Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  30 May 2010

PROPERTY: Northern Suburbs Retains Appeal


Recent Western Cape Business News

HAVING experienced strong growth in recent years, Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs retain high appeal as a location for a broad cross-section of businesses – particularly those whose employees live in the area and are able to avoid major traffic congestion by working in the same locale.

In line with this trend, JHI property services company has relocated a large segment of their Western Cape operation to trendy Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre in Tyger Valley, while retaining their existing broking business in Cape Town - catering for clients in the central city and Southern Suburbs.

Comments Marius Basson, JHI director for the Western Cape: “We took the decision to relocate to this centre firstly as it is one of the properties managed by JHI and provides us with excellent exposure, and also as we are now ideally positioned to service the requirements of clients in the Northern Suburbs and expand our business. We currently manage a portfolio of some 80 properties in the Western Cape, of which approximately 70% are situated in the Northern Suburbs.”

The burgeoning growth of this area is evidenced not only by the major development seen in Tyger Valley and Century City, but also by the increasing residential expansion of the Durbanville and Milnerton areas towards the north. Interestingly, we are seeing a growing number of businesses with staff who travel to the Northern Suburbs from Table View and surrounding areas – just 15-20 minutes away, and even from Stellenbosch, Paarl and Malmesbury. Being a newly developed area providing an appealing work environment, the Northern Suburbs are popular among young professionals and up and coming businesses – with Cape Town International Airport approximately 20-25 minutes away – and have drawn an influx of businesses in the financial sector.”

Basson says another key factor which provides compelling reason for businesses to consider the Northern Suburbs as a location is the abundance of parking at affordable rates, with secure, covered parking realising a monthly rental of between R400 and R600 compared to R1000 plus per month in Cape Town’s central city. Good office rentals are also available at rates of R68-R75 per sq m in Voortrekker Road in Bellville’s CBD – close to the N1, N2 and all key routes. In the Sunbel building space of 4 000 - 5 000 sq m is currently available to let, while in the Tyger Valley area B-grade office space in a very pleasant working environment is available at rates of R86 per square metre or less, with A-grade space at R100 per sq m and upwards. This area is already popular among corporate tenants.

He adds that while the Northern Suburbs also experienced pressure during the economic slowdown, this area has remained resilient. “While there has been a slowdown in rentals in the area, in terms of the properties managed by JHI we’ve seen vacancies of only up to around five percent in general.”

We are receiving enquiries for office space, at present predominantly for smaller areas of between 100 and 200 square metres, as well as for retail space - particularly in the Cape Flats, where businesses concentrate on catering for after-hours and weekend shoppers. Investors are still evident in the marketplace – including owner-occupiers, seeking yields of 12-13 percent generally in buildings of approximately 4 000 - 5 000 sq m in a desirable location and comprising a mix of office and retail space, or business parks offering office space,” says Basson.

Vacant land for development is also available close to Tyger Park - ideally placed to capitalise on future growth in the area - around the Bellville Velodrome, offering sound value for money, as well as industrial land for development in areas such as Brackenfell, Kuilsrivier and the new growth node around Northgate Island.

Another interesting trend we are noting is the conversion of residences to commercial use,” adds Basson.

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