There’s no doubt that Rosebank is presently one of Johannesburg’s most exciting suburbs. Massive investment and redevelopment make this the place to be – and Firestation Rosebank is set to become the central point of this growing business hub.
It all started with the establishment of the Gautrain Rapid Rail Rosebank Station. As far back as 2006, property pundits were predicting the suburb’s massive overhaul, which would be driven by the emergence of a bustling node around the station. Sure enough, blue chips started setting up headquarters in the area (think of Standard Bank’s upmarket offices), and retailers followed suit. The restaurants and shops added to The Mall of Rosebank have furthered its appeal immensely, while the same can be said of the upgrades to The Zone and The Firs. The Mews, The Galleria and Baker Square are now set to receive the same treatment.
It’s small wonder, then, that savvy developers are moving to take advantage of the hype surrounding this booming suburb. Firestation Rosebank is a case in point. The brain child of Justus van der Hoven Snr, owner of ARC Properties, Firestation Rosebank is the latest project to be launched by the company in a joint venture with established commercial, industrial and residential property developers, Tricolour Investments.
Van der Hoven’s excitement about the project is palpable. “Dating back from the 1930s, the fire station is the second oldest building in Rosebank. Only the post office, which now houses the Monarch Hotel, shares such an established heritage and historical significance. It is truly an honour and privilege to do this development which includes restoration of the fire station. We’re cognisant of the duty this places on us; Firestation Rosebank isn’t simply an office building. It is a city landmark and a heritage building, and our intention is to restore it with the respect it deserves.”
Tricolour’s Rob Wilkie shares his enthusiasm, saying, “The fire station is a landmark site and the blend of modern architecture with a historic building makes this development unique. Additionally, the design gives consideration to the pedestrian by providing an open and inviting entrance with a glass façade that offers a view into the fire station itself.”
In line with current office trends, the design brings the outdoors inside, providing more natural light in order to foster greater employee engagement. Each office boasts floor to ceiling glass facades, and breath-taking cityscape views. The wraparound balconies on the south and western sides of the building are another singular feature.
Comments Justus van der Hoven Jnr of ARC Architects, “great attention to detail was given to the façade of the new building in order to ensure that the architecture complemented and respected the scale of the heritage building. Importantly, careful differentiation ensures that the new offices celebrate – and not imitate – the original building’s beautiful art deco character. Balancing the relationship between old and new is key, as the new development will continue to house a working fire station, including City of Johannesburg Gautrain’s response team.”
The developers are planning an upgrade of the duty room and reception area for the fire station on behalf of the City of Johannesburg. The cost of these works, and of the upgrade of common areas, will be borne by the developers.
Firestation Rosebank’s location is one of its greatest assets. Situated in Baker Street, it is directly across the road from The Mall of Rosebank, and within walking distance of the Rosebank Gautrain station – ideal for commuters. It is also in close proximity to several new residential developments which are adding to Rosebank’s growing cachet, including Renprop’s The Median Rosebank, and Redefine’s Park Central apartment complex.
The addition of Firestation Rosebank will no doubt enhance Rosebank’s reputation as a growing CBD, as it houses blue chip companies such as Fluxmans, HyProp, Sasol, Standard Bank, Times Media, and Total SA.
Says Van der Hoven Snr, “It’s thrilling to be part of Rosebank’s rebirth. We’re immensely proud of this project, and hope that it comes to mean as much to those who use the city as it does to us.”