Keyes Art Mile converts a slice of Rosebank into an urban green zone

BusinessDay | Struan Douglas

Keyes Art Mile is transforming a slice of Rosebank, Johannesburg, into an urban green landscape. It is spearheading the return of the indigenous Egoli granite grassland plant biome to the bustling and rapidly changing suburb. St Teresa’s School, which faces onto Keyes Avenue, is supporting the developers’ conservation efforts with the construction of a lush veld wall. Former investment banker now property developer Anton Taljaard envisages a neighbourhood precinct developed in six stages. He is confident that it will alter public perceptions and create a truly green indigenous plant network tying together all of Rosebank.

The completed phase one, Trumpet Building, is a flourishing art project. SA’s market for art is fast changing with fairs, project spaces, private museums, strong commercial and national galleries and growing international recognition. “The more doors there are for the artists to walk through the better. And it keeps everyone raising the bar, which is good for SA,” says Taljaard, who is also an avid art collector. Development of phase two and three, situated on the diagonally opposite corner of Keyes and Jellicoe Avenue, will begin in August. It will include street front retail, neighbourhood orientated shops, office space and 140 apartments situated around a horizontal piazza and private art museum. “It is an interesting concept that you can develop a portfolio of properties that in essence is a private property fund with the primary goal of supporting and promoting the arts,” Taljaard says. “It is a symbiotic relationship: a truly commercial property development that is going to do good things for art. It speaks to two of my interests.”…read more

Image: St Teresa’s School facing onto Keyes Avenue