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Convenient mini office parks create new trend

Posted On Wednesday, 21 February 2001 02:00 Published by
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MARKET is emerging in mini office parks with premises ranging from between 600m² and 1000m² for smaller and mediumsized companies, says Rodney Luntz of property consultancy Abro Luntz.

MARKET is emerging in mini office parks with premises ranging from between 600m² and 1000m² for smaller and mediumsized companies, says Rodney Luntz of property consultancy Abro Luntz.

Luntz defines mini office parks as clusters of low buildings with high-quality landscaping, water features, car parks, security and amenities; which may include restaurants, shops and other services.

In line with overseas trends, Luntz says websites will become a feature of future office parks.

In Britain, at an office park called Bedfont Lakes, property owners have created a website which offers a page enabling workers to share car rides, among other things.

Bedfont Lakes has also struck a deal with a supermarket that offers internet shopping. Orders placed before a morning deadline are put in employees' cars, ready to be driven home at the end of the day.

It is also experimenting with technology that allows employees to book hairdressing appointments or order sandwiches for delivery. Another popular page on the site offers local traffic reports.

Luntz says office parks offer security as well as the naming rights that go with purchase on a freehold basis. The advantages they offer over conventional office space include potential for capital gains and rental income streams. And office park costs are comparable to conventional office space, he says.

"We estimate a rough mean for typical mini office park space costs at about R600 per bulk square metre, depending on location and finishes, with rentals in the region of R55 to R65/m²."

He estimates that quality conventional office space rentals will be about R80/m² by the end of the year.

The costs at office parks also compete favourably with converted residential properties, a market Luntz believes has largely run its course because many of the more viable opportunities have already been used. Inevitably, converting residential properties into office space also requires compromises, he says.

Judging by overseas experience, mini office parks will be developed on relatively low-cost land in decentralised areas, says Luntz. They will also tend to generate residential and service nodes in their vicinity.


Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day
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