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 (April 2018)

Known Developments in process What is proposed Current status
The River ClubHWC Case Number: 15112504WD1217EDEA&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 turned down the application, saying that the River Club development must be considered along with the TRUP development, not independently; then a second HIA completed and call for comments; OCA, TRUP and individual residents submitted extensive objections
TRUP 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 (IACOM) intent to declare main parts of the park to be Grade 1&2 heritage areas. Any application to develop will therefore need approval from IACOM HWC
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 RdErf 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 RdErf 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 a real mess!
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 LMRErf 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
35a and 35b ArnoldErf 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 StreetErf 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. HWC indicating they will go to court to enforce total stop on building. 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
William StreetErf 174179; 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.
5 Howe StErf 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)Erf 28047 and 28048; case number 70299233 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 buildingOCA objected on 9 November 2017 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 why not advertised; Erf watch needed.
72 Arnold Erf 25570_25571; case number 70351610 Current house demolished. 3 storey apartments almost completed. Erf Watch needed to see plan
Car Mania (337 Main Rd, next to Chippies)Erf 26033 or 26034 Recently sold; Since it is directly next door to 329 Main, this may signal a future consolidation application and a big development (area is zoned for GB 5). LUMS application Case 70384646 Demolition almost complete. Objection lodged but not accepted. Locals in Lytton Street organising – street meeting planned. Need to do Erf Watch.
Norwich RdErf 27714 New owner has new proposals. Carolyn convened meeting with owner at Ahem to hear of the plans for the site. Old Application? LUMS Case 70071547 Final Notification dated 25/04/2017 (appeal was concluded)  There were departures. The building plans were submitted under Case 70386187 Feedback given to architect for design least imposing. requested feedback from the architects, A&H organising follow up meeting
Chippies Building (329 Main Rd, corner Milton)Erf 26014 Owners wanting to demolish and property is GB 5 so large development likely. Public comment before formal application. OCA objecting on heritage basis. Many residents lodged concerns. HWC turned down demolition application. Appeal may ensue
321 Main and Milton Rd, opposite ChippiesErf 25889 Inquiry to OCA regarding demolition; FJWK invited OCA to a meeting without saying it was to inform a Heritage application for demolition; we asked for minutes in writing; FJWK provided inaccurate minutes which we corrected; provisional plans looked hideous; feedback given to FJWK – nil further Sent our comments directly to HWC and also copied Greg September
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; heritage issues. No further news.
ArcadiaErf 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 presentComments 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.Erf watch needed


Potential Developments of which we are aware Comment
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
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; nil new; Erf watch needed Have written to Coetzee about it
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) NEW: Being sold off with implication that property might be suited for future development; Erf watch needed Have written to Coetzee about it