Map: Obs Development Tracker

The OCA supports development that is people-centred, environmentally sustainable, responsive to the local built environment, culture and traditions and is socially inclusive.

This map is a rough estimate of ongoing and planned developments in Observatory, Cape Town. Note that the data on the map is an estimate, and may be incomplete or inaccurate and is subject to change.


Red: Mega Developments
Yellow: Large Developments (Underway or Completed)
Blue: Large Developments (In Pipeline)
Purple: Small projects

Large Developments Update (June 2018)


Known Developments in process

What is proposed

Current status

The River Club

HWC Case Number: 15112504WD1217E

DEA&DP Reference Number: 16/3/3/6/7/2/A7/17/3104/16

A mega-development maximising residential and business opportunities; at EIA scoping; requires rezoning;

Heritage WC placed River Club under provisional protection; Two appeals one from River Club owners, one from Dept Transport; Revised Heritage report and our comments went to HWC


A MEGA-mega-development maximising development in the Green Belt as well as residential and business opportunities; requires EIA and rezoning. Since previous presentations, the bulk of the proposals has doubled.

Reached end of public participation for now. HWC intends to declare main parts of the park provisionally protected like the River Club. But likely to get much opposition.

Campuskeys 6A Dane St

Erf 177466

25m high, 8 storey private student residence; approved as boarding house

Very rapid construction; complete; nearby residents severely impacted; nil new

Paragon 423 Main Rd

Erf 27666

9-storey; 25 metre apartment building APPROVED; 8 stories on Eden Rd

Building complete; PAIA dispute run to ground; nearby residents severely impacted; nil new traffic chaos limited to peak hours

Madison 6 Trill Rd

Erf 27146; Case No 70292715

9-storey; 25 metre apartment building APPROVED, zoning compliant

Building close to completion; Raswon marketing it actively; OCA was refused copy of plans under PAIA; nearby residents severely impacted; nil new

Eden 12 Trill Rd Erf 27147 & 27148

Core building and departure (height to 29.7m for 10th storey) approved

Appeal committee ruled in developer’s favour. However, owners did not go with extra floor. Close to completion but still a real mess! UGLY!!

289 Lower Main Road (corner Scott Rd)

Erf 27883

Large student residence proposed of 5 stories, overlooking Arnold St houses (called backpackers but more luxurious accommodation). Discrepancy between backpacker design and what is on table.

HWC urged developer to appoint heritage architect. Resubmitted plans. Conditionally approved for demolition by HWC. Went to MPT which approved. Has been appealed by OCA and local residents on basis it does not meet backpacker status. Still awaiting appeal outcome.

200 LMR

Erf 25447; case no 70335226

Application for demolition submitted. A&H submitted objection on basis of poor replacement building. Also 5 story

HWC Belcom 30 August approved conditional on urban design. Report is currently being written and will be open to appeal soon.

35a and 35b Arnold

Erf 25570 and 25571 Case number 70351610

Related to the above – owner of 289 LMR wants temporary departure to run taxi business while 289 LMR is developed. However, it seems taxis have been using this for a long time already without any approval. And temporary ≥ 2 years while 289 LMR is built

Neighbours have objected.

OCA A&H objected at the time.

Seems MPT approved this. Still to get MPT confirmation

Anson Square

4 Anson Street

Erf 172047; Case number 70348218

Plan for 7 storey building which retains the old houses in the front was approved. OCA supported it because of commitment to respect environment. Developers sought additional floor and sub-division departures. Started to build additional floor before closing dates for comments.

OCA has objected to both changes. Two Stop Workers orders issued. After paltry fine paid, MPT gave approval on the most blatant of biased grounds – case officer overrode City’s Heritage recommendations; we have lodged appeal, and also asked for stay of decision till HWC court case settled. Case was heard in April; judgement still to come.

William Street

Erf 174179;

Demolition case # is 70385368; building application case 70303986

Another Rawson Development 9-storey; 25 metre apartment building; not within HPOZ but near synagogue

Neighbours lodged objections; MPT approved but with urban design interface to be improved; under appeal from local residents, still pending. Note the Demolition permit is lapsing 16th June (not sure if it can lapse if MPT in process).

5 Howe St

Erf 26156

25 m, 9 storey apartment building in commercial area; approved; Massive but in unobtrusive part of Obs (on railway line)

Complete. Advertised for occupation by Pam Golding as ‘high end’ student accommodation from R 6500 pm up.

Former softdrink factory, 372 Main Rd (below Groote Schuur) Erf 27848

Provincial administration building which will be refurbished to be a 4-storey Forensic Medicine Centre, retaining current Art Deco frontage.

Interior and back of existing building gutted; area fenced; work seems to have started again this month

Winchester (either 228 Main or 7 Kotzee Rd)

Erf 28052

LUMS Case 70320419

BDM Case 70313170

Likely to be a 25 m high, 9 storey apartment building;

Demolition approved 16 December; Site fenced off for demolition; Rawson already commenced marketing; likely that a Zoning Compliant plan is doing the rounds; was approved 22/12/2106

Millstock Cars (known as either or both 260 Main or 501 Main) (Jono Trust); TWO Erfs!!!

