Website building in johannesburg – Search Engine Optimization
Defeating the Monster of Urban Decay in Johannesburg
By 2000 the last psychological blow fell. One could argue that most businesses that were going to leave inner city Joburg had left by the mid 1990s. But when the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) picked up its skirts and strutted off to glitzy Sandton that was the symbolic blow that brought home the reality that the Joburg inner city was defeated. Something else had risen up in the inner-city, a monster fuelled by crime, public filth, building vacancy, taxi violence, car hijacking, municipal mismanagement and maladministration. A visionlessness and hopelessness pervaded the city. It would take more than one heroic blow to bring down such a monster. So what was once the commercial hub of Southern Africa, reaching its pinnacle, in the 1980s, the inner-city was hit by the flight of business to the northern suburbs.
Ownership has been among the blows to send the inner-city decay ‘monster’ into decline. By the time the JSE left, the mining houses and three banks (FNB, Standard and ABSA) had already resolved to stay and rejuvenate the city, this is where ownership really took root. The Johannesburg Development Agency would be another blow to the doom and gloom providing initiative and vision. Throw in Business Against Crime and other civil initiatives and people began to believe.
By the time the Better Buildings Programme began the ownership was tangible. Alas BBP, an attempt by the city to take bad buildings and turn them into better buildings only achieved moderate success. The process proved laborious, taking as long as two years to get one building through litigation and judgment. Former Mayor Amos Masondo said: “It (the BBP) was hamstrung by factors such as the lengthy expropriation process, the screening of participants and the requirements to provide transitional housing to people who have been evicted,”. He said the BBP had been only moderately successful because of the lengthy expropriation process.
Now transitional housing, BBP’s biggest stumbling block, will be provided to current residents of buildings that will be refurbished by the specially formed Transitional Housing Trust (THT) which will manage the process.
The BBP has evolved into the Inner City Property Scheme (ICPS). In April this year Amos Masondo announced a new, arguably improved, scheme to deal with one of urban decay’s biggest symptoms: distressed buildings. The City of Johannesburg has thus created a restoration solution, though driven by the private sector. A large portion of the City’s property portfolio will be transferred to the ICPS through a series of structured sale transactions. Unfortunately during the BBP years, since 2004, out of 130 rejuvenation projects in the inner city only 2% have come from black economic empowerment (BEE) investors.
ICPS plans to put this right. Again ownership is the dynamic since the ICPS plans to empower historically disadvantaged people by creating the biggest black owned inner-city property scheme in South Africa. The City retains ownership of properties until it is satisfied with the regeneration of those properties. Participants in the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) transactions were selected through a Request for Proposal process, and are required to provide a minimum equity contribution of R 5 million. The city would ensure that the option to buy was exercised only once the dilapidated property had been refurbished. Watch this space.
Residential Real Estate Restoration
Another blow to the monster has been on the residential front. In a R41 million finance deal, Nedbank has backed the redevelopment of the existing nine-storey building at 16 Frederick Street in Marshalltown into a modern residential apartment building! Last year Nedbank provided finance for the R100 million redevelopment of an office building situated at 29 Kerk Street for sale to Diluculo Investments on completion of the refurbishment. Although there have been swings and roundabouts. Urban Ocean founders Alfonso Botha and Duan Coetzee had very lofty plans in 2004 buying up old office buildings with the view to turning the inner city into a stylish space to work, reside and recreate. But by early 2008, some of Urban Ocean’s renewal efforts had stagnated, and upmarket housing diminished. But two years down the line in 2010 Aengus Property Management was administering more than 2000 trendy apartments in the city, many of these units were snapped up for the world cup last year. Most of APM’s buildings in the Braamfontein area are now being let out to young professionals working in the city and student tenants attending university at nearby campuses.
In June Jawitz Properties sold an apartment of 147m in the historic headquarters of Barclays Bank at 87 Commissioner Street for a cool R1,15m! CBD loft-style developments are comparatively more reasonable than the competition from the northern suburbs tempting the trendy set back to the city.
Then there is the Maboneng Precinct: opened with Arts on Main. What was originally a complex of five out-of-commission warehouses is now home to 28 sectional title studios and offices. Even the traditionally industrial south eastern node of the city is rejuvenating. Led by Jonathan Liebmann’s ‘Propertuity’ who is turning Fox Street, bordered by Main, Berea and Kruger, into a pulsating hub to live, work and play for artists, designers and other creative professionals.
And so there’s Main Street Life, a five-storey apartment building of 194 residential units, restaurants, a cinema, a theatre, a hotel and more. All very trendy and pulsing with life and activity. Liebmann is also redeveloping three other buildings in the precinct bringing the redevelopment value up to R100 million!
More recent news is the sale on auction of Entire city block (New Doornfontein) in the Johannesburg CBD for R18.7 million. Thud, another blow bringing down the monster, investor confidence. ABSA’s sprawling head office expansion of 50 000m has boosted interest in the eastern side of town. This has had infrastructural improvement spin-offs for the whole area.
Bringing the monster of decay to its knees has to have infrastructural initiatives: Previous sales type pitches for the city citing the proximity of rail links and the highways and buses has been met with indifference until now. The Urban Development Zone, (UDZ) covering an 18km area east-west from Fordsburg to Jeppestown and north-south from Bellevue to the M2, has reportedly contributed R8 billion to Johannesburg’s CBD with its proximity to transport hubs. Throw in the refurbished and new taxi ranks, Rea Vaya bus service, the Gautrain and both ends of the transport market are covered.
