Low vacancies and high demand in uMhlanga New Town Centre
Category Chas Everitt Commercial Division
uMhlanga has emerged as one of the most sought-after commercial nodes in Durban. This is according to the latest JLL Durban Office Market Report which further states that high demand within the node has led to the lowest vacancy rates in the city.
Contributing to this success is the uMhlanga New Town Centre, which is anchored by the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Inspired by the La Lucia Ridge Office Estate, the precinct was launched about 15 years ago, and has since grown into one of the chosen commercial destinations for multinational and blue-chip companies.
Providing insight into the area, Chas Everitt International commercial manager Denis Davidson says that the reason for the precinct’s success is its wide appeal.
He explains: “Since uMhlanga New Town Centre is a mixed-use development, it appeals to various businesses, including retail stores, motor dealerships, corporations, call centres, hotels and banks.”
Davidson adds that the precinct’s ideal position close to The Crescent shopping centre, Gateway and the N2 freeway has also contributed to its success by providing convenience and connectivity to uMhlanga’s workforce.
Although the precinct is home to many big companies, including Outworx, CCI South Africa, Porche, Audi, and SARS, Davidson is noticing a new trend emerging.
He explains: “A number of small businesses are relocating here primarily due to relatively affordable rentals for smaller spaces. For example, you can secure a 60sqm office space here for R120/sqm and an 80sqm retail space for R140/sqm.”
History of mixed-use developments
The concept of the uMhlanga New Town Centre was inspired by earlier mixed-use developments in the country, namely, Melrose Arch in Johannesburg and Century City in Cape Town. Underpinned by the “live-work-play” ideals of New Urbanism, these integrated or lifecycle developments reflect a new chapter in real estate where residents can ideally find all they need in the way of shops, workplaces, schools, and entertainment and sports venues all within walking distance of their home.
Developed by the Amdec Group, Melrose Arch was the first integrated development in the country. It was initially an office park, however, in 1992, the Mine Pension Fund proposed a plan to further develop it into a mixed-use development. This was initially viewed as too risky and ambitious as SA had no experience with this type of development. Fast forward to 2017 and Melrose Arch has transformed into one of Johannesburg’s most prime precincts, housing upmarket apartments, a gym, a retail hub with over 140 shops and modern offices. And it is expected to grow further.
Following this blue-print, uMhlanga New Town Centre emerged as the first integrated development in eThekwini. Its success, defined by growing demand and low vacancy rates, is expected to see it receive the majority of the province’s development pipeline.
Chas Everitt International has a selection of A-grade offices available in uMhlanga New Town Centre including Medstone Centre, The Auroras and iL Palazzo. One example is a 179sqm office space to let in the brand new Medstone Centre that would be ideal for medical professionals looking to start their own practice in a modern medical precinct. The building comes fully equipped with an operational day-theatre and ample parking, and is within walking distance of the Gateway Private Hospital.
As the uMhlanga New Town Centre continues to attract various businesses, the precinct is expected to grow phenomenally due to heightened developer confidence. To find out more about the area and the available properties, speak to our helpful and specialised agents today.
Author: Chas Everitt International Property Group