Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  21 Dec 2010

PROPERTY: New Eateries at the Firs Redevelopment in Rosebank


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Owned by Investec and developed by Investec Property, the newly refurbished development, The Firs and Hyatt complex in Rosebank, is a prime example of successfully maximising a property asset.

The redevelopment was conceived by Investec Property in line with the changing face of Rosebank which is experiencing an exciting resurgence, catalysed largely by the introduction of the Gautrain and the opening of its Rosebank Station in March 2011.

“Five years ago, we identified Rosebank as an area set to revitalise and acquired the Firs and Hyatt complex, which is central to the node,” explains Sam Leon of Investec Property.

Enhancing The Firs for the long term, the quality and uniqueness of the development by Investec Property has ensured that it remains a highly successful landmark property in the area. The redevelopment comprises 8,000sqm of office space and 4,100sqm of specialty retail and restaurant space and is combined with the luxury of 244 rooms, 15 suites and exceptional service of The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg.

Key to the redevelopment, and adding a vibrant new dimension to The Firs, is its striking new restaurant piazza. This spacious public meeting and dining venue has been transformed from the centre’s former loading and receiving area.

“The vision for this piazza was to create a milieu of stylish dining in the heart of Rosebank,” explains Leon. “The redevelopment, particularly the piazza, provides essential synergies with Rosebank’s pedestrian and street-level interaction, creating a meeting point interlinked with this modern village.”

The Firs restaurant piazza opens out onto Cradock Avenue creating a seamless flow with the Rosebank node while also generating an interaction between passing traffic and people spending time in the piazza.

The welcoming transition from the lively city is marked by trees, which green and soften the piazza environment, together with the soothing sound of water. The piazza is surrounded by the structure of The Firs and Hyatt which combine modern architecture and incorporate classical formal elements in layout - expressed by noble materials such as natural bush-hammered limestone on facades and the honed equivalent stone on the floors.

“The light, fresh timeless design has created a warm convivial fusion of public and private space, in an appealing open space ideal for gathering and socialising, which complements the easy style of The Firs’ exclusive hand-picked restaurants,” notes Ollie Flynn of Investec.

Already The Firs restaurant piazza is a firm favourite amongst the city’s cafe society and gourmands, and it is no wonder with its selection of exceptional eateries.

The Firs hosts Rosebank dining legends The Grill House, one of South Africa’s premium steakhouses with its unique selection of fine wines, malts and New York inspired art deco furnishings, as well as Katzy’s, South Africa’s finest music venue and the city’s hottest live jazz scene.

Now also on the exciting menu at The Firs is Koi, the city’s favourite Asian contemporary restaurant and cocktail bar which provides an upmarket Asian fusion dining experience with gourmet sushi, grills, dim sum, cocktail and whiskey bar. Equally iconic is authentic Mediterranean restaurant Doppio Zero, one of the city’s most popular eateries.

Celebrating authentic Greek cuisine, Kuzina’s crisp blue and white setting summons the stylish, relaxed spirit of the Mediterranean. With an emphasis on quality and freshness, Kuzina cooks with the seasons, so there's always something new on the menu and specials board. Mahi Mahi’s Continental European cuisine delivers a choice assortment of rotisserie dishes and wholesome delicious dining.

The dining options at the five-star Hyatt Regency Johannesburg also add to the exciting gastronomic variety to The Firs, including Zaffs, Jubulani’s and Ndau.

These exceptional eateries complement the intimate selection of boutique and bespoke retail for which The Firs is renowned. These shopping gems are set in the upmarket nucleus of Rosebank and include 16 owner-managed stores where personal care and attention are always ensured.

All already successfully open for trade, the restaurants and shops of The Firs are ideally position to benefit from the opening of the Gautrain Rosebank Station, scheduled for March 2011. In addition to linking to the Rosebank retail node, the shopping centre links seamlessly and easily to the station and the hotel is superbly poised for discerning travellers arriving by Gautrain directly from OR Tambo International Airport.

“Redevelopments present a specific opportunity in the current market and Investec Property has adopted a strategic approach in delivering a competitive niched development for The Firs,” notes Leon.

“It is not enough to create a development strategy around an individual property. The property’s relationship to its surroundings, changing infrastructure and nodal dynamics all play an essential role in delivering the vision to drive a successful redevelopment. Most important is creating a strategy around the understanding of how a property will relate to, and meet the needs of, those who use it.”

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