Community reactions to the proposed MyCiTi bus route in Wynberg have ranged from enthusiastic to extremely unhappy.

The Wynberg MyCiTi bus link will transport commuters from Khayelitsha to Wynberg along a 35km route. It forms part of Phase 2A of the MyCiTi development strategy, which is forecast to be operational by 2020.

“Despite the mixed reaction, few would argue that the suburb’s congested centre and transport hub aren’t long overdue for an upgrade,” says Leon Breytenbach, national manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division.

“These issues are often credited by property experts as the single largest factor preventing Wynberg property from reaching its full potential, and by addressing them, the MyCiTi route could trigger a much needed renaissance in the area.

“Wynberg has a very interesting property dynamic at the moment. Ordinarily, there is a synergy between retail, office space, and residential properties in an area, and when one sector starts thriving, the others tend to follow suit. In the case of Wynberg, however, the residential market has generally been doing well, but the commercial sector has yet to see much appreciable improvement.”

According to Breytenbach, there are several reasons behind this delay, many of which can be tied back to the overworked local transport network. If these issues were alleviated, however, it could kickstart the commercial market into long-awaited action.

“The general deterioration surrounding Wynberg’s commercial district and the existing public transport depot has always been a huge hurdle,” he says, “and not just because of the unfortunate crime that it brings. The environment affects the tenant mix, which is predominantly secondary retail and low-cost fast food at present. These aren’t the most stable or profitable tenants to have, and don’t really encourage property development or new commercial investors.”

If the transport hub and its immediate surrounds were upgraded, however, Breytenbach believes it would go a long way towards improving the tenant mix and attracting new investment. “The cleaner and less chaotic environment would make it far easier for the Wynberg CID to continue to reduce crime, and the whole area would become more attractive to a broader variety of tenants.

“While we’re unlikely to see primary or high-end retail moving directly into the area surrounding the transport hub, I do think there would be a marked improvement in overall tenant quality and variety.”

According to local agents office space in Wynberg is remarkably affordable given the suburb’s central location, and there is increasing overflow from Claremont’s CBD as prices there continue to rise.

Submitted to Wynberg.co.za by Fiona Eadie of Chas Everitt

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) –

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