Pretoria is rapidly attaining a new maturity as the decentralization of the city centre accelerates and growth nodes such as Menlyn, which is increasingly being dubbed ‘Pretoria’s Sandton’, comes into its own. The immense R10-billion Menlyn Maine precinct starts to come online with the launch of its Central Square next month.
“The City of Tshwane has for long identified a need for additional, new growth and business centres that could provide relief for the overburdened infrastructure of the city centre, while broadening the development of the region,” says Retha Schutte, Pam Golding Properties’ regional executive for Pretoria.
“Now, with properly designed mixed-use mini-cities such as Menlyn Maine increasingly coming on stream, and the opening of the development’s impressive 60 000sqm Central Square scheduled for 21 September 2016, this imperative is finally being realized and in the process Pretoria is reaching an exciting new stage in its development cycle.”
“Menlyn Maine is an immense 315 000sqm purpose-designed green mini-city, which effectively combines office, commercial, residential and entertainment spaces. It is not only the largest project of its kind within the Tshwane municipal region but one of the most ambitious projects of its kind in Southern Africa. The developers of Menlyn Maine have partnered with the international Clinton Climate Initiative and the precinct is one of only 17 green cities that will be built in various countries and the only one in Africa”.
“The precinct is already emerging as a prestigious new business centre and the address of choice in Pretoria. We truly believe that this development stands alone and that it is set to change how people throughout the region will work, live and play.”
Thys Greeff of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings says that the soon-to- be-opened Central Square will be the focal point of the Menlyn Maine precinct. It will include a Virgin Classic Club, a 240-room 4-Star hotel by The Capital Group and 14 835sqm of office space, which will be integrated with the new 30000 sqm the specialty tenanted, boutique retail mall and the Central Square Piazza.
“The city centre will be a meeting place with coffee shops and restaurants offering a handpicked range of alternatives, from early breakfast, to all-day dining and more formal dining, all located within an exciting, accessible and safe urban green space. It will also contain an office tower.”
According to Schutte, Pam Golding Properties partnered with Menlyn Maine to assist with the purchase and assembly of 108 stands in Waterkloof Glen Ext 2 between 2006 and 2007, after which construction could commence. “Since then, the development of Menlyn Maine has been most impressive. In addition to the launch of Central Square, we are also seeing an increasing number of leading corporates, financial institutions, law firms and a range of other professional service providers, as well as retailers and hoteliers moving into the precinct.”
According to Greeff, South Africa’s first green mini-city has been designed with the greatest attention being paid to appropriate urban planning and green design. One result of this is that the precinct will use much less energy and less water than a comparable development of this size.
“We were effectively able to develop this mixed-use city from the ground up into what we believe is an ideal urban environment. The idea behind Menlyn Maine is to create an easily accessible, exclusive and self-contained urban centre where corporate staff members and residents can work and live within a healthy, attractive and highly productive environment where everything is close to hand and within easy walking distance. Residents and visitors will also have access to a range of highly select retailers and entertainment facilities,” adds Greeff.
“The precinct is designed according to the standards set down in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighbourhood Development rating system. The streets, residential developments, office buildings, retail outlets, dining establishments, commercial facilities as well as all other public spaces are being designed to promote responsible, healthy lifestyles in a sustainable city precinct. This is establishing Menlyn Maine as an address of choice for living, working, shopping and entertainment,” observes Schutte.
On completion, the development will offer prospective tenants a variety of facilities with a total lettable area of approximately 315 000sqm. An exclusive residential component will be added as part of the second phase. All of the buildings in the precinct are required to achieve a minimum of a Four-Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
Sun International’s application to move their gaming licence from Morula Sun to Menlyn Maine was approved at the end of 2014. The development of the Time Square Urban Entertainment Complex has already commenced and will include a 5-star hotel, 8 000 seat entertainment arena, a 10 000msqm casino and conference facilities.
The first building to be completed in Menlyn Maine was the regional head office for Nedbank. This is a 16 500sqm building with a 5-Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. Subsequent buildings that have been constructed including the new corporate head-office for Sage VIP as well as the headquarters for Regus. The development of a 4 200sqm building, with the BMW SAP Competence Hub as primary tenant, was completed in November 2015.
“Menlyn Maine is uniquely situated to take advantage of the continued development of Tshwane and is likely to assist in energising the entire eastern region. From a residential property perspective, we believe it will spur growth within the residential property market and will serve as magnet within this eastern region of Pretoria where residential property prices continue to hold their own”.
“As South Africa’s capital, Pretoria has for long needed additional business and development centres that are viable and sustainable. Menlyn Maine goes a long way to meeting these requirements and it is heartening to see this novel mixed-use precinct finally come to fruition,” concludes Schutte.