Rosebank has recently started undergoing significant redevelopment with new investment value having a total of R7 billion. This includes the expansion and refurbishments of the Rosebank Mall and The Zone as well as the Gautrain Station, The Mews, Park Central, the Standard Bank office, Baker Square and the old fire station, which will be renovated and expanded into a mixed-use precinct.
While some sceptics argued that there is an oversupply of commercial office space in the area, one property developer, Abland, was confident and proceeded with a new 15 storey landmark building, Rosebank Towers. Abland’s assertiveness paid off as the building is now fully let, a mere three months after the roof wetting.
This success enabled Abland to finalise planning on its next massive mixed use project across the road from Rosebank Towers. Galleria is lifting the bar with a whopping R3 billion investment. The property, once fully developed, will comprise a mix of ground level retail, prime grade office space, a hotel and a significant residential component.
Abland, being a precinct developer, prefers to focus its efforts on a particular node, like Rosebank, where more than one project benefits from the upgrading of the area. Abland is one of a handful of developers taking the lead with the latest, cutting edge, green rated precincts. This new approach allows developers to register not only their buildings but the entire precinct surrounding a mixed-use project with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) as a Sustainable Precinct.
The Gautrain and Rea Vaya bus network acted as catalysts by improving access and reducing cars on the roads. This motivated pedestrians to return to the area, transforming the node to a sought-after hangout with a great urban vibe. Retail such as street cafés and bespoke shops, outdoor entertainment, leisure spots, arts and culture all added to the mix. The revitalization of the node coupled with best-in-its-class, P-grade, Green Star SA rated developments, delivered the desired results.
At present Rosebank Towers is still by far the highest building in Rosebank with a 360 degree view over the Sandton CBD and skyline. Hannes Kleynhans, Abland’s Project Manager, describes how the building’s striking entrance provides visual prominence by placing the glass façade on a plinth of natural stone. This is softened by the canopy of trees that Abland planted in keeping with the leafy character of Rosebank, providing the streetscape with a tranquil atmosphere.
Kleynhans clarifies the sustainability of the project: “We’ve been awarded a 4-Star Green Star SA design rating that affords our tenants a saving on utilities of approximately R10,00/m². The principles of passive heating and cooling were used as far as possible and we provide backup water and power, even ensuring air-conditioning during power cuts.”