Surge in demand for commercial space close to Gautrain stations
As the Gautrain development gains momentum, so too does the demand for commercial space in the near vicinity of the Gautrain stations - a trend already clearly evident in close proximity to the Sandton and Rosebank stations, says Lia Pauley, leasing and sales broker for property services company JHI.

"We're seeing a surge in interest and enquiries from both local and international corporate tenants wishing to relocate to the CBD's of Sandton and Rosebank - with a prerequisite being close proximity to the Gautrain stations, followed by a preference for ‘green' buildings.

"Such enquiries reveal that these prospective tenants have thoroughly researched the market and the location. They know that by being in the hub of either Sandton or Rosebank, they are also within easy reach of hotels, shops and residences. In addition, the shift in tenants and corporate seeking ‘green buildings' reflects a growing awareness of the Green Council ratings and a desire to benefit, in the long term, from realistic rentals and reduced service charges.

"This growing trend towards a demand for space near the Gautrain stations will have a marked, positive impact on nearby office and industrial areas that meet these criteria as business, tourism and other commuters begin taking advantage of this convenient new transport facility," she says. A further spin-off is anticipated in that existing and possible new retail developments near the Gautrain stations are likely to enjoy increased trade as commuters have the convenience of being able to purchase goods en route to their destinations.

Further economic sense to utilise the new transport system are the proposed new tolls which seem set to be imposed on commuters. For commercial tenants this is coupled with a potential saving on high parking rental charges, which are in the region of R500-R685 per basement bay per month in
Sandton and R500-R785 in Rosebank CBD. Plus the convenience factor is considerable, given that bumper to bumper traffic on the highways is a regular occurrence.

Pauley says another interesting trend which has emerged is towards the redevelopment of existing buildings due to higher bulk being granted by the council to landlords who own buildings in close proximity to the Gautrain stations in Sandton and Rosebank. This will further boost the commercial property market in these nodes.

In Sandton currently the demand is mainly in the rental market, with gross rentals which include operating costs, rates and taxes, somewhere between R120 and R171 per square metre for A grade space and approximately R80-R100 for B grade premises. However, investors are also showing an appetite for the acquisition of land or buildings for redevelopment - again close to the Gautrain station.

Adds Pauley: "Sandton remains the financial hub of Johannesburg and still has room for development, particularly in the sectional title office unit sector as well as smaller office blocks where owner-occupiers can reflect their own identity. "

JHI currently has stock available comprising existing buildings in close proximity to the N1 highway and the Sandton Gautrain station. Such an ideal location is that which stretches from Rivonia Road and Katherine Street, bordering on the Wierda Valley area towards Sandton Drive and along Maude Street, Fredman Drive, West and 5th Streets towards Grayston Drive. All these streets surround the popular Sandton CBD which includes the Michelanglo Towers, Sandton Convention Centre, numerous hotels, Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City. There is prime A grade office space available in various buildings within this location, with rentals ranging from R130-R150 per square metre.

Other appealing locations are just off Grayston Drive, but still within easy reach of the Sandton Gautrain station, where A grade space is available from R110 per square metre, while in the quiet Wierda Valley area of Sandton, within walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain station and Sandton City and en route to Rosebank, office accommodation ranges from R85-R180 per square metre.

Adds Pauley: "Other expanding areas include the Constantia node, located just off the 14th Avenue off-ramp towards the west of Johannesburg as well as the surrounding area of the Clearwater Mall. These areas are accessible from the north, south and west of the city, and offer a variety of options in sizes ranging from 90-10 000sqm and rentals ranging from R75 to R115 per square metre."

Article from: www.realestateweb.co.za