Nearly half of all the office development taking place in South Africa right now is happening in Sandton. Sandton Central is the epicenter of this development, which includes many of the most cutting-edge, exciting and innovation new buildings on the continent.
The latest research in the South African Property Owners Association Office (SAPOA) Vacancy Survey for Q4:2016 shows that 48% of new offices being built are going up in Sandton. What makes this figure even more extraordinary is that no other area in the country comes close to it, with the closest contender below 9%.
Sandton Central is well established as Africa’s financial and business capital and continues to grow with developments that embody its vibrant, high-energy ‘live, work, play’ environment.
Supporting the billions of Rands being invested in these new developments is the fact that Sandton Central strives to offer a well-managed orderly space that provides all the necessary infrastructure to support the growing district. Transportation is a particular focus of the Sandton Central Management District (SCMD).
Boosting all modes of transport and easing traffic flows is part of an ongoing programme in Sandton Central, with the Sandton Gautrain Station at its heart. This includes the City of Joburg’s expanding Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which will see Rea Vaya’s fast, convenient and affordable bus service to Sandton Central begin in 2018. It adds new bridges, widens main roads, upgrades pavements and signage, improves street lights and signals, and introduces cycling and walking facilities.
In fact, Johannesburg has just received the global TomTom Traffic Index Award for its smart traffic management strategies, including the Gautrain and integrated bus system, from an international panel of traffic experts.
Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager of SCMD, which manages the public urban spaces of South Africa’s cosmopolitan financial hub, comments: “Sandton Central has always been an enterprising leading business district. It is exciting to see it growing and improving with such confidence. In line with the best cities in the world, it provides an exceptional environment for the many people who live, work and visit Sandton Central each day.”
Among the magnificent new office developments joining Sandton Central is Sasol’s new 67,000sqm 10-storey head office. Developed by Alchemy Properties and Sasol Pension Fund, the distinctive corporate headquarters were completed in December 2016. Sasol Place enjoys a prime position in Sandton Central at 50 Katherine Street.
The new Signature Lux Hotel will welcome guests from May this year At 135 West Street. The 218-room chic, urban 3-plus star hotel is developed by Richland Properties.
At 140 West Street, Zenprop is developing an iconic 27,000sqm office property in two linked towers – a 10-storey north tower and 14-storey south tower. Due for completion in October 2017, Hogan Lovells will have its new offices here.
Growthpoint Properties and Zenprop are developing, and jointly own, Discovery’s head office in Sandton. The iconic new 110,000sqm resource-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-innovative Discovery global headquarters is the largest single phase commercial office development in Africa. It is on the corner of Rivonia Road and Katherine Street, diagonally opposite Sandton City and one block’s walk away from the Sandton Gautrain Station. It comprises three linked office towers which consist of a ground floor, eight office floors and a roof level, which holds Discovery’s sports facilities. It will also offer nine basements with over 5,000 parking bays. Discovery is expected to take occupation from the end of 2017.
The Central at 96 Rivonia Road is a 100,000sqm site being developed by Investec and Cri-Eagle to accommodate office, retail, hotel and residential development. The Central is located on the corner of Rivonia Road and Johan Avenue, directly opposite Sandton City Shopping Centre and 100 metres from the Sandton Gautrain Station. The first development to take place on The Central site is a 20,000sqm state-of-the-art office building, comprising fourteen floors of unique office space. Eight of the fourteen floors have already been taken by leading law firm Werksmans. This building is expected to be complete before the end of the year.
The old Village Walk mixed-use development by Eris Property Group is a full redevelopment of this landmark site at 129 Rivonia Road. The development comprises of two high-rise towers – a 13-storey office tower and an 18-storey office tower, with a combined floor area of approximately 62,000sqm. Below the two office towers will sit two levels of retail space spanning approximately 15,000sqm with a seven-level parking basement of around 100,000sqm to service the precinct. The project is set for completion in early 2019.
Kgoro Central is the sizable 200,000sqm mixed-use art precinct being developed around a public square situated above the Sandton Gautrain Station. Developers Regiments Real Estate report that the development is being rolled out for final completion in 2024. Kicking off in June this year, its first phase of two levels of retail, three levels of parking and 304 residential apartments is scheduled completion by the end of 2018. By 2021, this will be joined by a hotel with serviced apartments, two more retail levels, offices and a high-end residential building, The Jewel. Kgoro Central, is one of the 14 pilot projects seeking GBCSA certification under the locally applicable version of the Green Star – Communities rating tool.
Abland is building on the success of the first two phases of its mixed-use Alice Lane development, with the third and last of three prominent buildings, nestled around a shared public piazza. It consists of 35,000sqm of space and will be 19 storeys high. Bowmans Law will be its anchor tenant.
The Legacy Group’s next exciting project also takes advantage of an ideal Sandton Central location. Leonardo at 75 Maude Street is set to rise 150 metres above Sandton’s skyline. It is a 40,000sqm mixed-use development, which includes 1,500sqm retail, 12,000sqm offices and 25,000sqm residential.
The 120,000sqm multi-storey mixed-use office precinct for the new Old Mutual Emerging Market Office is going up at the prominent corner of Rivonia Road and West Street across from the Sandton Gautrain Station. Developed by Old Mutual, Mutual Place is situated at 115 West Street.
“These are just a few of the hero developments going up in Sandton right now, and there are even more set to come. There are also several exciting residential developments underway, both within mixed-use properties and stand-alone developments, which create the opportunity for people to live close to where they work and add to the quality of life in Sandton Central,” says Jack.
The Capital on the Park is one of the latest residential developments in Sandton Central. Located at 101 Katherine Street, with direct access to Mushroom Park, The Capital on the Park will have 240 one and two bedroomed apartments, as well as penthouse suites, available for occupation from July this year.
Interestingly, at least 70% of these buildings are also Green Star SA certified by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) or are currently seeking certification. According to the GBCSA, Sandton is home to 15% of all Green Star SA certified projects to date, with another 24 seeking certification in the near future. If Sandton Central is anything to go by, green building will continue to gain even greater momentum in the country. The GBCSA says that it is clear from the increasing number of Green Star SA rated buildings in Sandton and beyond that South African businesses understand that green building makes good business sense and benefits occupants, while allowing the planet to thrive.