New Premium Grade office space elevates Bedfordview’s appeal for business sector

In convenient proximity to OR Tambo International Airport, the leafy suburb of Bedfordview in Johannesburg stands to gain from an exodus of businesses seeking to exit traffic congested Sandton  to seek ‘greener’, more decentralised pastures in leafy suburbs which include appealing locales in the vicinity like Bryanston, Waterfall Estate and Greenstone Hill.

“High-end, energy-efficient office buildings are becoming in demand in Bedfordview,” according to Elton Holland, director of Ikon Property Group. Peter Holland and Mike Dicky, senior investment brokers for Ikon, recently sold the fully tenanted, 9 762sqm P Grade (Premium Grade), The Meadow Star Office Park situated in Bedfordview, for R165 million. The property was acquired by a local private investor.

View of The Meadow Star Office Park which was recently sold by Ikon Property Group for R165 million.

Tenants include a Services SETA and IUM insurance underwriting managers as well as financial services, medical and legal professionals and a gym.

“It is not often a modern office park such as this comes onto the market,” says Elton Holland.

“The demand for quality office accommodation is from investors, owner-occupiers and tenants. Currently rental rates range for office space in Bedfordview ranges from R165 to R170 per square metre for P Grade, R130 to R150 for AAA Grade, R110 to R130 for AA Grade, R90 to R110 for A Grade and R70 to R90 for B Grade, and the value to be had is relative to the grade and rental rate.”

Says Kelvin Lax of Romalax Properties: “The area of Bedfordview has been under pressure in recent years due to the demand for newer, more modern AAA Grade buildings and office parks being developed in the nearby Greenstone Mall area, all of which afford easy access to the highway en route to OR Tambo Airport. The heightened traffic congestion in the nearby Sandton CBD also makes these areas a viable alternative, further enhanced by the positioning of Gautrain Stations in the CBDs of Rosebank and Sandton, enabling quick and easy transport to and from these nodes.

“The additional factor which has been influencing these two areas is the development of Green Star rated office buildings in Sandton and Rosebank. In Sandton, P Grade space rentals are in the region of R200 per square metre, and R190 to R225 per square metre in Rosebank, which is considerably higher than comparative space in Bedfordview.”

Says Holland: “Close to freeways, with good schools, appealing homes and a clean, well-managed environment that includes abundant shopping and other amenities, Bedfordview is an upmarket, desirable residential location, so it makes sense that higher grade offices are now in demand due to the convenient close proximity to management level residences, reducing travel time and costs.”

Developers are also beginning to invest in Bedfordview, with Soar Developments recently launching HQ Bedfordview, a landmark sectional title scheme which will be located across the road from Bedford Centre and Bedford Square and is said to set a new standard of Premium Grade office space in the area.

Contemporary and with luxury finishes, buyers will be able to design their own space in sizes varying from 140 to 8 000sqm. Prices of units range from R2.995 million. To be created in three individual blocks, a park-like environment will feature state of the art urban landscaping and attractive common areas with opportunities for informal meetings, relaxation or breakaways.

Leading green building principles will be included in the construction process, with each building designed to face predominantly north or south for optimal use of natural light and minimise heat loading on the east and west facades. Energy efficient systems will be incorporated, while superior features include cutting edge IT and security systems and uninterrupted power generators.

Adds Lax: “This new development will certainly help elevate the Bedfordview area to be comparable to Menlyn Maine in the Pretoria East suburbs and Melrose Arch.

“Coupled with this, infrastructural improvements in the area are impacting positively on the demand for office developments. Many of the single service roads between Eastgate Mall and Bedfordview Shopping Centre have been or are in the process of being totally upgraded as part of the infrastructure upgrade.

“With a current shortage of P Grade stock in the area the HQ Bedfordview development will help balance out the demand, particularly in the light of concerns around increasing traffic in the Sandton CBD. Many of the larger corporate head offices are taking note of the advantages Bedfordview has to offer now and in the future, and with its prime position close to the financial hub of Sandton we believe there is a good demand for top grade office space.”

He adds while there is in excess of 10 000sqm of B and C Grade office space available in Bedfordview, many of the landlords are considering converting the space to residential apartments or, if the projects are feasible, upgrading to A Grade office accommodation.

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