Number 2, Parliament Street in Port Elizabeth’s Central district hasn’t always looked like it does today. If you’d stood outside the Trocadero Private Hotel just a year ago, you would have seen a building in need of a healthy dose of TLC.
Fortunately for this near-hundred-year-old hotel and the 51 students who will soon be moving in, TLC for old buildings is precisely what Aengus Investment Properties does best.
Known for its urban renewal work in Joburg’s CBD, the student accommodation specialist has already renovated numerous buildings in Central, with the full endorsement of the local municipality and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). Aengus Investment Properties has invested over R3.5m in its ongoing project to provide safe, well-maintained yet affordable student accommodation in the Windy City.
A NEW ERA
Today, Aengus’s CEO, Richard Rubin, did the honours at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the launch of the latest Aengus makeover – the refurbished and rebranded Trocadero.
Now converted into fully furnished apartments and single rooms boasting all the mod-cons, Trocadero still retains its heritage, thanks to Aengus’s insistence on keeping as much of the original structure as possible, even down to re-using much of the existing timber, so as not to lose the spirit of this beautiful old building.
On top of the stylish accommodation, Trocadero’s new tenants will also get the benefit of free access to broadband internet, and subsidised water and electricity usage. Like all Aengus’s buildings, Trocadero will also be carefully maintained by a team of over 20 people responsible for its upkeep and security. And thanks to the municipality’s and NMMU’s involvement in Aengus’s rejuvenation plans, there are also proposals to deploy additional visible policing and private security companies in the area, as well as to install SAPS-monitored CCTV cameras in the streets.
A NEW VISION FOR CENTRAL
As the jewel in Aengus’s P.E. crown, Trocadero will form the centre of a hub where students will find space to work, relax and socialise. With the opening of Trocadero, there will be 400 students living the Aengus lifestyle in revamped buildings in the area, with more to move in as Aengus’s renovation plans continue into 2013.
“Our vision is to create a revitalised, vibrant precinct for graduates and post graduates, where they can gain life experience, and network and learn from one another in a creative, safe environment,” says Richard Rubin, CEO of Aengus Investment Properties.
This is precisely what the company has achieved up north, with the renovation of entire city blocks in Braamfontein in Joburg’s CBD. One of Joburg’s foremost urban renewal specialists, Aengus has turned run-down buildings into trendy yet affordable inner-city living for thousands of Gauteng-based students, and has set the benchmark for affordable housing in areas previously characterised by limited supply and poor-quality accommodation.
It’s presence in Port Elizabeth can only be seen as good news all round … for students desperate for quality accommodation, for residents fed-up of watching their neighbourhoods fall into decline, and for tired old buildings like Trocadero.