Erf 28047; case number 70299233

and 28048 case number 70384430

Erf 28047: Preliminary approach made to OCA for a large 9 storey 25 m high apartment; within HPOZ; not supported by OCA because no parking, multiple departures, ugly building. OCA objected on 9 November 2017. Approved 12 April 2018

Erf 28047: New submission for a backpackers submitted 7th June 2018!.

Plans were submitted but not properly advertised. First we heard was notification of approval and Engen objection; we have written to City (Christian Coetzee) to ask (4 times) why not advertised.

72 Arnold

Erf 25570_25571; case number


Current house demolished. 3 storey apartments almost completed.

Car Mania (337 Main Rd, next to Chippies)

Erf 26033 or 26034

Demolition approved and complete.

Consolidation of erf zoning with LUMS, may be some departures. Case 70384646. Apparently, Paul Heydenrich is finalising the report and it should be advertised.

Demolition almost complete. Objection lodged but not accepted. Locals in Lytton Street organising – workshop to be held. No building plan yet.

Norwich Rd

Erf 27714

New owner has new proposals. Carolyn convened meeting with owner at Ahem to hear of the plans for the site.

Current demolition permit expires 1 October. No plans on DAMS system.

Feedback given to architect for design least imposing. requested feedback from the architects, A&H tried to organise follow up meeting but no response; Draft application (not plans) founds submitted Feb 2018. Paul Heydenrich authored a “refusal of acceptance letter” based on HPOZ. (2nd time)

Chippies Building (329 Main Rd, corner Milton)

Erf 26014

Owners wanting to demolish and property is GB 5 so large development likely.

No plans on DAMS or with LUMS

Public comment before formal application. OCA objecting on heritage basis. Many residents lodged concerns. HWC turned down demolition application. Appeal likely

321 Main and Milton Rd, opposite Chippies

Erf 25889

No building plans on DAMS but draft sketch on which LUMS approval was given includes 8 floors, four parking basements, retail areas on Milton and Main (corners), parking entrance and exit on Milton. Difficult to estimate set backs. To contact John Weeder, City Town planner.

Because existing structure is >60 years old, FJWK had to apply to HWC. We sent comments directly and copied September; HWC approved demolition providing some structures maintained and design criteria identified. LUMS approval was secured in Nov 2017 (prior to consulting OCA).

PRASA communications tower Erf 26168; case number 70340900

Proposal to erect 25 m high communications tower alongside Obs Station

OCA objected on grounds location was not appropriate; It went to the MPT (without us being informed) and is still pending. Contact Ernest Kajabo (city planner).


Erf 163060, 150157 and 164584; case number 70359976

Big development in two parts, one side to retain OAH, other apartments to merge with St Peter’s shopping centre; plans circulated in January with very short time to comment

Heritage consultant met with A&H and LDG; took into account comments (view of mountain, traditional gravesite). OCA A&H lodged comments and some objections

15 St Michaels

Erf 26421

Tribeca. Big construction around retention of brickface front to existing warehouse

Wanted Ashley Lilley to present

Comments to HWC needed; Tracy following up architect

St Michaels 2 / Seymour Erf 26178 case number 70370723

OCA opposed demolition but demolition approved and completed, Plan is for a 350 room residence; severe parking departures requested.

OCA objected on basis of inappropriate parking waiver; and also queried definition of boarding house.

Departures were approved, not clear what departures were approved. Seems our arguments about what is a boarding house were ignored.


Potential Developments of which we are aware


Caltex garage Main Road

We have heard the garage will be totally redone and a Woolworths installed. Not clear if building will go higher. Have written to Coetzee about it. No reply from Coetzee. DAMS shows lapsed demolition permit and approval for internal renovations. Confirmed front of site is GB5 while back of site is GR4.

Old uniform shop (309 Main Rd, corner Polo)

Was recently sold; no obvious evidence that new development planned but given that neighbouring properties (311-315 Main) are also zoned for General Business 5, the new owners might just be waiting to purchase adjacent properties to consolidate to make a large apartment feasible. No plans currently on DAMS (confirmed June 2018);

Baker St

Was recently circulated by Estate Agent as a sale suitable for student residence. Erf Watch suggestion a BDM “live development.” To keep tabs on this; nil new; Erf watch needed

Old St Peter’s cemetery below Groote Schuur

Interest expressed in redeveloping the site as mixed use. Hospital have said no. Property is State owned; nil new

Corner Lower Main and Station

Obs resident alerted us that it advertised for sale and development; in the heart of the Village HPOZ. nil new

368 Main Rd (next to Spar by Browning rd)

Being sold off with implication that property might be suited for future development; No plans currently on DAMS (confirmed June 2018);