Westmead industrial area remains in demand

Pinetown, with its strategic location between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, and easy access to the N3 as well as other key routes to the north and south coasts of KwaZulu-Natal, has always been extremely popular as an industrial hub, says Nigel Atherstone, JHI Properties KwaZulu-Natal leasing and sales consultant.

General aerial view of Mahogany Ridge Industrial Park in Westmead, Pinetown.

“A prime hub within the Pinetown area is Mahogany Ridge Industrial Park, situated right in the heart of Westmead – an area which has experienced burgeoning growth over the years. From being an industrial part of Pinetown, Westmead has spread out in all directions and is bordered by the N3 freeway leading to Gauteng, the M13 towards Kloof and the M19 to the south coast,” says Atherstone.

“Some 20 years ago a large tract of land was purchased from the Mariannhill Monastery which has subsequently been developed into Mahogany Ridge Industrial Park, which borders the N3 and which is sometimes referred to as the ‘new’ Westmead. The strategic location of Westmead ensures its ongoing popularity as a key industrial node,” he says. “This is coupled with the fact that it offers realistic rentals and security,” he adds.

Atherstone recently concluded two sizeable leases for industrial space in Mahogany Ridge Industrial Park on behalf of a warehousing/storage operation and a distribution operation. The combined total value of the leases is R37 million.

The first lease is for some 4200 square metres of space comprising warehousing of approximately 3900sqm, offices of about 394 square metres and a yard of some 2000sqm. The warehousing includes two large roll-up doors with canopies leading to the hardened yard, allowing for receiving and despatch.

The other lease is for a distribution operation which has occupied 7400sqm of space which is close to their existing operation. Says Atherstone: “In addition to needing to be in close proximity to their existing premises, ease of access to freeways was also a major consideration. Their leased facility comprises approximately 6000sqm of warehousing, around 1400sqm of offices and a yard of approximately 5000sqm. The warehouse offers double volume stacking height while multiple loading docks and dock levellers were priorities for this tenant.”

He says a variety of different businesses, including a large component of distribution, manufacturing and logistics operations, are currently seeking industrial space in convenient, accessible locations. Occasionally this includes overseas companies.

Atherstone says contributing to the demand for industrial accommodation in Westmead and Mahogany Ridge Industrial Park is the fact that the area is saturated with no more land available for developments in the area. “The area includes a mix of large users as well as mini-factories. Where large factories have been developed, they have always been let and currently there is certainly no surplus of large premises available to let in the area. Among the standalone properties, the size varies from approximately 800sqm to 30 000sqm,” he adds.

“Several listed property companies own large premises in the Westmead area, and these properties are let out to tenants who are generally well established businesses. Private investors, who derive rental income from tenants, are also prevalent in the area. In addition, there are businesses who have acquired their own premises as owner-occupiers, taking advantage of the merits of property ownership. Catering for smaller users, a number of mini-factory complexes have been built where businesses have also capitalised on the opportunity to acquire their premises. Other mini-factories are retained by the developers and owners, who rent the properties out,” he says.

Find industrial properties in Westmead, Pinetown here

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