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Former Rupert factory 'a rare opportunity'

Posted On Friday, 21 May 2010 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The hammer will fall on a large site belonging to British American Tobacco in the Boland town of Paarl next month.


Jonathan SmiedtAccording to Jonathan Smiedt, CEO of the ClareMart Auction Group, his group recently received instruction from British American Tobacco to submit the property to public auction. The property, which is bigger than 5ha, borders on the Berg River and will be sold on June 8.

Describing the site as a “rare find”, Smiedt explains that the property falls within the central business district of Paarl. “It is not often that a massive footprint within an urban node comes on the market. This is a rare opportunity to develop more than 5ha of land within the already developed urban zone.”

A spokesman for British American Tobacco confirmed that the cigarette giant decided to consolidate all its manufacturing and operational activities at its Heidelberg plant in Gauteng. All activities ceased at the Paarl plant at the end of 2007, resulting in the properties being put up for auction.

The property comprises industrial- zoned land with improvements and is bordered by three roads. It is located on the eastern side of the Paarl central business district, an area seeing many new retail and residential developments.

Its prominent position on the corner of Lady Grey and Berg River Streets makes it a landmark site with excellent exposure to passing traffic.

The property is ideally located in the vicinity of the Paarl Mall and several new upmarket residential developments.

“The site is ideal for redevelopment and the council has indicated that applications for mixed-use residential and commercial redevelopments will be seriously considered,” says Smiedt. There is scope for developers to create a new lifestyle development which takes advantage of the Berg River frontage.

The Rembrandt Tobacco Corporation, established in 1948 by the late Anton Rupert, obtained the land along the Berg River and a modern cigarette and tobacco manufacturing plant was established over the decades. It was ahead of its time and the first manufacturing machines of long filter cigarettes were installed at the factory in 1952, making it the most state-of the-art plant in the world at the time.

The plant has been relocated to Heidelberg in Gauteng.

The current property offers an industrial zoning with 75% coverage and a height restriction of six storeys. The building line runs at 4,5m along the Berg River and Dorp Street on the present erf.

The main factory building comprises administrative offices, the core of the processing plant and certain auxiliary services. The 2773m² administrative offices are primarily partitioned, mostly consisting of drywalls. This ensures flexibility and the ability to adapt the area to comply with current industry standards.

“Any new owner will be able to knock down drywalling and create office space that works for them,” says Smiedt.

“We have already had interest from two consortiums which we received after being mandated,” says Smiedt.

Those interested in viewing the properties may do so by appointment.

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 09:00

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