Business Day HomeFront 10 December 2021

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Greenovation building trends PAGE 2

Commercial property forecast PAGE 5

Live your best life Dream investor developments PAGE 6

Steyn City is the perfect playground for our resident athletes to train. On February 26 2022 the inaugural Auto & General Cross Triathlon will be hosted here, the first Gauteng residential estate to offer an event featuring all three disciplines — swimming, running and cycling. Entries open on December 13.

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HOMEFRONT barrier that assists in natural noise reduction. Plants also absorb harmful chemicals and clean the air. “Water efficiency at The Fynbos will be improved through low-flow fittings, wellpoint filtration and a sophisticated rainwater harvesting system, which is integrated into the unique cantilevered and staggered balcony design,” he says. PV solar panels to generate double the electricity quota needed to power the common areas, minimising fossil fuel consumption, and a centrally heated water system that allows for economies of scale and avoids individual geysers, will be integrated. Expansive windows and glass sliding doors, utilising specialised double glazing that reduces the amount of energy spent on heating in winter, will allow in abundant natural light.


Natural high The Fynbos, Cape Town

As green living, building and design continue to take centre stage, eco estates and sustainable developments are becoming increasingly popular WORDS: ATLEHANG RAMATHESELE :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Devonbosch, Stellenbosch Winelands


hile the appetite for estate living is on a steady incline as people crave heightened security and a sense of community, the demand for living in eco estates in particular is growing. This is partly due to rising environmental consciousness among tenants, homeownerss and property investors. In a nutshell, eco developments encompass all the typical amenities associated with estate living but tend to have an emphasis on nature and outdoor activities in unspoilt settings. It’s largely about connecting to nature and preserving it. Green solutions such as solar panels, passive heating and cooling of buildings and water recycling are also often a regular feature at eco estates, providing cost-effective and energy-efficient living. According to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, aside from offering a more sustainable lifestyle, eco estates contribute to preserving the natural environment and conserving indigenous wildlife and vegetation. They also encourage the use of sustainable construction and materials.

THINKING GREEN The emphasis on green living has also spilled over into design. “Green” and “sustainability” may have been buzzwords for some time but they only started gaining meaningful traction in the South African landscape recently. Peter Stokes, partner at dhk Architects, says their company’s investment in green and sustainable design, and the related thinking at a fundamental level, started to gather momentum around 2017. “This coincided with the founding of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), which was followed shortly thereafter by amendments to the national

The Ridge, V&A Waterfront



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building regulations and a notice in the Government Gazette in September 2011 to include the first chapter on environmental sustainability,” says Stokes. SA’s adoption of the movement has steadily grown as the need to build and design more sustainable developments became increasingly apparent. “Due to a growing population, added waste, diminishing resources, particularly water, and the rising costs of living, it’s imperative that we design more sustainably,” says Stokes. “It’s essential SA focuses on reducing water use, carbon emissions and pollutant and waste generation, while simultaneously enhancing energy efficiency, making use of renewable energy where possible, and carefully selecting materials that will not have long‑term negative environmental effects.” Stokes acknowledges there are still some factors hampering green design and building locally with insufficient awareness and understanding, and a lack of transformative legislation and incentives chiefly among them. He believes designers need to put the building inhabitants and the environment first, get back to basics, understand and implement passive design principles and adjust their design outputs for the various climatic regions in SA. dhk Architects’ commitment to sustainable design and building for wellbeing can be seen in their Parklands College’s new Innovation Centre project. The building was made to “breathe” on its own and all the larger rooms are fitted with CO ² sensors and an automated window opening system that measures air quality. It opens windows incrementally to optimise the air and eliminate the need for air-conditioning.

awards for sustainable developments, such as Green Star accreditations, including the Allan Gray building, the Watershed and No.5 Silo – all 6 Star Green Star buildings. A number of other firsts include the former Grain Silo, which was transformed into the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) and the boutique Silo Hotel, as well as No.6 Silo incorporating the Radisson Red (the first 5 Star Green Star hotel). The V&A Waterfront’s newest 6 Star Green Star Design awarded commercial building, the Ridge, deploys some of the most advanced sustainable building technology available globally. “We designed the Ridge to be a world-class living, breathing building by incorporating a number of standout features,” says the Waterfont’s development director Mark Noble. This includes the zigzag shaped engineered timber façade orientating the glass windows towards the north or south, which prevents lower angle sun from the east or west from entering the office spaces. This provides natural daylight while reducing glare. Another feature is the thermally activated building system technology (TABS) installed into the ceilings above the working areas. “This cools the concrete structure by water circulating

