Areas and Places

Quality smaller commercial/industrial units much in demand in the Western Cape, says Rawson

The Rawson Property Group’s Western Cape commercial property franchise, which has high profile offices in the Island Club section of Century City and which is owned and run by Mark Vladislavich, with Liz Grimbeek as the manager, is so convinced of the growth potential in their market that they have increased their broking staff to six. 

“The new arrangement,” said Grimbeek, “has enabled us to have specialists focusing on certain areas and we believe that this will pay dividends.”

Anyone with an ear to the ground now, she said, will have detected an upsurge throughout the Western Cape in light manufacturing, assembly, import and export, marketing and distribution activity, especially among the smaller firms which tend to employ only ten to fifteen people and which, in most cases, cater for niche markets both here in South Africa and overseas. Due to this upsurge, said Grimbeek, the demand for conveniently sized commercial/industrial units, which is already strong, will increase. She qualified this statement, however, by saying that these days the units have to be of a high standard, well managed and well maintained.

Certain precincts, said Grimbeek, will continue to be the leaders in the provision of this type of popular small unit: Montagu Gardens, Marconi Beam and Milnerton are definitely the frontrunners here at the moment. She said that the Rawson Commercial Century City team has just sold a 200 m2 commercial/industrial unit in Prime Park, Montagu Gardens for R1,360,000. This equates to over R7,000 per square metre, which is the going rate for attractive, easy access and secure commercial/industrial units today.

Units in the more popular commercial/industrial parks, she said, can be anything from 100 m2 to 600 m2 in size, but the strongest demand is always in the 250 m2 to 400 m2 brackets. Rents for such units today, said Grimbeek, can by anything from R38 to R80 per m2.

“The challenge in the commercial property sector,” said Grimbeek, “is that far too many mandates are awarded across the board to almost any agent who wants to pick them up. This means that quite often, just when we have secured a potential buyer or tenant, we find that the client has done a deal with someone else. As the Rawson Property Group’s Managing Director, Tony Clarke, has recently pointed out, open mandates are unlikely to give the buyer or the landlord the best possible price, especially in a market like the present where demand is rising.”

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