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Firms wise-up to northern suburbs

02 / 07 / 2007

The residential ‘pull’ of the northern suburbs is one of the factors bringing commercial occupancy rates in these areas way above those in Cape Town’s CBD, as employers wise-up to the fact that ‘commuting time’ is money.

According to Pieter-Jozua Erasmus of Capitol Commercial Properties, research shows that just 3.9 percent of the available 320 000 square metres of commercial space in the Tygervalley area and its surroundings remains vacant.

“Cape Town’s CBD, consisting of around 800 000 square metres of commercial space, is currently around 10 percent vacant, according to property experts in the city.”

Fuel to the flames

Erasmus says the vacancy rate for commercial space leasing in the R70 to R85 per square metre range in the Tygervalley area has now been equalled by the vacancy rate for office space leasing above R85, resulting in a relative scarcity of prime offices. “Developers Arun Holdings, currently working on the AA-grade Avanti retail and office development, are adding fuel to the flame by constructing what will be some of the most sought after space in the area.”

According to Arun Holdings Director Johan Laubscher, the majority of Cape Town’s most economically active workforce is now unable to afford the exorbitant residential prices in Cape Town’s City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard.

Satellite office

“Much of the corporate workforce has turned to the northern suburbs, where it is still possible to find ‘liveable’ homes around the R1-million mark.

“It makes business sense to set up a base or satellite office in the area, cutting staff commuting time and providing close proximity to the Winelands and Boland.

Not only can workers save time and avoid the stress of fighting the traffic, but with petrol prices having risen so steeply, a surprising amount of money as well.” Erasmus reports that there has already been a large amount of interest in office space in the area from financial service and law firms, among others.

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