Sandton Central is SA’s place of choice for demand-driven office property development
Economy / 4 September 2019, 07:30am / Dhivana Rajgopaul
DURBAN - Sandton Central, South Africa’s financial capital, continues to attract investment and new real estate developments from businesses who want to be in the area.
The latest research from the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Office Vacancy Survey for Q1:2019 shows that while Sandton is home to most of the new development in South Africa.
26.4 percent of the country’s new office space in total and nearly double the development anywhere else in the country - a very low percentage of this is speculative. In fact, only 2.5 percent of the space under development in Sandton Central is unlet.
This is a strong sign of investor confidence in the neighbourhood, which is distinguished by having more Prime-grade offices than any other area in SA, and dominated by large single-tenanted corporate head offices. P-grade offices in Sandton have increased remarkably from a mere 1,000sqm in 2010 to 95,000sqm in 2019, says SAPOA.
The well-managed public urban spaces of SA’s cosmopolitan financial hub underpin Sandton Central’s ability to attract the billions of Rands in new developments and be the location of choice for many leading businesses.
Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager of SCMD said, "Sandton Central is the foundation for many of the most innovative, aesthetically appealing, and sustainable new buildings on the continent. It is exciting to see Sandton Central’s skyline transforming with truly magnificent buildings, surrounded by compelling public spaces, important infrastructure and valuable amenities".
According to Jack, factors that make Sandton attractive for office property development include ease to do business as Sandton houses so many core head offices, financial institutions and legal practices.
She added that the introduction of a Gautrain station in the CBD, this critically links business from Pretoria and the inner city to Sandton
Several iconic new developments in Sandton Central have come on stream in 2019 and others will be completed during the year and beyond. All are planned to enhance the quality of life in Sandton Central.
Among the landmark new buildings on the dynamic Sandton Central skyline is Katherine Towers, owned by Vanguard Trust, Bidvest Bank and Bidvest Properties, and developed by Alchemy Properties. This 20-storey building at 1 Park Lane spans 22,000sqm of lettable space and includes 11 floors of P-grade offices which are fully-let and will be occupied by the likes of Bidvest Bank, Peregrine, Citadel, and White & Case.
The new The Leonardo which is a 55-floor tower owned by Legacy Group has become the tallest building in Africa and will be complete in October 2019. Construction began in 2015. It includes sectional-title offices, apartments, a hotel, penthouses and The Leonardo Suites. It also offers a business centre, 300-seater and smaller conference facilities, lounge areas, breakaway rooms, board rooms, and retail.
Another addition to Sandton Central’s exceptional hospitality and tourist infrastructure is being built on the corner of Maude and West Street. The R850m Hotel Sky is being developed for completion in mid-2020. Owned by Richland Holdings and developed by them with Zenprop, this six-floor 454-key hotel will span 16,000sqm.
Developments already finished this year include 2 Pybus Road, where in February Redefine Properties completed its 13,500m² new office development, comprising nine floors of 1,500sqm each, and supported by dedicated basement parking.
Redefine also completed the R133 million refurbishment of the six-floor 26,500sqm building in March. Each of its floors is around 4,125sqm and it also offers basement parking. Most of the building has been taken up by WeWork.