LIVE GREEN HERE Boskloof Eco Estate, Somerset West This estate, located next to the Morgenster and Vergelegen wine farms, offers striking views amid unspoilt and protected fynbos and endangered Renosterveld. Expect to see small buck and other animals roaming freely as well as a wealth of bird species.

from the chiller and heat pumps on the roof, which cools the air around the workspace,” Noble says.

A FIRST FOR AFRICA The first biophilic development in Africa, The Fynbos, has been launched in Cape Town and will see a 24-storey living, breathing mixeduse building take residence in the heart of the CBD. Once complete, it is said it will blur the lines between nature and the built environment. One of its most notable features is its exterior draped in a 1,200m² vertical garden made up of 30 species of indigenous trees and 20 species of shrub. Paul Upton, head of developments for Dogon Group Properties (marketing agents for The Fynbos), says the concept is centred on integrating nature into an urban setting. “Biophilic design is an approach that connects occupants to nature. These buildings incorporate elements such as natural lighting and ventilation, landscape features and other apects to create a healthier built environment,” he says. Climate control at The Fynbos will be provided by natural layers, with exterior plantings having a cooling effect by providing shade and screening. Upton says vegetation is an absorptive

WATERFRONT FIRSTS Over the past decade, the V&A Waterfront has been on the forefront of receiving

Pezula Private Estate, Knysna

Devonbosch, Stellenboch Winelands Devonbosch, a mixed-use development offering residents a lifestyle where retail, business and recreation intersect, eases the demands on the environment by managing water resources, providing sustainable energy and implementing internal waste recycling measures. The buildings are designed through environmentally sound practices such as the installation of double-glazed windows, photovoltaic panels and smart cooling and heating installations. Meyersdal Eco Estate, Johannesburg This estate, which forms part of the 1,100ha Meyersdal Nature Estate, is situated 10 minutes south of the Johannesburg CBD. Only 15% of the land is developed. Facilities include mountain bike tracks, a hiking trail, dams stocked with fish, game species, including kudu and steenbok and a wide variety of birdlife. Simbithi Eco Estate, Shaka’s Rock, KwaZulu-Natal, This 430ha estate is a coastal paradise of vegetation, wetlands, undulating hills, beautiful vistas and top amenities. There are dams stocked with fish, an equestrian centre and maintained walking and mountain bike trails. Pezula Private Estate, Knysna Bordering Noetzie Beach, Pezula is a worldrenowned environmentally aware luxury development, offering a beautiful location and five-star facilities such as a golf course and club, tennis courts, sports grounds and the Pezula Hotel and Spa.


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Breaking new commercial ground

The onset of Covid-19 did not only affect people and communities, it also impacted the global economy. While the commercial property market is no exception, an array of trends and new opportunities have emerged here as a result WORDS: ATLEHANG RAMATHESELE AND SUPPLIED :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED


he significant knock of the pandemic on property in Africa and across the globe may be palpable, but it has also given rise to many innovative solutions. With a footprint spanning various parts of Africa, including a diverse portfolio of clients and services across 13 countries in which 737,325m² of retail space has been leased over the past five years, pan-African real estate provider Broll Property Group is well versed on the matter and setting its sights beyond 2021. As Broll looks to the future, much emphasis is put on analysing trends to determine how to strengthen the core of the business and to create ideal outcomes and service requirements for occupiers and investors alike. Broll Group CEO Malcolm Horne says their in-depth knowledge and expertise, based on a tangible understanding of local markets across Africa, allow them to provide end-to-end real estate solutions based on strategic, fully-integrated property services. One of the company’s areas of interest is leveraging their patented technology platforms to enhance asset values. With technology as a cornerstone of their business, they use data intelligence and analytics to build strategies linked with people, processes and value extraction, says Horne.

