another option is for the city to buy off the adjacent buildings next to the DEC and convert them to convention facilities (perhaps smaller meeting rooms?). I don't know if the city already owns the lower right hand building at the corner of Walnut and Commercial Roads; that's where the city-driven SmartXchange IT hub operates from. If so, it would be easy to move the tenants to another building. The ICC would then occup 2 full blocks, and the entire campus can be self-contained to an even greater degree than is currently the case.

"Smart Xchange: Smart Xchange is the effort of a multi-party consortium led by the Durban Institute of Technology and the eThekwini Municipality with other local partners including KZN Innovation Support Centre, the Department of Labour and Khuphuka Education and Training. By focusing on strategies for developing ICT skills as well as identifying and minimizing barriers to personal development, the consortium has created a specialist ICT training environment for students to emerge as fully trained ICT practitioners. Smart Xchange is a section 21 company which also serves as a business incubator for SMMEs. It’s envisaged that it would house SMMEs in its premises and also service other SMMEs in the sector and by the third year of operation at least 50 businesses are expected to be assisted. This will help local SMMEs to be more competitive and put them in a better position to sustain their current employees and create new jobs."
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The DEC parking lot alone is big enough for a new structure to be built (the current parking can be accommodated underground). I wonder if it would be feasible to just permanent close off Walnut Road, as they do when major conferences are hosted? If so, a new structure can go up on the road itself, betw the ICC and DEC, similar to what DB is proposing but without the need to dig a road under the complex, which would add to the costs and possibly present some security issues too (imagine a car bomb going off under the ICC in a drive-through underground tunnel while a conference is underway?).

DB, will you be able to post a pic of the adjacent Centrum site in relation to the ICC/DEC?
I cant see the city permanently closing the road off. Where would the traffic be diverted? it is already chaos when closed for major events
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another option is for the city to buy off the adjacent buildings next to the DEC and convert them to convention facilities (perhaps smaller meeting rooms?). I don't know if the city already owns the lower right hand building at the corner of Walnut and Commercial Roads; that's where the city-driven SmartXchange IT hub operates from. If so, it would be easy to move the tenants to another building. The ICC would then occup 2 full blocks, and the entire campus can be self-contained to an even greater degree than is currently the case.

"Smart Xchange: Smart Xchange is the effort of a multi-party consortium led by the Durban Institute of Technology and the eThekwini Municipality with other local partners including KZN Innovation Support Centre, the Department of Labour and Khuphuka Education and Training. By focusing on strategies for developing ICT skills as well as identifying and minimizing barriers to personal development, the consortium has created a specialist ICT training environment for students to emerge as fully trained ICT practitioners. Smart Xchange is a section 21 company which also serves as a business incubator for SMMEs. It’s envisaged that it would house SMMEs in its premises and also service other SMMEs in the sector and by the third year of operation at least 50 businesses are expected to be assisted. This will help local SMMEs to be more competitive and put them in a better position to sustain their current employees and create new jobs."
Well the main building there is the Reserve Bank building and that is not going anywhere.

The current buildings on that site are in no way practically suited for conference related activities and would need to be demolished. Whats the point of doing that when you have the DEC (which is currently underutilised and definately in need of a proper upgrade) and the open land on the DEC site. Yes i agree a hotel component to give three to the zone would be great, but also more expo space
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DB any word on the hotel in terms of final start date? convention space?
 

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East Coast Massiv
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You're talking about the parking area for the DEC Jerome?

I understand what you say about the threat of terrorism during conferences but as you pointed out, the road is closed during these ones, so same could apply even if this flows directly under.

@Mike Not exactly sure about the hotel, my friend that worked with PGA left last year so I dont have much info on the project itself only news that they did get the go ahead.
 

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You're talking about the parking area for the DEC Jerome?

I understand what you say about the threat of terrorism during conferences but as you pointed out, the road is closed during these ones, so same could apply even if this flows directly under.

@Mike Not exactly sure about the hotel, my friend that worked with PGA left last year so I dont have much info on the project itself only news that they did get the go ahead.

I was referring to the entire Centrum site, which include overflow parking for the DEC (which you can see in the top left of your pic).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
and that is only a small portion of the overall centrum site! I really would like to see things developing there.

That pic is a bit old as it doesnt show all the upgrades that were done to it for 2010
 

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Oh, and so much for my bright idea of extending the DEC by taking over the building that is currently being occupied by the Reserve Bank (I forgot about that).

Here's the city's regulations on that parcel of land...

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Special Zone 34 - Reserve Bank
16/07/1984

The conditions applicable to this zone shall be :
(a) The land within this zone shall only be developed for the purpose of the South African Reserve Bank.

(b) The site area will be 1ha and will be square with the southern boundary being the northern boundary of Commercial Road Extension and the western boundary being the eastern boundary of Aliwal Street Extension.

(c) 100% coverage will be permitted up to a maximum height of 1m above the back of the footpath level and that above this podium the coverage will not exceed 75%.

(d) The height of the building shall not exceed 22m above podium level in respect of occupiable volume and no portion of the building shall exceed a height of 25m above podium level.
(e) The P.A.R. shall not exceed 4,0.

http://www.durban.gov.za/durban/government/planning/land/regs/special/special_zones34
 
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