Sa­sol’s swanky new home

CityPress - - Business - – Justin Brown

HEAVY METAL The ri­valry in the Sand­ton cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict to see who can build the big­gest and most swanky cor­po­rate build­ing es­ca­lated this week when Sa­sol un­veiled its new R2 bil­lion head of­fice to the me­dia. Sa­sol’s new build­ing has 11 floors above ground and seven park­ing lev­els be­low ground that ex­tend down 17m. The 47m-high of­fice build­ing has 67 000 square me­tres of rentable floor space and 100 000 square me­tres of base­ment park­ing that al­lows for 3 000 cars. Fay Hoo­sain, the Sa­sol ex­ec­u­tive re­spon­si­ble for the pro­ject, said that only about 1 100 of the bays were be­ing used at present, as many peo­ple didn’t bring their cars to work and used other means of trans­porta­tion. About 2 500 Sa­sol staff mem­bers, as well as 300 con­trac­tors and about 500 vis­i­tors were ex­pected to use the build­ing on an av­er­age work­ing day. Hoo­sain said that Aveng Gri­naker-LTA con­structed the build­ing from April 2013 and com­pleted it in Oc­to­ber this year. Dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase, about 2 500 peo­ple were em­ployed, she said. In May 2012, Sa­sol de­cided to con­sol­i­date its 17 Jo­han­nes­burg-based cor­po­rate of­fices into one build­ing. With so many ad­di­tional ve­hi­cles con­verg­ing on Sand­ton, wouldn’t that in­crease the area’s al­ready no­to­ri­ous traf­fic con­ges­tion? Adam Sar­gent, CEO of Be­ta­point, said that Sa­sol’s staff had raised this is­sue in con­sul­ta­tions re­gard­ing the pro­ject, but over­all, the view was that the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion in Sand­ton was a ‘fairly neu­tral change’ com­pared with Sa­sol’s old head­quar­ters in Rose­bank and the lo­ca­tion of the other 16 build­ings where Sa­sol’s staff was pre­vi­ously housed. The build­ing has a restau­rant, fit­ness centre and an art gallery, and boasts a five-star Green Star rat­ing.

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