Mel­rose Arch grows up

Mel­rose Arch in Jo­han­nes­burg, a mixed-use precinct, is grow­ing on the back of strong cor­po­rate and res­i­den­tial de­mand.

Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK - By Glenda Wil­liams ed­i­to­rial@fin­week.co.za

the pop­u­lar ur­ban mixed-use precinct of Mel­rose Arch in Jo­han­nes­burg is ex­pand­ing. Re­spond­ing to the de­mand for res­i­den­tial prop­erty here, last year Mel­rose Arch prop­erty de­vel­oper Amdec Group an­nounced its R2bn de­vel­op­ment of up­mar­ket res­i­den­tial com­plex, One on White­ley.

Now with no va­cant of­fice space avail­able and given the healthy de­mand for cor­po­rate space within the iconic hub, Amdec is also ex­pand­ing its of­fice space of­fer­ing. The com­pany is do­ing this by go­ing up, build­ing atop five al­ready-ex­ist­ing build­ings sit­u­ated around the well-known Mel­rose Arch Pi­azza.

“The orig­i­nal de­sign of th­ese Mel­rose Arch Pi­azza of­fice build­ings al­ways in­cluded a top floor, now we are crown­ing them as al­ways in­tended,” says Ni­cholas Stop­forth, joint manag­ing di­rec­tor of Amdec Prop­erty De­vel­op­ments.

It’s an in­vest­ment of R130m to pro­vide an ad­di­tional 4 800m2 of new of­fice space. Con­structed from in­dus­trial steel and glass, the ex­ec­u­tive pent­house of­fice suites will of­fer great views of the precinct and sur­round­ings and chic, flex­i­ble space from 100m2 to 1 500m2 .

Stop­forth says he ex­pects the new rooftop of­fices to be sub­stan­tially let prior to com­ple­tion.

“Mel­rose Arch’s cor­po­rate ap­peal is en­hanced by the many fa­cil­i­ties it houses for busi­nesses and their em­ploy­ees. With two in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned ho­tels, and a third be­ing added, as well as a host of qual­ity restau­rants, Mel­rose Arch is par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar with multi­na­tional busi­nesses,” he says.

Amdec is ex­pect­ing to achieve a pre­mium on cur­rent rentals, which Stop­forth says is around the R180m2 net mark. “The smaller the space, the higher the pre­mium,” he says. The first of the five rooftop of­fice suites are ex­pected to be com­pleted by as early as Septem­ber and the re­main­der by Novem­ber 2016.

Res­i­den­tial

The year may have started off qui­etly for res­i­den­tial sales but uncer­tainty has turned to con­fi­dence in the last two months. “Sales in March and April have been fan­tas­tic,” says Stop­forth, con­firm­ing 40 apart­ments sold dur­ing this time. Of the 120 apart­ments on the first four of One on White­ley’s six floors re­leased since launch, 60% have sold.

When com­plete the com­plex will boast 178 exclusive apart­ments, 23 of which will be pent­houses. Priced from R1.85m, the apart­ments will be ready for oc­cu­pa­tion by early 2018. Con­struc­tion of One on White­ley com­mences this month with bulk earth­works. The num­ber of for­eign res­i­den­tial buy­ers in the precinct might not be that large, but the num­ber of for­eign renters is huge, says Stop­forth. “Multi­na­tion­als not only like Mel­rose Arch for its of­fer­ings, but for the safety as­pect as well.”

The pin­na­cle of new ur­ban­ism in SA, Mel­rose Arch will also be home to the first Mar­riott branded prop­er­ties in South Africa – the Mar­riott Ho­tel Mel­rose Arch and Mar­riott Ex­ec­u­tive Apart­ments Mel­rose Arch. Stop­forth ex­plains that there has been mas­sive de­mand for long-stay ex­ec­u­tive apart­ments, which the 200-odd ex­ec­u­tive apart­ments will cater to.

But de­vel­op­ment does not stop there. Stop­forth says Amdec is ap­ply­ing to coun­cil for con­struc­tion of a unique tower block to be lo­cated in the north­east cor­ner of the precinct. Com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments will form part of the land­mark tower.

Of the 120 apart­ments on the first four of One on White­ley’s six floors 60%re­leased since launch, have sold.

Con­struc­tion of the new pent­house of­fices atop the build­ings in the Mel­rose Arch Pi­azza.

Ni­cholas Stop­forth Joint MD of Amdec Prop­erty De­vel­op­ments

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