In the very heart of downtown Johannesburg, for decades York House was home to dozens of companies and hundreds of their office staff.
But when the area went into decline, demand for office space in the CBD went with it and for years York House, near the corner of Pritchard and Rissik streets, stood derelict. More recently, its interior fixtures, including most of the electrical wiring, were stolen and the vacant building stood as a forlorn monument to more prosperous times.
Now York House is being reborn, its interior gutted and reconfigured to provide upmarket but affordable family accommodation. The new York House, which will be ready for occupation in early 2015, will offer over 200 units, all with bathrooms and kitchens, for rentals ranging between R2,500 and R4,500. Contractors will be on site for eight months, undertaking a massive 15,000m2 refit that will cost in excess of R20 million.
For most of the building period the construction project management company will have over 100 staff working at York House, its employees undertaking all electrical and plumbing work, and sub-contractors, amongst them builders, tilers, painters and plasterers, swelling the number of people working on site to over 300. While turning York House into desirable accommodation with all modern amenities, an additional two floors will be added, taking the property’s two wings to 11 storeys each.
York House is located just a block from the Johannesburg City Hall (which houses the Gauteng Provincial Legislature) and a well-established shopping centre. It is no more than two blocks from one of the inner city’s best-loved open spaces, Beyers Naude Square, and is a short stroll from the newly-renovated Central Library, one of Johannesburg’s most priceless cultural assets. In time the property will have direct access to an adjoining property which the same owners are also turning into apartments, bringing to approximately 1,000 the number of people who will call that stretch of Pritchard Street home – while 100 people will go to work there every day.
From our 2014 Annual Report