Offices - Safmarine CBD

Posted On Wednesday, 07 February 2001 02:00 Published by
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MUTUAL & Federal Insurance has signed a 10-year lease for 5557m² over five floors in Safmarine House in Cape Town,

MUTUAL and Federal Insurance Co Ltd has signed a 10-year lease for 5 557m2 over five floors in Safmarine House, Cape Town, boosting occupancy of the CBD landmark building to 98%.


The lease, effective from February 1, follows the acquisition by M&F of CGU Insurance Co Ltd, which led to increased space requirements. One of the city's largest leasing deals in recent years, it involved relocation of eight existing tenants within the office tower.


Viv Delbridge, of Old Mutual Properties' Corporate Real Estate Services (CRES), who handled the deal, says the lease is a further signal of the Cape Town CBD's vibrancy. She says that Mutual and Federal wanted a presence on contiguous floors in the A-grade flagship in the CBD only if the right deal was struck.


"There was some space available in the building after an office downsizing by the building's former major tenant, SA Marine Corporation Ltd, in the wake of its takeover by Danish shipping line O P Moller. That came after we negotiated consolidation of operations and the renegotiation of some leases, which facilitated the conclusion of the multimillion-dollar sale to O P Möller. "


Marten van Leeuwen, branch manager of Cape Town M&F, said Safmarine House was an appropriate location because it was near a public transport system, it gave the company a presence in a building that matches its own blue-chip image in the CBD which is now clearly benefiting from initiatives of the City Improvement District, and it is convenient for clients.


Nigel Ressell, who handles national property requirements for M&F, added that even though there were other reasonable property alternatives on the market, M&F was happy that Old Mutual Properties was able to go to such lengths to create a property solution and the kind of space they required.


"Brenda Bibby, property manager of Safmarine House for Old Mutual Properties, began to negotiate with eight existing tenants in April last year," says Delbridge. "We established their needs before offering them relocation options to other floors. This enabled us to open up the space on the contiguous floors M&F required."


"This deal," says Delbridge, "underscores the need for flexibility in solving property problems. We were able to release Safmarine from its contracts and relet the space." Delbridge is now assisting M&F with space requirements in Old Mutual Centre in Durban, another flagship building managed by Old Mutual Properties, and will be developing solutions for M&F in the Johannesburg and Pretoria CBD.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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