Comment 79681

By Bowline (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:11:06

Some of the Setting Sail mockups I've seen in the past address mixed-use development adjacent to the waterfront.

Two details to consider:

1. Capetown has a considerably different climate than Hamilton does. On average, Capetown is 60% warmer, and has less than 60% the precipitation and almost 50% more sunshine hours than Hamilton. (As your photos illustrate, they have real mountains as well, though they do not appear to contain the majority of the voting population.) Small differences perhaps but they make living right on the water that much more attractive. It's part of why this is the most valuable real estate in South Africa, and why the V&A waterfront attracts 21 million visitors annually. (Roughly the combined populations of Ontario and Quebec.)

2. This is not municipal development as we know it in Hamilton.
V&A Waterfront's development history goes back almost 15 years, and earlier this year announced plans for anither decade of development. (Take heart, Hamilton -- sometimes the long-game strategy has a reward.) It was previously owned by a private British/Arab real estate consortium who bought it in 2006 for the equivalent of $900 million CAD, and sold it last summer to South Africa's largest property investment holding company and the state-owned Public Investment Corporation for the equivalent of $1.2 billion. Earlier this year there were plans announced for the equivalent of another $500 million CAD in growth over the next decade on the undeveloped third of the lands. Being able to catalyze those partnerships is a powerful development tool, but that involves a stomach for risk. After all, this prime section of waterfront land was controlled by foreign interests for years.

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