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Pietermaritzburg-based Collins Property Development, which developed Unilever SA’s giant R370 million warehouse in Mkondeni, is now undertaking a similar venture in another part of the city.
The company is developing a R354m warehouse in Willowton.
The 51 000m2 facility is planned for Grix Road and expected to be completed in May.
Murray Collins, of the development company, said the project was aimed at consolidating warehousing facilities into a single warehouse because of Willowton’s strategic location in the province.
“The area is central from a delivery point of view, with easy access to freeways and arterial roads leading to urban and outlying market areas,” he said.
The name of the tenant has not yet been made public.
Collins said that the triple-volume building would be developed to modern specifications, with attached outbuildings, offices and workshops.
The warehouse would uplift the surrounding communities and complement established developments in the area.
The group has secured the funding from Nedbank corporate property finance.
Anand Joseph, the regional executive of Nedbank corporate property finance in KwaZulu-Natal, said the R354m loan agreement had been reached as a result of strategic pricing and a well-structured contract for the Collins group, a long-standing client.
“Nedbank has an intimate knowledge and understanding of the commercial property market and, given the economic activity of the province, warehousing is a strong focus,” he said.
“As a result, we have concluded several transactions of this magnitude with the Collins group and other developers, despite the tough economic conditions.”
Joseph added that the group had had a good business relationship with the bank for more than 20 years, and was renowned as one of the province’s premier innovative industrial property developers with an international footprint.
“Nedbank is proud to be seen as a trusted adviser in the KwaZulu- Natal market and we look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Murray Collins and the Collins group,” he said.
In 2009, the group constructed Unilever SA’s R370m warehouse in Mkondeni. Described as one of the largest in the country, the 45 000m2 warehouse is equal in area to nine football fields. When the warehouse opened its doors it was said the development would go a long way towards establishing the Durban-Pietermaritzburg N3 corridor as a major logistics node. It was opened by Premier Zweli Mkhize, who hailed the investment as a means of achieving higher economic growth rates while pushing back the frontiers of unemployment and poverty.