The im­por­tance of main­tain­ing and re­fur­bish­ing build­ings to at­tract and re­tain ten­ants can­not be over­stated.

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

A STEADY stream of build­ing re­furb i s h ments c o n t i n u e s t o a d d com­mer­cial value to Cape Town’s Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict (CBD), en­sur­ing that it re­mains a qual­ity en­vi­ron­ment in which to do busi­ness.

From sub­tle in­te­rior re­vamps to ma­jor over­hauls of ex­ist­ing build­ings, de­vel­op­ers are keep­ing up-to­date with the evolv­ing needs of a world-class busi­ness des­ti­na­tion.

“Un­like Dubai, not ev­ery world­class city can bring its aes­thetic and func­tion­al­ity into the 21st cen­tury through ground de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, de­vel­op­ers and prop­erty own­ers in the CBD, like many of their coun­ter­parts around the world, recog­nise the com­mer­cial im­por­tance of re­fur­bish­ing build­ings,” says Rob Kane, chair­man of the Cen­tral City Im­prove­ment Dis­trict (CCID).

The CCID was es­tab­lished in 2000, and is funded by prop­erty own­ers to pro­vide com­ple­men­tary ur­ban man­age­ment ser­vices to a spe­cific ge­o­graphic area. CCID ser­vices in­clude sup­port­ing and aug­ment­ing the City of Cape Town’s safety and clean­ing ef­forts in the cen­tral city, en­sur­ing that the en­vi­ron­ment is well man­aged, that so­cial de­vel­op­ment is­sues are ad­dressed and that the cen­tral city is pro­moted as a lead­ing busi­ness des­ti­na­tion. The Cape Town Part­ner­ship is the man­ag­ing agent of the CCID and has a strate­gic man­age­ment re­la­tion­ship with CCID.

“It is no se­cret that de­faced prop- er­ties lose value and can taint an en­tire street or whole sec­tions of a city. The im­por­tance of main­tain­ing and re­fur­bish­ing build­ings to at­tract and re­tain ten­ants can­not be over­stated.

Ten­ants want value for money, and prop­erly re­fur­bished ex­ist­ing build­ings can of­fer ex­cel­lent space to ten­ants at rentals that are com­pet­i­tive com­pared with new build­ings,” says Kane.

Ho­tel and en­ter­tain­ment group Tsogo Sun is in­vest­ing in three properties in the CBD, in­clud­ing a R40 mil­lion re­fur­bish­ment to the Cul­li­nan Ho­tel, and a R100m re­fur­bish­ment to the South­ern Sun Wa­ter­front Ho­tel.

In the next few years the group will also be un­der­tak­ing a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment of the land­mark 32-storey South­ern Sun Cape Sun ho­tel.

“We be­lieve that up­grad­ing and re­fresh­ing our properties will lead to in­creased oc­cu­pan­cies and re­turn on in­vest­ment for our clients as well as for Tsogo Sun. The thriv­ing cen­tral city is at­tract­ing much new busi­ness and tourist ac­tiv­ity and Tsogo Sun is an in­te­gral part of this cos­mopoli­tan busi­ness hub,” says John van Rooyen, op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor at Tsogo Sun, Cape Town.

Fur­ther down on Strand Street, one of the cen­tral veins of the CBD, The Pin­na­cle build­ing was re­cently re­fur­bished.

The re­fur­bish­ment fo­cused on en­hanc­ing the main re­cep­tion area as well as shared fa­cil­i­ties such as lift lob­bies and lift cars for the mu­tual ben­e­fit of ten­ants and their vis­i­tors.

“With cur­rent CBD de­vel­op­ments, chang­ing trends in the area, and in the best in­ter­ests of at­tract- ing and re­tain­ing ten­ants in the CBD, re­fur­bish­ment is es­sen­tial to en­sure build­ings are com­pet­i­tive,” says Kane.

Since its re­fur­bish­ment, The Pin­na­cle has al­ready re­newed a num­ber of leases in­clud­ing Apache Spur, which has also been mod­ernised and up­graded. The Pin­na­cle has at­tracted Credit Mat­ters head of­fice and the own­ers are con­fi­dent that more busi­nesses will fol­low suit as the de­mand for busi­ness lo­ca­tions in the CBD rises.

World-class cities also take the chang­ing needs of the planet and the en­vi­ron­ment into ac­count when re­fur­bish­ing build­ings. In line with cities such as New York, Lon­don and Syd­ney, green re­fur­bish­ments are also be­com­ing com­mon­place in the cen­tral city of Cape Town.

The 44 Wale Street build­ing is such an ex­am­ple, with a re­fur­bished and in­no­va­tive rooftop gar­den. Lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tant Stephen Lamb cre­ated the green meet­ing place, which in­cludes veg­eta­bles, herbs and other veg­e­ta­tion as well as a so­lar-pow­ered wa­ter fea­ture and ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem.

A few city blocks away Wool­worths re­cently in­stalled a so­lar roof sys­tem in its head of­fice in the heart of the CBD, which will save an es­ti­mated 48 000kW of en­ergy a year.

Kane says more de­vel­op­ers should in­ves­ti­gate the green re­fur­bish­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties al­ready present in ex­ist­ing build­ings be­fore build­ing from scratch.

MAKE-OVER: The re­cently re­done foyer at The Pin­na­cle in the Cape Town CBD which is one of sev­eral build­ings to get a new look.

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