FUTURE OUTLOOK According to Roger Long, Broll Property Group’s

director of valuation and advisory services, the outlook for each country’s market at any given time is largely tied to the expectations on the performance of the wider economy in that country, and it is likely these trends will persist in the short to medium term. In the throes of the pandemic, it was initially anticipated the hardest hit property sector would be retail due to the lockdowns and subsequent inability to trade. However, many malls and most of the smaller centres have, in fact, fared relatively well during the past 14 months. This may be attributed to landlords acting swiftly with rent reductions and deferments, for instance, resulting in many retailers managing to stay afloat, thereby preserving the rental income of the asset. Instead, the office sector has been the hardest-hit asset class in SA, and the pressures are not expected to ease in the coming months. The fallout in the office market has seen property buying and rental values recede sharply. In the early stages of the pandemic, a number of occupiers held firm and retained space during the lockdowns. Landlords were therefore still receiving the majority of their income even from empty buildings, but vacancies are now rising as occupiers decide they no longer need as much space. Offices in smaller outlying towns are not as badly affected due to a more limited offering.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) reported Q3 2020 vacancies reached an all-time high of 15.4%, while the pre-Covid-19 level was 11.6%. Additional supply is also coming to market as a result of projects planned and started well before the pandemic. At the beginning of 2020, about 263,000m² was in the pipeline, which slowed to about 47,000m² by Q3 2021. In general, occupiers are seeking maximum flexibility, considering their demand for space in the short and medium term is relatively unknown or unconfirmed. Occupants prefer flexibility to either work from home or to do so on a rotational basis. This could most likely be a long-term trend post the vaccination rollout. Occupiers are increasingly focused on understanding what the future workplace will look like and how it affects their existing real estate structure. More corporates in this market are looking not only to optimise operational functions in terms of cost, but also based on the size of their requirements. Landlords, on the other hand, are seeking strategies to drive occupancy of their buildings. These range from more flexible lease terms and notable rental discounts (on a case-by-case basis) to looking at less traditional uses for their buildings, such as the co-working model. Furthermore, landlords are looking at repurposing surplus or vacant space. Horne believes adaption in

this current climate is golden with redesigning and reconfiguring of spaces prioritised in the future.

OFFICES REPURPOSED Statistics that show a slow return to offices across the continent is largely because of a sluggish vaccination rollout. People are still seeing a lot of hybrid working and working from home opportunities, so returning to the office is delayed alongside rationalising of space. “The space ratio people used to occupy was less than 10m² per person. It is going to increase because there will be spatial distancing,” says Horne. “We went through a

decompression phase where optimisation was the name of the game, and now it is going to increase again.” Prime logistics facilities are doing well, not only in SA but across the continent. Furthermore, the growth in online retail has seen a corresponding rise in interest in data centres as companies move to exploit opportunities in the online sector. A number of data centre companies are expanding in strategic locations across West and East Africa, as well as in SA. Horne has seen many other asset classes gain traction during the pandemic, including hospitals, spheres in life sciences and research and

development, as well as the cold storage arena. “This is because of the prepackaging of meat and smaller, more decentralised storage centres due to home deliveries,” says Horne. The housing sector, including student and social accommodation, has also seen an uptick in demand.

LEADING THE PACK Instead of outsourcing, Broll has pioneered their own technology hub. “We created an in-house technology and IT development team and we are experienced in building tech solutions that talk to business, clients, buildings, skills and processes, all at once,” says

Horne. “Technology is one of the building blocks that makes Broll unique.” Another focus of the company is finding solutions across various platforms that offer new and relevant information to ensure an understanding of the market at ground level. “Our people develop and implement these solutions through their skills and knowledge of the market,” he says. Broll offers all these solutions and services on a single platform, which distinguishes between the investors and occupiers of property with separate sections to service each in a unique way.

“We were the first Africanowned company on the continent to build an end-to-end property services business with all the vertical facilities,” says Horne. Broll continues to commercialise its technology and plans to expand its footprint in Africa with franchising opportunities. “We want to promote and professionalise property services in Africa,” says Horne. “This includes pursuing opportunities in the Middle East and launching an energy and sustainability arm. We are quite bullish about the opportunities in the market and understand where to reinvent ourselves.”

