Gautrain access drives office demand

There have been recent reports in the media and in this Blog about the Gautrain (trains and buses) reaching saturation point.  The more businesses that relocate into the vicinity of the stations, the more pressure there will be on the system.

I only hope that the Gautrain operators are capable of scaling-up without the quality scaling-down.

Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney

Gautrain access drives office demand

Office demand is tracking closer to Gautrain stations across the prime northern nodes of Sandton, Rosebank and Bryanston, as new development and redevelopment projects seek to optimise access to public and private transport options.

'Office development is continuing apace in Sandton, which is quickly consolidating its position as the financial heartland of Johannesburg and the preferred location for corporate headquarters,' says Broll's Gauteng divisional director of office broking, Fran Teagle.

The node continues to reap the benefits of the Gautrain, which provides connections to OR Tambo International Airport as well as the greater Joburg area and Pretoria.

Office demand is focused on space within walking distance of the station. About 200 000m² of new projects are either in the planning stages or under construction in the node, with increasing demand for sectional title office space and smaller premises in evidence.

Redevelopment of older and B-grade space is under way, and there is a strong shift to Green Star-rated buildings.

Another key trend is the relocation of blue-chip corporate tenants into Sandton and out of nodes like Rosebank and Illovo. Examples include Sasol, Webber Wentzel and EY, says Teagle.

Gross achieved rentals for prime space in central Sandton are at R225/m² a month and leases are being secured for five to 10 years.

Nevertheless, traffic congestion - especially at rush hour - continues to be a challenge and demand for parking bays at office buildings is high at five to six bays per 100m².

In Rosebank, the Gautrain station is likewise providing a catalyst for development and redevelopment, says Teagle, pointing to a number of new prime office developments that are changing the face of the urban node.

Prime office space is achieving R200/m² a month, with leases of five to 10 years in line with those in Sandton.

'The planned expansion of Rosebank Mall - which will double its gross lettable area - will provide a top-quality retail experience, even though the project is expected to negatively affect the CBD,' she says.

Again, traffic congestion is a key challenge, with the Glenhove off-ramp from the M1 experiencing logjams at peak travel times.

Bryanston remains a popular node, with more affordable rents than either Sandton or Rosebank at around R150/m² a month.

'Easy access to highways, major arterial routes as well as retail facilities and good schools make Bryanston a desirable address,' says Teagle.

'These are just some of the advantages that led major corporates like Microsoft, Tiger Brands, National Brands and Dimension Data to move to the node. New developments are already almost fully let, which I believe will create a demand crunch in the next 12 to 18 months, especially for smaller space users.'

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)


Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!