PROPERTY: Atterbury Launches Multi-billion Rand Richmond Park Property Development – Its Biggest Yet in the Cape
Recent Western Cape Business News
Atterbury Property launched Richmond Park - a new multi-billion rand mixed-use property development in Cape Town on a prime greenfields site in Milnerton adjacent to the N7 highway – in its biggest and most ambitious project yet in the Western Cape.
Richmond Park will be developed on 84ha of land as a landmark business park and mixed-use precinct consisting of retail, light industrial, commercial and warehousing property development. The property has bulk development rights of around 300,000sqm over the next 5-10 years.
“This is certainly going to be a mega development. It will be along the lines of the Atterbury initiated Waterfall development in Gauteng, but will focus more on commercial and warehousing due to its location in Cape Town’s industrial hub of Milnerton,” says Gerrit van den Berg, Atterbury’s development manager for its Western Cape developments.
“The initial 300,000sqm development phase of Richmond Park is anticipated to attract investment of up to R5billion. This will make it one of the biggest new commercial developments in Cape Town and Atterbury’s biggest development yet in the Western Cape.
“While Atterbury is the major shareholder, we are undertaking this development in Cape Town in association with local partners Bethel Property and Qubic 3 Dimensional Property. This is a groundbreaking project, not only from a magnitude and concept perspective, but also from a socio economic and community upliftment perspective. The land on which Richmond Park will be developed is part of a landmark land restitution settlement,” adds Van den Berg.
A claim to have ownership of the land restored to its original owners in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act was approved and the land was officially transferred back to the Richmond Park Communal Property Association in December 2014.
Richard Glass of Bethel Property, explains: “About 400 families were forcibly removed from this land in 1972 and resettled in Atlantis and the Cape Flats. These families today represent around 5 300 people spanning five generations. They finally had the land transferred back to them in December 2014 in the form of a community trust (the Richmond Park Communal Property Association), which has now leased this prime commercial land to the developers and is also a 25% shareholder in the development company.”
Van den Berg adds: “Atterbury is proud to have landed the contract to develop this site and to be associated with this project. It has huge significance both as a major new commercial development in Cape Town and from a socio economic and community upliftment perspective, with the affected families benefiting through the community trust.
“The significance of this project has been recognised by all three levels of government, from the city and province, through to the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. We appreciate their support and assistance, which has been instrumental in getting us to this point to officially launch Richmond Park to the market. Besides being a catalytic project that will attract investment, this development will create jobs and skills development opportunities for local people.”
Glass remarks: “During construction alone, some 15,000 jobs are anticipated to be created over Richmond Park’s development period. This excludes the permanent jobs created by the commercial property tenants that will take up space and open up business operations within the park.
“What’s also crucial is creating employment and skills development opportunities for the Richmond claimants. Currently, some 50% of the claimants are unemployed and survive off state welfare grants. We want to change this situation and see this as a socially conscious project and a catalyst for positive change.”
With the commercial launch of Richmond Park, the installation of bulk services to the site is set to commence this year (2015). Following the first bulk earthworks, construction of the initial top structures is planned for mid-2016, while the completion of the first buildings within the park is anticipated for the last quarter of 2016.
Van den Berg reports that, even before launch, there has been strong commercial interest in the development. He points out the park’s strategic location in Milnerton, with great visibility and access to the N7 highway and other key arterial routes.
“As part of the project, the developers will be investing around R150 million for surrounding road infrastructure upgrades and access to the development. Within the Richmond Park precinct, investors and tenants can look forward to wide landscaped boulevards amongst other features that will set it apart from other business parks in the region. The precinct is also being designed to interface well with the surrounding properties and neighbourhood,” he adds.
Glass concludes: “Land-use rights are all in place for the development following an exhaustive seven year process. There is strong demand and we are excited by the level of interest coming from businesses wanting to relocate into the park as well as companies wanting to establish new operations or expand with premises in this key location.”
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