Behind the Scenes: The Sheds @1Fox

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 at ShedsGerald outside one of the warehouses.

Inside Sheds wide

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.

Show House

There are some really cool old signs scattered around. At some point along the line there was a real estate company here.

High Explosives

High explosive loading area?

Rubbish in room

An oddly beautiful pile of half-burned rubbish.

Graffiti corner

I also find the profane graffiti to be oddly beautiful.

Toilet and graffiti

And the toilet too. Especially the toilet.

Toilet fish-eye

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

Wall of fame. Or shame.

Sheds outside

These sheds look as if someone painted graffiti on them and then someone else tried unsuccessfully to wash it off.

Sheds warehouse

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

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  • Reply swo8 June 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    What a great way to rejuvenate an area of your city. Most cites are running out of space.

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2014 at 7:13 am

      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.

      • Reply swo8 June 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm

        I see nothing but a lot of opportunity there. It should be a very interesting area when it all comes together.

  • Reply Gail Wilson June 12, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Awesome photo’s, can’t wait for this to be up and running.

  • Reply Jane Warburton June 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Hi Heather I too love this area. I am so happy that they are rejuvenating the sheds. Great article.

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Thanks Jane! It’s really going to be cool. So you’ve been in there before?

      • Reply Jane Warburton June 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

        I’ve never been inside – just checked it out from the outside. Your interior photos make it look stylish even in its decayed state.

  • Reply Ithateng June 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    The project seems to be in good hands. Best wishes to the team.

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Yes, I think they’ll do a great job.

  • Reply chuckv88 June 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    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.

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      That’s actually a good question about the old pics. I’ll have to ask Gerald.

      • Reply Lorraine Antonie October 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

        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

        • Reply 2summers October 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm

          Hi Lorraine, that’s interesting! What kind of business was it?

  • Reply Hillary June 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    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’

    • Reply 2summers June 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Haha. Yes, he is very good at that.

  • Reply The Sheds @1Fox | Tim van Rooyen June 21, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    […] Heather Mason shared her experiences on her blog, and that got us very excited about visiting the space before redevelopment begins. We reached out to Gerald Garner of Double G Media (JoburgPlaces) and insisted on visiting. Thanks Gerald for letting us in! […]

  • Reply The Joburg Movement at the Sheds @1Fox October 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    […] Behind the Scenes […]

  • Reply The Joburg Movement at the Sheds @1fox October 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    […] Cheese Balkan Burger This day was also a significant milestone for me, as I released the BETA version of the Ish application. The sheds at 1Fox is most certainly a cool place to be – you can find it on: the Sheds @1Fox on the Ish. If you are still curious about the sheds. Get some more info from: Official Website Behinds the Scene: 2 Summers Blog […]

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