The V&A Waterfront is pushing ahead with its plan to develop Makers Landing, a local food destination comprising a business incubator and food emporium focused on SA flavours and culture. The project is the result of a R63m investment made in partnership with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund to create opportunities for food talent within a new, 360° farm-to-fork food experience.
Artist’s impression of what Makers Landing will look like once development has completed end of 2020.
The intention behind Makers Landing is to create a space where small businesses are supported, jobs are created, skills are transferred, talent is recognised and nurtured, opportunities are offered and South African flavours are celebrated, the V&A Waterfront said.
Despite a delay in development as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the incubator is expected to open to the public in December 2020.
Encouraging year-round activity in the port area
Makers Landing is the next phase of an overarching plan by the V&A Waterfront to develop the Cape Town Cruise Terminal area. Once complete, Makers Landing will add a further 4,348m2 to the existing cruise terminal developed by the Waterfront in 2015 for Transnet. The original terminal was a small industrial building on the edge of E-Berth that served as a pre-cooling facility for fruit exports, whereas today passengers from cruise ships are greeted by a state-of-the-art facility.
Given the seasonality of the cruise industry, the multi-use Makers Landing development will encourage year-round activity in the port area. The new facility is in walking distance from the Waterfront’s Silo District, so it is expected to attract footfall from within the Waterfront, as well as those who work from the Port of Cape Town harbour. It is a short water taxi ride from the Cape Town Convention Centre.
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Build and design
It has always been the V&A’s goal to preserve the heritage of the Cruise Terminal area, so from the outset the development team aimed to incorporate the gritty, industrial fabric of the harbour into the development, while enhancing the marine experience.
Backing onto the Cruise Terminal’s Departures Hall, Makers Landing retains the existing structure that dates back to the 1920s and its original harbour warehouse aesthetic. The building is a mere 15m from the quay edge, so glass windows will allow visitors to relax in restaurants as they watch ships enter and leave the harbour, and cruise ships dock at the quayside in front of them.
Although the lockdown delayed construction at Makers Landing, the development team is confident it will complete the structure of the building by September. This will be followed by the interior work to configure the space to fit a shared incubator kitchen, a demo kitchen, eight maker production stations, a food market with approximately 35 flexible market stands, eight small co-op eateries and five anchor restaurants of various sizes.
Catalyst for creating employment, transferring skills
The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund is an important partner in the development.
“When we presented our plans to the Jobs Fund, they saw the same potential for job creation and skills development as we did. There is an obvious synergy between our vision for Makers Landing and the Jobs Fund mission, so we are really pleased to be partnering with them. We were also able to present our popular Watershed development as proof that when SMMEs are placed in a nurturing environment with the right trading conditions, they can thrive,” Green said.
Najwah Allies-Edries, head of the Jobs Fund, commented, “The V&A Waterfront provides a perfect environment for caterers, local producers and quality food startups to grow their businesses efficiently and easily under the guidance of seasoned professionals in an already highly successful commercial space.
“Partnerships like this one demonstrate the immeasurable value of assembling the right partnership ecosystem, skills and resources. It is these intangibles that are fundamental in equipping and empowering SMMEs to overcome hurdles to development while effectively accessing real market opportunities.”
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