Downtown Joburg enthusiasts are buzzing about the Sheds @1Fox.
This is one of those quintessentially Jozi projects that make me love living in this city. In short: There is a complex of cavernous, historic warehouses where Fox Street dead-ends on the western edge of the city. These warehouses were formerly part of Anglo American and are now owned by the Johannesburg Land Company.
Until recently, the buildings were slated to be torn down to make way for an office building. But a group of Jozi-lovers, including Gerald Garner of JoburgPlaces and Jan and Jay Roode of Happy.Me, are now working with the Johannesburg Land Company to develop the warehouses into an innovative “food, wine and lifestyle emporium”. The Sheds @1Fox are scheduled to open during the Joburg City Festival in October 2014.
The buildings are currently empty except for some piles of rubbish, crude graffiti, and lots (and lots) of pigeon poop. Construction will start any day now.
This week I got a behind-the-scenes look at what will soon become the Sheds @1Fox. I took about 1,000 pictures, knowing this was my last chance to photograph the place before everything changes. I suspect that the before-and-after comparison will be dramatic. In the meantime, here is the “before”:
Gerald outside one of the warehouses.
The first area to be developed. This huge room will house “pop-up” market stands between October and December 2014. The pop-up stands will eventually transform into more permanent retail spaces.
There are some really cool old signs scattered around. At some point along the line there was a real estate company here.
High explosive loading area?
An oddly beautiful pile of half-burned rubbish.
I also find the profane graffiti to be oddly beautiful.
And the toilet too. Especially the toilet.
I love this toilet so much that I had to capture it with my fish-eye lens. It was my last chance. I doubt the toilet will survive the refurbishment.
Wall of fame. Or shame.
These sheds look as if someone painted graffiti on them and then someone else tried unsuccessfully to wash it off.
Last look at the empty sheds. The next time you see this room it will be full of awesome stuff.
I could say much more about the Sheds @1Fox but I think I’ll save the rest for when it opens. In the meantime, you can direct questions to email@example.com.
What a great way to rejuvenate an area of your city. Most cites are running out of space.
Yes, that is one thing that the inner city of Joburg is really blessed with. Lots of empty building space! The challenge is figuring out how to make it useful again. But we’re clearly making progress.
I see nothing but a lot of opportunity there. It should be a very interesting area when it all comes together.
Awesome photo’s, can’t wait for this to be up and running.
Hi Heather I too love this area. I am so happy that they are rejuvenating the sheds. Great article.
Thanks Jane! It’s really going to be cool. So you’ve been in there before?
I’ve never been inside – just checked it out from the outside. Your interior photos make it look stylish even in its decayed state.
The project seems to be in good hands. Best wishes to the team.
Yes, I think they’ll do a great job.
It’s really cool that you took the ‘before’ pics for history’s sake. I wonder if there are any from when the place was up and running? Your pics, along with those and the ‘after’ pics would tell a dramatic story.
That’s actually a good question about the old pics. I’ll have to ask Gerald.
We used to run our business out of The Sheds! The wall of fame or shame was a big talking point back in the day 🙂 What memories and how awesome it’s been to see it transformed…….. Going to fabulous
Hi Lorraine, that’s interesting! What kind of business was it?
Gerald Garner never fails to surprise in the way in which he unlocks the gems in Joburg. We officially shower him with the honour of ‘Sleuth of Jozi gems’
Haha. Yes, he is very good at that.