Delta and Propertuity close R79 million deal in Johannesburg CBD

This significant move involves the closing of a deal for four buildings in Pritchard Street, namely the Cuthberts Building, Hilson House, The Royalty, and Dunvegan Chambers.

In a move significant to the continued redevelopment of the Johannesburg CBD, Propertuity and Delta have just closed a deal for four buildings.

Craig Turner, the Director of Sales and Projects at Apartmentbox, shares the details of the purchase: “Chambers of Change is the new name for four connected retail and office buildings in a row (5,944sqm GLA), situated at 66 to 72 Pritchard Street, Johannesburg. These were originally individually named Cuthberts Building, Hilson House, The Royalty, and Dunvegan Chambers. The new name is very appropriate given the intended use of the space by advocates and attorneys, coupled with Propertuity’s mission of ‘bringing the city back’.”

Both companies are familiar with city regeneration, with a successful history in both the Johannesburg and Durban CBDs. This deal marks Propertuity’s first Johannesburg CBD purchase outside the Maboneng district, though not for a lack of success inside that popular district.

Ricky Luntz, Propertuity’s financial director, highlights how their success in Maboneng has led to the decision to continue buying in the Johannesburg CBD: “Maboneng reiterates the need for residents in a growing and thriving city to have a CBD they can engage with and enjoy. The success of the precinct on both an individual and overall level has shown that urban regeneration is both scalable and necessary. As such we will look to repeat the pattern, which is to retain the essence of the areas while using quality design, strategic activations and energy to regenerate them.”

Propertuity is committed to the restoration and protection of heritage buildings, as well as driving regeneration in CBDs.

The purchased buildings will become new chambers, and their excellent location just across from the High Court will encourage the return of the legal community to the CBD. Jonathan Liebmann, founder and CEO of Propertuity states that “the Chambers of Change will contribute significantly to the continued regeneration of this central precinct around the high court. We expect to house over 200 lawyers and advocates in the building, so the establishment of a new legal community is an important moment in the comeback of the Johannesburg CBD.” These A-grade legal buildings will be restored to their striking original look, and will make for an excellent place of work while contributing to the redevelopment of this vital precinct.

The details are important, Luntz adds. “The chambers will have a community feel to them as a result of all the communal facilities. Boardrooms, rooftop restaurants and spas are all planned as part of the development, which will enable tenants to have a unique experience within the buildings. The chambers themselves will be smaller and more affordable for tenants. The spaces are being designed to have a chic feel to accommodate the professionals who will be occupying the spaces, but will still cover elements of Propertuity’s raw design features to distinguish it from surrounding buildings. The detailed attention to security and design, as well as proximity to the courts should make the space extremely desirable to the legal community.”

Turner elaborates: “The chosen location of the redevelopment was strategic for Propertuity for three reasons. From a commercial perspective, its proximity to the Johannesburg High Court is important. Secondly, the blue chip high street retail leases are anchored by Foschini Group’s Sportscene and Total Sports outlets, ensuring excellent stability for the investment. Finally, it is an ideal and exciting opportunity for Propertuity, with their proven track record, to work their urban regeneration magic in tastefully bringing a strip of historically significant city buildings back to life. Of course Delta Property Fund would want to take ultimate ownership of this package, especially being the foremost specialist Inner City property fund.”

“We are very excited about our strategic relationship with Propertuity. We’ve partnered on some projects in the Durban CBD before where Delta owns a substantial number of large office buildings, but Chambers of Change is the first project of this quantum and our first collaboration in the Johannesburg CBD”.says Sandile Nomvete.

“Our strategy is to entrench our position as a landlord of choice in nodes attractive to government and empowerment-driven tenants. The government’s infrastructure upgrades continue to support inner city resurgence, and our collaboration with Propertuity in engaging other major landlords, tenants and stakeholders around refurbishments, parking, security and cleanliness such as with Chambers of Change can only grow in significance, re-establishing our inner cities as desirable places.”

The redevelopment of the upper office levels will begin early in the New Year, with completion scheduled for the 3rd quarter of 2016. Through this collaboration, the economies of these CBDs are uplifted, generating further prosperity not only for these two famous cities, but for the areas around them and the country as a whole.