With R700b on the investments dashboard, a 1.5 percent decline in vacancy rates in the office sector from 2016 to 2017, and an increase in average annual rentals, it seems that it is Durban’s time to shine for commercial, industrial and residential investors.
Home to the busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, Durban is hailed as one of the fastest-growing cities for growth in millionaires. . The “Invest Durban Strategy” is also evidence of an increased strategic focus on creating national and international investment opportunities in the area – through partnerships between eThekwini and the private sector.
Areas north of Durban are proving most popular due to the development of King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort, but the city centre is holding its own.
We look at four areas booming for commercial property investment:
40 km north of Durban, this coastal town is close to the airport and known for its status as holiday and retirement destination. It has become a choice residential destination and commercial developments are flourishing, with the 80 000sqm Ballito Junction mega-mall and two other malls paving the way for an influx of residents, travellers, retailers and businesses serving the area and the airport.
Several A-grade office spaces have also been developed, catering for the demand of businesses moving their local operations to the area.
Historically the holiday playground of the rich and a home for those who don’t mind the commute to Durban, Umhlanga has developed into a formidable business centre. Big corporates are taking notice. KPMG, for example, is set to move its headquarters to the Pran Boulevard mixed-use development in 2018.
Another drawcard is the Cornubia development. It is described as “KwaZulu-Natal’s largest mixed-use, mixed-income, fully-integrated human settlement.” Consisting of a town centre, the 85 000sqm Cornubia mall, a mixed-use business development, commercial, industrial and a residential estate, it is drawing large-scale investment interest in the region.
The area is expected to continue its growth trajectory, with new developments in the pipeline. Completion of the Park Square development, 50 percent of which will be occupied by Nedbank, for instance, is anticipated at the end of 2018.
The CBD is benefitting from the focus on increased infrastructure leading up to the Commonwealth games and reinventing itself, with ‘Maboneng Precinct’-style projects planned for redevelopment of prime office and residential space by private and larger developers.Work started recently on the estimated R35b Durban Waterfront development, which will position Durban as a global city.
This traditionally affluent suburb, west of Durban, caters for the demand from businesses who require office space close to their warehouses in Pinetown, Westmead and Hammarsdale areas. It offers prospective tenants upmarket, secure offices that are easily accessed via the N2 and N3.
Global flexible office solutions provider, Regus, is opening its second business centre in Westville, Pharos House, offering co-working spaces, offices and meeting rooms, to small to medium local and foreign enterprises, business travellers and remote workers. This due to the overwhelming demand for workspace at their first business centre in Westway Office Park.
Office space in Westville is limited, but traditional office spaces are being revitalised and builds added to cope with demand. The popular 12 000sqm Westway Office Park commercial development being one.
The overall investment mood in Kwazulu Natal is positive, with definite opportunities for discerning investors.