Trend towards development of new precinct in the heart of Sandton

Posted On Tuesday, 21 May 2013 12:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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Most large corporates are either moving into or considering new office space based on an urgent need for greater efficiencies in building operations and management

Greg Sacks Alchemy PropertiesGreg Sacks, CEO of Alchemy Properties, co-owner and developer of Sasol's new head office in Katherine Street, Sandton, believes that new trends in business requirements of property will lead to a new office precinct in the heart of Sandton.

Most large corporates are either moving into or considering new office space based on an urgent need for greater efficiencies in building operations and management. Such efficiencies include lower energy costs, influenced by such things as a building's orientation to the sun, energy efficient lighting, and the latest technologies used in lifts and air-conditioning systems.

They also include the consolidation of multiple business divisions into a single space, usually with larger floor plates in order to accommodate more people on a single floor. This not only eliminates time lost through staff moving from one building to another but also from one floor to another. And, it reduces the number of reception areas and the variety of security details and maintenance packages an organisation is obliged to have.

In essence, organisations are looking to use new buildings to cut costs and improve productivity while reducing carbon footprints and improving sustainability as required by triple bottom line reporting. In this context, even comparatively young (ten-year old) buildings can become financial and environmental burdens to their owners or tenants.

According to Sacks, one of the ideal places left in the greater Johannesburg area in which to achieve all this is in the heart of Sandton, in an area aligned with Katherine Street.

Alchemy, has acquired substantial pockets of property along with other significant property owners and developers such as Growthpoint who have understood the affordability of developing in an area with smaller or lower grade existing buildings, access to the Gautrain is a five minute walk away, and Sandton's traffic flow still has capacity for the working day influx of several thousand extra people.

The new Sasol head office, being developed by Alchemy for opening in 2016 in partnership with Sasol Pension Fund, will initiate the opening up of the area.

But Sacks believes that the area can be enhanced to attract not just additional office developments but complementary lifestyle enhancing offerings such as high street retailers and other pedestrian friendly amenities,– if an upmarket precinct along the lines of Melrose Arch is created.

The very considerable advantage a Katherine Steet location would give such a precinct would be its proximity to the centre of Sandton, with its extensive commercial and lifestyle amenities.

Alchemy Properties is a developer and property investor for corporate South Africa, having developed offices for BDO, Cell C, SAA, Momentum, and Hansgrohë.

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 12:46

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