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Swindon Property MD, Andrew Dewey, writes for CIPN

Category Market News

Challenge 

Power supply issues, especially in Gauteng. 

Solution 

Unfortunately, this is in the hands of Eskom and South African government, but there are opportunities for private companies to provide solar, wind and smaller scale solutions. The drawback is this initial capital outlay for specialist power is expensive and will negatively impact the feasibility parameters of any new development, applying pressure on the cost of building and thus the end user pricing model. 

Challenge 

Water supply, especially in Cape Town; however, we have seen a significant decline in the pressure due to local government initiatives and improved weather cycles. 

Solution 

Desalination plants and extreme water saving measures. 

Challenge 

Serviced infrastructure under pressure, ie municipality sewerage and water infrastructure. 

Solution 

Water and sanitation need to have better communication with the town planning department and engage with developers to ensure projected future developments can be accommodated in order to update their budgets based on future upgrade demands, or rather, opportunities. 

Challenge 

Heritage (local and provincial), town planning approvals ie rezoning, SDP (site development plan) and plan approvals are taking too long, thus putting severe strain on developers' holding costs and feasibilities 

Solution 

Municipalities and planning departments need to relook at their organisational setup, allow submission to various departments simultaneously and have one council rep appointed to each project to "walk it from start to finish." 

Challenge 

Traffic congestion in the major provinces 

Solution 

Companies adapting their resources, i.e. logistics companies using rail or motorbikes instead of trucks. Applying pressure on government to upgrade and improve security on public transport options and routes to bring down the use of vehicles on the road. Additionally, incentivising staff to carpool where possible and working with large corporates to set staggered working hours for staff members. 

What are some examples of Swindon Property's present/ past projects? 

Swindon is involved in the sales and letting of many prominent national development projects. A few highlighted examples include: 

Cape Town 

Salt Orchard, Salt River is a new mixed-use development of retail, cafes, offices and studios in Salt River, Cape Town. Swindon is the principal agent appointed to this cutting edge and trendy development, which services owners and tenants responsibly and economically, with water harvested from 15, 15 000 m2 on-site rainwater tanks and solar electricity. 

Paul Aitken, one of our senior brokers, sold 1 Heerengracht, which has been renamed The Duke (www.theduke.co.za). Previously a commercial building that has since been converted into a sectional title residential block, the 5 588 m2 development will consist of 81 one-bed and two-bed apartments. This development has a superb roof deck that will feature gas-fired braai boma areas under pergolas, a swimming pool and calisthenics gym equipment. 

The ground floor will feature about 340 m2 of retail that will be intended for upper-end restaurants and coffee shops. The Duke is currently under construction and will be complete end-November 2019. Units will only be sold once all snags are complete, which makes this very unique in the property development industry (therefore not sold off-plan). 

Kwa-Zulu Natal 

Ridge 8, Umhlanga Ridge is currently under construction, with occupation expected end-July 2020. Ridge 8 offers an office component of 5 600 m2 with sea views priced from R29 500/m2. The fully serviced, A-Grade offices are for 

The Boulevard, Umhlanga New Town Centre is a 4 star green star rated commercial usage development with an office component of 8500 m2 offering sea and inland views. Priced from R175/m2 rental the A-grade office with 5/100 parking ratio includes energy efficient lighting with back-up generator and water supply with back up water tanks. 

Offices range from 150 m2 to entire floor plate of 512m2 in phase 2 and 1000 m2 in phase one. Tenants include Standard Bank, Derivco, Bamboo Beat Media, Play Move Breathe Yoga, Strada Cucina Italian restaurant at The Boulevard. 

Umhlanga Arch, Umhlanga Ridge (ICONIIC) is a mixed-use development offering a live-work-play environment, and includes the 4-star Hilton Garden Inn, upmarket residential apartments and commercial offices. With floor plates ranging from 450 m2 to 1 600 m2, the office component of 6 500 m2 offers uninterrupted sea and inland views, forming part of the 45 000 m2 mixed-use development 

Gauteng 

Lords View is a prime, green building approved industrial park conveniently situated near Midrand in Gauteng. Swindon's Gauteng director, Clive Williamson, has been appointed as the principal agent for Lord's View. Phases one, two and three are now complete, and phases four, five and eight are currently being serviced. 

The available stand sizes range from 5 000 m2 to 77 000 m2 selling at approximately R1 050/m2. Stands can be developed for the user. Already placed neighbours include Unilever, Foschini Group and Freightmore, to name a few. Given the positive interest so far, it is clear that the park will only continue to grow as it focuses on providing the latest and greatest industrial park in South Africa from a sustainable perspective. 

Anything else you'd like to mention? 

It is the opportune time for commercial property owners in South Africa to get the most out of their property assets by unlocking their full value and potential, whether through pro-active management or redevelopment. 

Swindon's professional valuations and brokering division can advise on best and highest potential asset value from redevelopment, reletting, upgrades and improved tenant placement. In conjunction, our SMART property management service sets out to increase rental income, reduce vacancies, decrease operating expenses and minimise arrears with the added benefit of having the letting support of one of the largest national brokerage teams in the country. 

Author: Andrew Dewey, Managing Director at Swindon Property

Submitted 14 Aug 19 / Views 471