An aerial view of the new Loftus Park, the mixed-use precinct adjacent to Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
JOHANNESBURG - Abland is to invest a further R500 million in the second phase of the Loftus Park mixed-use development adjacent to the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

Abland managing director Grant Silverman this week told the official opening of the R1.45billion first phase of the planned 55000m² mixed use development that the second phase would comprise a 8500m² medical facility and 16000m² office building of possibly eight to 12 storeys, with 1200m² of retail on the ground floor.

Abland co-owns the development with listed Redefine Properties and the Blue Bulls Rugby Union.

Silverman said the construction of the second phase was expected to commence in the third quarter of this year.

The first phase comprised 16000m² of offices, 14100m² of retail, a 6700m² hotel, 3500m² gymnasium operated by Virgin Active and 1800 basement parking bays.

Silverman said about 50percent of the office space had been let, with “tenants on the horizon” for the balance of the space, while about 95percent of the retail space had been let.

He said Protea Hotel by Marriott would open in September.

Redefine Properties became a co-owner of Loftus Park, when, in 2016, it acquired Pivotal Fund, valued at about R6.1bn, in a share swop.

Pivotal was established by Abland, with the acquisition also giving Redefine joint ownership of an about R1bn development pipeline at the time of the transaction.

Thinus Delport, a director of Abland, said last week that about R50m had been invested in public infrastructure, including roads, stormwater drains and electricity, in the first phase of Loftus Park, to improve the precinct around the development.

Delport said further public infrastructure investment would take place in subsequent phases of the development.

Marc Wainer, the executive chairperson of Redefine, said the fate of the owners of Loftus Park was tied very closely to that of the Blue Bulls.

Wainer said the better the Blue Bulls did, the better the attendance at the stadium and the fuller the parking at Loftus Park, and more people there would be in the restaurants.

“There is no doubt this development, which is in the shadow of the historic Loftus Versfeld Stadium, could well be a turning point for this node and region and we see great potential for Loftus Park as a thriving hub,” he said.

Wainer directed a plea to Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimanga about the rates and taxes in the city.

“The rates and taxes are among the highest in the country, and it makes it extremely difficult for us to make projects like this work.

“With rates and taxes 30percent to 40percent higher than in Gauteng and other parts of the country, you are making our life very difficult,” he said.

Msimanga said Tshwane has had the lowest increases in rates and taxes of all the metros in the past two years.

“We inherited a mess and I’m trying to correct it. We are trying to cut a lot of red tape so that we are able to provide business people with an opportunity to invest,” he added.