Of course the UDZ tax incentive is part of a national scheme to encourage inner-city renewal across South Africa, so Government must be thanked for that blow. The incentive offers tax allowances covering 100% of the total cost of property refurbishments over a period of five years, while new property developments can claim the allowance over 17 years.
Enter the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and Central Johannesburg Partnership’s City Improvement Districts.
CIDs are designed to improve services. Specifically geographical areas where property owners agree to pay additional levies for enhanced services, including security, cleaning and maintenance. The results are visible and office workers are remarking that they feel safer, with the new CCTV cameras and visible policing. Ellis Park, Joubert Park, Gandhi Square and the Braamfontein Corporate Precinct have all seen impressive changes.
Fox street, from the Carton Centre to Eloff Street has undergone a stunning beautification project. Investments of this nature have got the ball rolling for further improvements and increased confidence in the inner city. Retail has picked up remarkably in Kerk Street after its refurbishment. The Johannesburg City Hall and the Oppenheimer Park have been appealingly upgraded reversing the wind of dereliction that had blown their way in the last decade.
It has been reported that infrastructural plans have been made for a mixed-use development to be known as Stimela Square at the corner of Sauer and Hall Streets, the historic old mining camp also known as Ferreira’s Camp. The plan is for it to be an attractive garden square with retail and residential buildings surrounding.
The Newtown cultural precinct continues to grow as Gauteng’s cultural hub. Johannesburg Metro Council has been a huge player here. A further 35 000m of retail space, called the Potato Sheds, as well as the 7 800m Majestic office complex, of which The Majestic Hotel will be the last phase, are being developed in the area too. The development of Anglo Gold’s head office and Ashanti are a notable presence inspiring investor and consumer confidence in the area.
Looking up toward Braamfontein, infrastructure improvements have revolved around 20 buildings in particular being converted into student accommodation for Wits university students. There has also been a spill over into Parktown where a nine block commercial development, The Hill Office Park, is currently underway. The expansion of Empire Road and the construction of the BRT station is already taking place.
So when you hear that a beautiful old Johannesburg building on the corners of Biccard and Stiemans Streets will be auctioned on the 28th of September you should expect to hear the sound of investors feet. Another is the old Stuttafords building on the corner of Pritchard and Rissik. Property is moving in the Johannesburg CBD.
On the 19th of August 2011, on the Joburg website, the new Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau pledged to continue on the path of his predecessor and recommitted himself to the ICPS. Time will tell if the Mayor and his co-workers have the political will to keep the momentum going, facilitating the demise of what was the monster looming over the city.
It’s clear that it’s taken many blows to send the monster packing. Now the mopping up is being done it’s clear it takes a team to get a city on its feet. Council can’t afford to sit back now. Infrastructure must never be allowed to fall into the state of disrepair of the 1990s. Maintenance with vision for even greater things is required. With a Civil society prepared to go the extra mile and the residents of the inner city prepared to take ownership of their city, there will be investor confidence enough for Business to invest in and see buildings restored, maintained or even replaced.
Search Engine Optimisation Services Specialist Discusses Website SEO
Everything you write and place onto the internet creates a link. You are adding information to a website by writing content. That content in that submission company’s service creates a link which contains the information pointing to your website. The spiders see this as direct content, as the content is discussing and promoting your website. This is critical to effective and successful search engine optimisation. Hand submit that link to the Google search engine.
Hand submit every link you create to the Google search engine. Then place each of those links on a link building website on the internet. This builds a huge number of back links pointing to all the websites that you are promoting. What you want to do SEO wise is write keyword specific titles, meta tags and content to build links which you hand submit to the Google search engine and then place all those links onto your link building website.
You do not have to build flashy and ‘eye appealing’ or cosmetic websites. Websites are about producing and showing good information for your readers. They come to your website, to obtain information. Not to join your business because you have a flashy website. This is another important search engine optimisation technique to never forget. Anyhow, the Google search engine spiders do not spider the images. They look for original content and links and not for “flash”.
Creating good clean crisp original content is one of the critical keys to SEO effectiveness and success. The other critical factors are linking and creating back links. Join any one of the many link building systems on the internet for free to store your links as you create them. Hand submit the url of this link building website to Google every day as well.
Search Engine Optimisation Services
Always remember that you have to write the good original focussed content yourself to ensure that the spiders see it as original. What you need to do from a search engine optimisation angle, is to start writing the press release content first. Submit that content to all the submission areas like your blogs, forums, press releases and article submission companies. However, before you submit your original press release content, to these many submission areas, to ensure original content for the Google spider, you need to add another paragraph on each occasion, before submission, to each post before you submit or post it to the relevant submission company.
This is critical and is one of the basic rules of effective and successful SEO. Do not submit the same material to every submission company, because keep in mind that a one word change in a website or a content submission makes it original content from the Google Spider’s Eye. So, to ensure that you have original content, add at least a few sentences or better still, a whole extra paragraph to the content of your post on each occasion before you submit it.
This saves you a massive amount of time as each article does not have to be completely unique. Remember that each submission area will create a different link for each post that you submit with the extra paragraph of information. These are the back links that are vital and critical to point to your website that you are referring to in the content and this will drive it to the top of the search engines. So each link is unique and each post has a paragraph of unique content when compared to the previous submission.
A word of advice here is to build your own website to promote whatever business you are involved in. It is absolutely essential for you to build your own website to promote whatever you decide to market on the internet. The problem with most Affiliate websites is that every body has the same splash page and they all share the same splash pages. This is not good for search engine optimisation. So build your own informational website to promote your product and service. Place your business url in your website and then promote that website which you have created by applying all the techniques that have been discussed here previously and in the future.