It was an evening of lights, laughter, and celebration on 31 March in Century City’s newest outdoor piazza. The special occasion was the official opening of Bridgewater, which includes the brand new Century City Bridgewater Hotel.
In attendance at this celebratory event were friends, partners and family, Cape Town’s Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis and Mayoral Committee Member Alderman James Vos, with Premier Alan Winde officiating the opening with the unveiling of a plaque with Leon Cohen, CEO of Rabie.
Premier Winde wrote on his social media account the following day, “I was excited to be at the launch of the new Bridgewater hotel last night, which demonstrates our economic recovery, especially in our job-creating tourism and hospitality sector. This hotel in particular will see 80 permanent staff employed in addition to the 1500 construction workers employed during construction. The pandemic has significantly impacted this sector – with many businesses having closed their doors and families having lost an income. This is precisely why it brings me great joy to attend today and to see new jobs being created in our province.”
“I celebrate you, the entrepreneurs and investors of our province, who are the lifeblood of our economy. Thank you for all that you do. As a Provincial Government, we will continue playing our role in creating an enabling environment for the private sector to create jobs and thrive.”
Century City Bridgewater Hotel is the second hotel in the stable, with Century City Urban Square developed to support Century City Conference Centre.
“Following the success of the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel pre-covid, it was decided to add an additional 80-bedroom hotel to our portfolio which was to be called Century City Hotel Bridgewater.” says Gary Koetser, Joint CEO of Century City Conference Centre & Hotels. “This meant a rebranding of our original 125-bedroom hotel to be now known as the Century City Hotel Urban Square.”
Talking about the past two years, Koetser continues, “We’ve been through an extremely difficult time in our industry, and especially for the Conference Centre with all the restrictions. However, we are delighted to report that we have successfully navigated our way through the pandemic and are well on our way to rebuilding our business and the livelihoods of our biggest asset, our staff.”
“There was a stage during the peak of COVID when everyone was raving about Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams and the new virtual ways of having conferences and meetings. However, much to our delight, our clients are desperate to get back to face-to-face meetings. Networking, building relationships, motivating teams and building company culture cannot be achieved via an online platform which was useful at the time when we had no choice but is proving to be a last resort going forward.”
Koetser explains that they are currently forecasting to achieve 90% of pre-covid revenues for the months of May and June 2022 and that the outlook for the rest of the year is very encouraging.
“Our new baby, Gusto Urban Italian has taken off like a rocket and has people across Cape Town talking about it!”
With the building and surrounds dazzling in lights, it’s hard to believe it was just two years ago in April 2020 when Bridgewater’s construction was brought to a screeching halt when national lockdowns were announced. This first ever world-wide reaction to a pandemic was impossible to navigate, with each week and month completely unpredictable.
Once everyone came to grips with what was now the new reality, questions hung in the air: is another hotel still a good idea? what about all this office space?
“There was about a second whether we considered turning the hotel into apartments, but we knew that in time, we would require the additional hotel the precinct needed before Covid,” explains Mariska Auret, Director at Rabie and Project Manager of Bridgewater. “However, we were blown by the left-field aftermath of Covid – the impact that work from home had on the office market. We had no choice but to take a long-term view and complete the offices. Today, we’re incredibly fortunate to have Blocks 2 and 3 full and a serious negotiations are taking place on a few floors in Block 1. It might have taken a little longer than ideal, but we are delighted that we’re turning a corner.”
With 13 restaurants and coffee shops within the Bridgeways precinct, four hotels and several fitness centres, the benefits of working, socialising and living in the node is substantial. In addition, Canal Walk shopping centre is within 10 minutes’ walking distance, where you can find 370 retail outlets, 60 eateries, cinemas and more.
Auret explains that Bridgewater is only the start, “A significant part of our next three-to-five-year plan for the precinct is Ratanga Park. We invested R100m into this beautiful oasis, which forms the nucleus of the developments that will take place along its perimeter, with Bridgewater being the first. Our next development will be Nine Palms, a residential development consisting of 125 apartments. We’ll be launching this exciting scheme soon, the first new development in Century City in three years. Nine Palms will be located across the canal from Hillsong Church, overlooking Ratanga Park.”
“A little later this year, we’ll be launching a luxury retirement development on the Southern (Table Mountain’s) side of the Park. Oasis Life Century City will be the third retirement estate in the collection.” (Read more about Oasis Life here).
Bridgeways precinct in Century City is the place to be, and the place to watch!
Get in touch
For opening hours and specials at Gusto Urban Italian Restaurant, visit www.gustorestaurant.co.za
For more information on Century City Hotels, visit www.cchotels.co.za
For more information on Century City Conference Centre, visit www.ccconferencecentre.co.za
For more information on Nine Palms, visit www.ninepalms.co.za
To register your interest for Oasis Life Century City, visit www.oasislife.co.za/comingsoon