Northern areas surge ahead

Posted On Tuesday, 04 September 2001 03:01 Published by
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THE area north of Durban is emerging as one of SA's strongest property investment nodes, with high sales volumes in the commercial and industrial sectors.

THE area north of Durban is emerging as one of SA's strongest property investment nodes, with high sales volumes in the commercial and industrial sectors.
The key behind these developments is Moreland, the property division of the London and Johannesburg-listed Tongaat-Hulett group.
Moreland has entered into a public-private partnership with the Durban unicity council to jointly develop and sell 150ha of business estate land in the Effingham area in north-west Durban.
It has also entered into an agreement with the city to direct the waterfront development and a marine theme park on city land near the harbour entrance.
Cumulative sales for the division since 1992 amount to R910m.
The La Lucia-Umhlanga-Mount Edgecombe region has seen a proliferation of new corporate offices in the past few years, the latest being the relocation of Unilever to a R100m state-of-the-art national headquarters.
Nearly 100 industrial and commercial buildings have been completed, providing operational and direct permanent employment for more than 30000 people, and another 25000 temporary jobs during construction.
This represents 8,7% of all the jobs in the Durban metropolitan region, as recorded in the 1996 census.
Moreland has negotiated the sale of almost 4000 residential sites.
Investment growth has been dramatic. Building plans passed in 1993 numbered 417, valued at R163,6m, while last year about 518 plans were passed worth R1,7bn.
More than 77% of the firms in the north are younger than 10 years, and only 9% have relocated from other areas, including the Durban central business district.
The majority of these firms employ fewer than 10 people and most are commercial or service industrial in nature.
Gateway shopping and entertainment centre is the key catalyst for the development.
The largest single-phase shopping centre ever built in the southern hemisphere, the complex is scheduled to open in October.
The massive R1,3bn centre is dominated by a multimillion-rand interactive water feature, with fountains, water jets and hourly light and sound shows.
There is over 300000m² of building area, of which the leasable shopping component is 79000m².
The entertainment and leisure components comprise another 40000m².
Ken Forbes, Moreland industrial and commercial development director, says Gateway ties in with the Moreland vision to create another central business district in the Umhlanga Ridge new town centre. This 10-year project will bring hotel, office, civic and residential facilities to the market, within a contemporary lifestyle.
Phase one comprises 220000m² of bulk on 19ha of land, excluding Gateway, and will include offices and retail, with the possibility of residential townhouses.
The company will spend millions of rands on landscaping, irrigating and the planting of thousands of trees and shrubs on the new town centre site. Forbes says the concept is to integrate open space in an urban area through wide, landscaped boulevards.


Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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