Notorious jail gets complete makeover.

Posted On Monday, 14 April 2003 02:00 Published by
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THE conversion of a notorious jail into a new home for the South African Archives and the development of the surrounding office parks have done much to change the image of Roeland Street.

THE conversion of a notorious jail into a new home for the South African Archives and the development of the surrounding office parks have done much to change the image of Roeland Street. However, says Darren Wilder, chief operational officer at Spearhead Property Holdings, Roeland Street is still an area where most of the tenants are innovative, younger companies that have not yet cracked the big time.

Recognising this, Spearhead Property Holdings have decided to reconfigure and redesign the interior floors of their Roeland Street property, Cravature House. In doing so they will draw on the experience they gained at Newmarket Junction in Woodstock.

Here former light manufacturing and warehouse buildings were, with the help of bagged walls, exposed trusses, and large-scale use of steel, aluminium and glass, given a chic avant garde look that has appealed to a wide cross-section of the market - and especially to the creative sector.

"We know that if one gets this right, CMT (cut, make and trim) operators, clothing designers, small advertising agencies and photographic studios, as well as many others in the creative field, will flock in," Wilder said.

The big advantage of this type of conversion, he added, is that it can be done at a fraction of the cost of rebuilding - with the result that, at Cravature House, rentals are likely to be in the region of R20m2 exclusive of parking and VAT.

"It will be possible," said Wilder, "to give certain tenants parking at around R500 per bay per month - but we expect the majority to settle, at this stage, for street and council parking, which is plentiful in this area."

Work on the conversion will start before the middle of April. Wilder says it is essential to get a floor or two complete quickly so that prospective tenants can see for themselves what is offered, but letting off plan is already taking place. The foyer area and the two lifts (one a goods lift) will also be upgraded.

For further information contact Darren Wilder at 021 425 1000.

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