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New 'mini-city' rising outside Somerset-West
FRIDAY AUG 22, 2014

A new 'mini-city' the size of Cape Town's City Bowl is about to be connected to the world of information with a super-fast fibre-optic network, delivering some of the fastest connectivity speeds on the continent.


Paardevlei is the site of a centuries-old explosives plant.

The mixed-use node of Paardevlei spans about 730 hectares between Somerset Mall, Somerset West, Strand and the False Bay coastline just west of Strand beach.

For more than a century, the vast property was hidden from the public eye. Cecil John Rhodes initially set up his explosives factory there, but by 1995 what had evolved by then into African Explosives and Chemicals Industries (AECI) ceased manufacturing on site.

Since then its property arm, Paardevlei Properties (previously known as Heartland Properties), has been hard at work devising development plans for the property, as well as rehabilitating its previous manufacturing areas. The entire chunk of land earmarked for eventual development is as big as Cape Town's City Bowl - from the top of Tamboerskloof to the harbour.

Paardevlei announced this week it had entered into an agreement with Frogfoot Technologies to operate a fibre-optic network, which will go live on September 1.

Frogfoot project manager Hannes Pieterse said: 'Fibre-optic connectivity is the fastest and most efficient connectivity technology currently available. Comparing 3G mobile technology, or wi-fi or ADSL technologies, to the lightning-fast speeds provided by fibre networks is rather like comparing a cheetah's speed with that of a tortoise. Now Paardevlei boasts something much faster even than the cats at the Cheetah Outreach Trust.'

The network has been designed to carry future connectivity demand for the just under 2 million square metres of development designated at Paardevlei.

'Chances of going offline are therefore very close to zero,' Pieterse explained. 'The network has two routes back to Cape Town where it physically terminates at the Teraco Data Centre, the largest vendor-neutral data centre in the country.

This provides a number of advantages for consumers. First, explains Pieterse, it ensures a quick turnaround for those wishing to connect.

'In addition, the fibre network's circular route creates geographical diversity, meaning there will always be two routes for connecting to the grid, ensuring constant connectivity.

'Connection to the data centre is also a great advantage for businesses with branches in Joburg and/or Durban, since they can all link up directly via the highly reliable fibre network. Because the network is open access, companies and private users will also not be tied into using one service provider exclusively, leaving them freedom to negotiate,' he said.

Paardevlei regional manager Mark Bezencon added: 'The fibre network offers users quadruple play services, which include seamless internet speeds, extremely high-quality voice calls, real-time video and other low latency services such as gaming and online trading.

'It's a must-have for any future-minded business, while simultaneously offering private residents fantastic, high-speed and hassle-free connectivity.'

Apart from numerous commercial and industrial entities already operating on site, two medical facilities are earmarked for completion by the end of the year.

On the environmental side, the plan for the vlei, as reported by the Cape Argus in 2005, was to empty the lake, clean it, landscape it and build a waterfront on its shores - a waterside esplanade to rival the V&A Waterfront in Table Bay.

In 2012 the Cape Argus reported on how these plans had been reversed entirely and it had instead been decided, in the name of environmental responsibility, to return the vlei to its natural state and preserve it as an important natural wetland.

Protected 'green belts' will thread through the entire development, ensuring the protection and sustainability of the Paardevlei, its accompanying wetlands and the natural watercourses which feed them.

Cape Argus

Source: IOL Property
 

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New businesses attracted to historical Paardevlei precinct
Published: October 14, 2014



Business is booming at Paardevlei, the historical De Beers precinct in Somerset West, as two medical facilities and a number of new businesses open in Precinct 1 of this mixed use node.
Baker Square, a collection of refurbished heritage buildings in the De Beers Precinct designed by Sir Herbert Baker and Francis Masey, is set to house new tenants including the Mai Day Spa, which will be moving from Waterstone Village this month.
Well-known local artist Lionel Smit’s gallery and studio is scheduled to open in early 2015.
Two brand new office blocks have also launched at Paardevlei this year, and a number of professional businesses have moved in.
Longer-term plans for the precinct include development of a 9 350m2 retail shopping centre with a large supermarket and a number of line shops, as well as a retirement village, a luxury hotel, sectional title offices – to be developed by Stratford Property Ventures – and a collection of apartments to be developed by Balwin Properties, which is also responsible for the nearby De Velde Luxury Estate.
Read more at SA Property News
 
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