Ponte City Apartments

Ponte City Apartments

Ponte City, originally called The Strydom Tower, is a skyscraper in the Hillbrow neighbourhood of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was built in 1975 to a height of 173 metres, making it the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. The 54-story building is cylindrical, with an open center allowing additional light into the apartments. The center space is known as "the core" and rises above an uneven rock floor. Ponte City was an extremely desirable address for its views over all of Johannesburg and its surroundings.

During the 1990s, after the end of apartheid, many gangs moved into the building and it became extremely unsafe. Ponte City became symbolic of the crime and urban decay gripping the once cosmopolitan Hillbrow neighborhood. The core filled with debris five stories high as the owners left the building to decay.Hanes, Stephanie (2008-02-12), "An African Landmark Rises Again". "The Cristian Science Monitor".] There were even proposals in the mid-1990s to turn the building into a highrise prison. The building came under new management in 1999, and this has improved security as well as the standard of repair. [http://www.jozi.org.za/2003/dec/dec24_ponte.stm] The sign on top of the building is the highest and largest sign in the southern hemisphere. It currently advertises the South African mobile phone company Vodacom.

In May 2007 Ponte changed ownership and a re-development project New Ponte has been put in motion. The new Ponte will contain 467 residential units, retail and leisure-time areas. Over the next few years, the Johannesburg Development Agency is investing about R900-million in the areas around Ponte City. This includes the massive Ellis Park Precinct project, as well as an upgrade of Hillbrow and Berea. In addition, the City of Johannesburg has identified the inner-city as a focus area for the next 5 years, partly in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.

In February 2007 director Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting", "28 Days Later", and "Sunshine") announced his intention to film a thriller set in the tower.Fact|date=May 2008

References

External links

* [http://www.jozi.org.za/2003/dec/dec24_ponte.stm City of Johannesburg Official website article - Ponte: Rent The Best View In Town, December 24, 2003 by Lucille Davie]
* [http://www.newponte.co.za/ New Ponte Project official website]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/judo10/tags/pontetower/ more photos of the ponte tower]


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