Century City complex is like another CBD

Posted On Wednesday, 23 May 2001 03:01 Published by
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CENTURY City, situated near the N1 highway midway between the Cape Town and Bellville commercial centres, is close to reaching critical mass as an urban centre in its own right.

CENTURY City, situated near the N1 highway midway between the Cape Town and Bellville commercial centres, is close to reaching critical mass as an urban centre in its own right.
The 250ha development has attracted investment totalling more than R2,4bn over the past four years, with more than 308000m² of net lettable office and retail area developed since 1996.
Included in the development is the 450-shop Canal Walk, the biggest shopping and entertainment complex in Africa, at least 12 of a planned 100 office blocks, the Ratanga Junction theme park, a wetlands conservation area called Intaka Island, a nightclub and restaurant complex, a 145-room Holiday Inn group hotel, a residential suburb, and conference facilities, all linked by a network of canals that will eventually be extended to Cape Town's Foreshore.
Canal Walk, which opened in October last year after an investment of R1,4bn, had an immediate effect on shopping patterns, with over 9-million customers passing through its doors during the first five months, and turnover topping R460m.
The Century City complex is already snapping at the heels of the CBD in terms of office accommodation, with almost 130000m² of office bulk sold over the past four years. Ten buildings with a total of 70325m² of office space have been completed to date, in addition to 9400m² of offices in two eight-storey towers above the Canal Walk shopping centre.
Justin De Wet Steyn, of Monex, the developers of Century City, says demand for office space picked up sharply after the opening of Canal Walk. Companies that have already relocated, or will shortly be relocating, to Century City include Vodacom, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PQ Africa, Hewlett Packard, Discovery Health, MINT, Nashua, Telkom, Unisys SA, SAP Southern Africa, SIP, Decillion Capital, Glenrand MIB, Computer Associates, Computer Sciences Corporation, Radmark, Mercury Structured Financial Products, Afri Health and Leading Travel Group.
Century Square, an R80m sectional title office block to be developed by Harries Projects on the canal overlooking Intaka Island, targets small-to-mediumsized corporate and professional owneroccupiers.
The development will comprise 10500m² of office space, with units ranging in size from 50m² to 1000m² or larger.
A 10000m² themed value centre is being planned by Newport Property Group on a site adjoining Ratanga Junction. The R52m V-Mart value centre will be built on a U-shaped site hugging the northern and eastern boundaries of Ratanga Junction, with the first phase comprising about 25 units ranging in size from 100m² to 2500m².
Stuart Chait, of Newport, says the value centre will target national discounters, with negotiations with four anchor tenants well advanced. A component of the value centre will be motor-industry related, including showrooms.
Mickey Radowsky, GM of Canal Walk, says the synergy between value centres and regional shopping centres has been well established in the US.
"It is common to find the two different centres situated in close proximity to each other, and this has proved very good for business. The one feeds the other. The tenant profiles tend to be complementary, as not every tenant is suited to a regional shopping centre," he says.
The management of Ratanga Junction, which did not initially attract the kind of crowds that had been predicted, is confident that the flow of shoppers to Canal Walk will boost Ratanga's takings.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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