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From parking lot to vibrant urban space

Dec 08, 2016

Church Square is thought to be South Africa’s oldest urban square and over the years it has undergone several transformations.

Adjacent to the Slave Lodge, and near Parliament, the square was almost certainly the site of slave auctions memorialised in a public art installation, which records the names of slaves and a plaque at the site of the slave tree in Spin Street.

As Cape Town changed and developed, the square has morphed from open space to parking lot and back. It’s now an elegant and dignified plaza, appropriate to its history.

Several buildings are undergoing makeovers, and new development is in the pipeline, paving the way for another era in the history of the square, which is expected to become busier and livelier.

Renovations at the previously shuttered Creative House, rebranded as Speakers Corner, are taking place under the banner of Urban Lime who bill themselves as urban regeneration specialists and take credit for revitalising parts of Bree Street. Speakers Corners will offer 3 000m2 of office, retail and restaurant spaces and a vision of a regenerated urban space.

Urban Lime have also made over space in 4 Church Square on Spin Street with new offices ranging in size from 60m2 to 120m2 with shared kitchen and other facilities. Both are geared for the needs of small and creative businesses looking to locate to central Cape Town.

Adjacent to the historic church, which lends the square its name, a new office space is also taking shape in the mixed-use Piazza building. This will include a 550m2 office space available to the market from January 2017. Letting agent Alexi Pavlou of Baker Street Properties says interest has been good.

Plans have also been submitted for the development of new residential apartments on the corner of Spin and Plein Streets by Robert Silke & Partners, responsible for many of the iconic buildings and renovations that have helped to reshape the central city in recent years.

Like so many parts of the central city, Church Square is changing to meet the needs of a new generation of city workers and residents. 

Last modified on Monday, 12 December 2016 11:52
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CityLife is the newspaper for people who live, work and play in the Cape Town central city area – and our many visitors. It’s a blend of news and information about people and places in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

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