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Through his company Synprop, Katz searches for and identifies buildings that have the potential to be converted into low- cost residential units.
[Visionary: Property developer Max Katz has been working hard to identify derelict buildings that can be converted into low-cost residential units to address the city’s dire housing needs.
As a result, the already congested city has now become a new battleground for space, for a place to live while pushing the hustle in the ’burg.
Johannesburg property agent Max Katz has been working in the inner city for the past 15 years.
Buildings like One Eloff, which was once a warehouse for high-end cars in what was traditionally the city’s motoring hub, is now a trendy residential and business hub.[Refreshed: Buildings like One Eloff, which was once a warehouse for high-end cars in what was traditionally the city’s motoring hub, is now a trendy residential and business hub (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)]The ground floor serves as business space, with small retail shops, coffee shops, art workshops and a restaurant.
(Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)]He is an active player in the gentrification of the inner city that has turned commercial buildings, old office blocks, warehouses, garages and derelict residential blocks being rescued from near-collapse and converted into trendy, modern living spaces.
Katz reckons it will never be possible, at least not in the near future, to create sufficient accommodation to cater for the thousands of people who pour into the city every month.“We will never, ever, ever.
This is his first job since he migrated to Johannesburg from Kwa Zulu-Natal in 2013. It is a cramped room on the first floor of an old, rundown building that was recently the subject of a protracted court case.
But it is home, nevertheless: an abode near the city, near work and other amenities such as stores and recreational facilities.
The top floor, where once engines roared and tyres screeched, has now been transformed into bachelor and two-bedroomed units.