Broll Property Group CEO Malcolm Horne


Great expectations The Skye Bar is situated on the top floor of The Rockefeller, Cape Town

In a buyer’s market, two new developments in SA signal lucrative opportunities for investors WORDS: ATLEHANG RAMATHESELE :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED


n a market currently favouring first-time buyers and property investors, two developers in SA are meeting the demand with innovative new housing and hotel apartment projects.

INTEGRATED LIVING The South Hills Development, situated in the south of Johannesburg, is a mixed-use development which will ultimately provide affordable homes to around 32,000 residents. Built on a City tender by Standard Bank and development partner Calgro M3, this new building project is seen as an important integrated residential development in Johannesburg. Major investment in the upgrade of infrastructure, implementation of green solutions and the general regeneration of the area are expected to uplift the local community. Urvash Kissoon-Singh, Commercial and Finance Director for Calgro M3 says the development will bring impactful social and educational amenities to an area where there weren’t any before, which will entice residents to the community.

SOUND INVESTMENT Penthouse apartment in the Rockefeller

HOW TO INVEST IN THE ROCKEFELLER 1. Select an apartment From compact hotelstyle rooms to sprawling penthouses. 2. Add a furniture package Choose from a carefully curated collection of timeless, sophisticated furnishings for your apartment. 3. Purchase the apartment This can be done via a bond or bank guarantee. 4. Sign the four-year lease agreement This guarantees four years’ rental income on your apartment. 5. Watch your investment grow Receive monthly instalments of rental income to offset the purchase.

The South Hills development by Calgro M3

A similar development by Calgro M3, Fleurhof,

has seen high return on investment with steady price appreciation. According to KissoonSingh, some of the homes at Fleurhof which initially sold for R320,000 now fetch more than R500,000. These positive returns are largely due to the developer setting the market price and general and automatic inflation. In an area identified as requiring redevelopment, South Hills is seen as a sound investment, mostly due to the potential amenities provided by the developer. “Calgro M3 will still be there for the next five to seven years and will therefore continue to develop properties and the area, so values will increase exponentially over time,” he says. “This will happen much quicker than it usually would because Calgro M3 is driving development in a way that ensures properties enter the market at attractive prices. “By building on our legacy that focuses on improving homeowners’ lifestyles with additional amenities such as schools, creches, churches

and retail spaces, market value of our properties automatically increases.”

WHY INVEST HERE? • Location. It is close to the Johannesburg CBD and freeway, therefore ideal for commuters. • Value. A doublestorey three-bedroom townhouse with garages and a garden sell for R1m. • Amenities. Schools and creches, and a new retail area are some of the facilities on offer.

SERVICE AT HOME The convenience of hotel facilities and services combined with the comfort and privacy of your own living space are all possible thanks to developments such as the Rockefeller in Cape Town. This residential development by Ryan Joffe Properties offers 396 apartments that provide upmarket hotel-style living complete with modern design and facilities. It is developed to accommodate short-term

visitors and residents. Scheduled for completion on December 1, The Rockefeller has a stellar address on the Foreshore at Harbour Place with the R14bn Harbour Arch mixed-use precinct development its neighbour. The development’s luxury apartments and hotel suites spans 18 floors and it also offers a rooftop bar, the Skye Bar, and a pool with views of Table Mountain, the ocean and the city. The pool has a retractable roof and wraparound windows. Other amenities include a fitness centre and conference facilities. Its proximity to Cape Town’s restaurants, nightlife, cultural attractions and retail makes it an ideal choice for investors.

RENTAL GUARANTEE The Rockefeller is located in a building with 24-hour concierge, room service, security, a convenience store, a co-working space and three restaurants. Attractive to investors is the developer’s offer of a four-year rental guarantee returning a *7% net yield for a period of 48 months to buyers of apartments from the 12th to the 17th floor. The Rockefeller has also introduced an investment launch deal offering the first 30 purchasers a complimentary furniture package from Source Interior Brand Architects, valued from between R120,000 and R150,000. The Rockefeller apartments are priced from R1.515m. Newmark Hotels facilitates and manages the hotel rental and has a range of units available with a modern aesthetic and appointed with luxury décor. *Monthly/annual return is calculated on the exVat purchase price. Return calculations are based on an estimated bond cost of an 80% bond at a 7% interest rate. All costs are estimated. Purchase price includes Vat. Terms and conditions apply.

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