FNB has unveiled the first phase of its BankCity revitalization project to continue its commitment and investment in the Johannesburg inner-city. The Bank’s recent investment affirms its sustained contribution to inner-city rejuvenation.
The revitalised BankCity precinct offers a “Work. Eat. Play” experience through a combination of 34 retail tenants that are open to all residents and visitors of the inner-city and nearly12 000 FNB employees who occupy its properties spanning 181 000 square metres. The first phase of the BankCity upgrade created 150 local jobs and the retailers in the precinct employ approximately 231 people.
It took nearly 130 000 hours to produce brand new retail spaces and a world-class, colourful Fraser Street surface which connects Pritchard and Jeppe streets.
The unveiling of the revamped precinct coincides with FNB’s 180-year celebrations as SA’s oldest bank. The Bank’s journey is commemorated through a mobile exhibition and an unveiling of an iMadiba installation in BankCity. The iMadiba project is a global initiative involving an international network of artistic recreations of Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island cell. The micro-museums encourage personal reflection and promote conversation and dialogue.
Jacques Celliers, FNB CEO says “When we first opened our FNB head office in Simmonds street, we expressed our commitment to be a part of the growth and evolution of the Johannesburg city centre. Over the years, we have stayed true to this commitment by investing heavily, fostering partnerships with the City and private sector to make the inner-city a better place to work and live in.”
“Our investment in BankCity is a tangible demonstration of our understanding of the vital role that inner-cities play as hubs of growth, inclusion, employment and contributors to social and economic development. As we continue our journey to be a trusted financial services provider, we are focused on expanding the network effect of our platform-led approach to instigate significant value creation for all our stakeholders,” says Celliers.
Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Corporate and Retail Estate says, “People are the heart of the inner-city and our business, therefore our vision is to create an environment that is safe and welcoming to our colleagues, residents and visitors to the inner-city. Currently, a third of more than 30 000 FNB employees work in BankCity, which is why it’s important for us to embrace the lifestyle concept of “Work. Eat. Play” as part of our employee value proposition.”
The revamped BankCity precinct includes a variety of retail outlets offering a diverse range of eateries, shopping and lifestyle options for employees as well as all residents of, and visitors to the inner city. As part of FNB’s commitment to enterprise development and enabling the growth of small businesses, except for one flooring supplier, all the businesses contracted to provide materials and construction services for the upgrade were Gauteng based.
“Our continued investment will ensure that people get to experience BankCity and the inner-city in a very exciting and welcoming manner. We are excited about the possibilities that this revamp, combined with the ongoing rejuvenation of our two piazza areas, creates for fantastic working and living experiences, ranging from exciting urban markets, music and food festivals, and of course a growing tourism industry because of our partnership with the Red Bus tour company and the presence of our iMadiba installation. We are committed to not only being present in the Johannesburg inner-city, but being instrumental in the realisation of its full potential,” concludes Van Zyl.