Wednesday, 16 February 2011 02:00

Refurbished 1 Thibault Square fetches high rental renewals

Published by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Almost forty years after its completion, the landmark Revel Fox-designed office block at No 1 Thibault Square is undergoing a R25-million refurbishment

The 35-storey Modernist building, originally known as the BP Centre, is situated on Cape Town’s European-style Thibault Square at the end of St George’s Mall. Underscoring its appeal, No 1 Thibault Square has realised excellent returns during a period in which the global financial crisis impacted negatively on all sectors of the South African property market. Of the total lettable area of 36 000 square metres, the vacancy rate is running at a remarkably low 5%.

“We paid what we considered quite a lot when we bought the building in 2006,” says Adam Blow, executive director of Zenprop, “but we had huge faith in the future of the Cape Town CBD and had a feeling that rentals were going to escalate – which is exactly what’s happened.”

Says Zenprop property manager, Janine Coleske: “In the past year, four of our blue-chip clients, occupying about 1 000 square metres each, have increased their space requirements by between 30 and 100 percent, taking up an entire additional floor in two instances, and entering into new five-year leases. And we’ve managed to achieve an average rental of between R115 and R120 per square metre.”

The refurbishment has included work on the six high-rise lifts, which have been modernised at a cost of about R12 million. The Miconic 10/Schindler destination-control system has reduced both crowding in the lobby and travel time in the lifts. The Schindler AC gearless machines offer power savings, and safety mechanisms are cutting edge.

The façade of the building, which consists of precast column and beam liners with an exposed dark Paarl granite (chosen to echo the colour of Table Mountain), is also being given a facelift. Major repairs are being carried out on various concrete panels at a cost of about R6 million.

The parking levels have all undergone a complete upgrade, and refurbishment work is ongoing on the rest rooms throughout the building.

Thibault Square is a favourite chill-out spot for office workers and visitors to the city, who flock to its cafes and coffee shops throughout the day. And while John Skotness’s Mythological Landscape steel-and-bronze sculpture provides a focal point in the piazza, it’s No 1 Thibault Square that always draws the eye. The office block is still the tallest building in the Cape Town city centre, and even when it was designed over four decades years ago, environmental factors were taken into consideration.

The 34-degree diagonal twist, which puts it on a north-south axis, reduces sun loads on the facades, putting less pressure on the airconditioning system. To further shield the facades, a precast screen is mounted on every floor, allowing good air flow and cutting off direct sun rays. This unique orientation also means that all the offices have views of either the mountain or the harbour, and that none stare straight into the facades of the surrounding buildings.

The skyscraper quickly became a landmark, and in 2008 was acknowledged in a national survey by the South African Institute of Architecture to be one of the country’s “good buildings”.


Publisher: eProp
Source: Zenprop
Login to post comments

LISTED PROPERTY (SA REIT)

Andrew Konig

Redefine concludes Leaf Capital deal, affirms commitment to Green Buildings

April 23, 2015 Listed Property eProp Commercial Property News
Redefine acquires Leaf Capital office portfolio trophy assets to transform valuable Western Cape portfolio

SECTOR - OFFICE/RETAIL/INDUSTRIAL/HOTELS

RangeIndustrialTigerBrands

Growthpoint secures Tiger Brands for Range Industrial Park in Cape Town

April 23, 2015 Industrial Property eProp Commercial Property News
Growthpoint secures Tiger Brands for Range Industrial Park in Cape Town.

ECONOMY & PROPERTY ECONOMICS

Mark Stevens

Beware the risks of unregulated property schemes

April 23, 2015 Sector Environment eProp Commercial Property News
Knowing how well an investment is regulated is a critical consideration when putting your hard-earned money into any investment, and property is no exception advises the SA REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Association.

AFRICAN & INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY NEWS

DavidSimon

Mall giant Simon Property drops hostile bid to buy Macerich

April 16, 2015 International News eProp Commercial Property News
US mall giant Simon Property drops a hostile campaign for rival Macerich after Macerich rejected the latest takeover offer.

CONSTRUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE

Brian Molefe

Eskom needs additional 3 000MW to avoid load shedding

April 22, 2015 Infrastructure eProp Commercial Property News
Eskom’s newly appointed acting CEO Brian Molefe says the utility needs to find an additional 3 000 Megawatts of power in order to maintain power plants without implementing load shedding.

PROVINCES & CITIES

The Point, Sea Point

Redesign and rebuild of the The Point Checkers Galleria reignites Sea Point

April 01, 2015 Cape Town eProp Commercial Property News
The Urban heart of the Atlantic seaside is on a major comeback, and a sustainable one at that.
MOD_RAXO_ALLMODE_ERROR_SOURCE

PROPERTY AUCTIONS

Ivor Ichikowitz

Billionaire loses legal battle against High Street Auctions over phantom bidders

April 16, 2015 Commercial Property Auctions eProp Commercial Property News
Ichikowitz bought Thaba Phuti, a lodge and game farm near Rustenburg, for R20-million in 2011.

GREEN BUILDING & ENVIRONMENT

AmdecMelroseArch

Amdec aims to triple its green buildings in the next 24 months

April 15, 2015 Green Building & Environment eProp Commercial Property News
Leading private property company Amdec has set its sights on tripling the number of green buildings in its property portfolio over the next two years.