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