“Bedfordview is in a very similar situation that Parktown was in approximately five years ago and this in itself presents opportunities for the area. With its modern shopping centres such as Eastgate, hotels, golf course, country club and very appealing homes, Bedfordview is a well established, gentrified suburb, complete with good restaurants and coffee shops. Situated close to important highways, technically it is in a good location, being just 10 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport, 15 minutes from the Johannesburg CBD and 20 minutes from Sandton. It is also within easy reach of major industrial areas such as Germiston, Elandsfontein and Wilbart."
“Given its profile, the question begs to be asked as to why Bedfordview has not really taken off from a commercial perspective. Despite its very central location, the fact is that it lies just off the prime Northern Suburbs corridor and there is the perception that accessibility is somewhat of an issue, particularly in regard to areas such as Rosebank south and the Northern and Southern Suburbs – areas where many corporate senior executives reside. It is true that the Van Buuren off-ramp – a main access point – is often congested and the approach to the CBD of Bedfordview is somewhat convoluted. In comparison, Parktown has easy access onto the M1 at several points, a key factor contributing to its success as a popular business location, coupled with its up to date buildings and vibrant ambience,” says Reid.
He adds however, that following several years of extensive construction, road works on Gilooly’s Interchange, which runs through the centre of Bedfordview, are nearing completion and this must serve to alleviate the tailbacks and traffic problems encountered on the N3, R24, N12 and R21 which provide a vital link between Johannesburg and OR Tambo Airport.
“The potential is there for those with vision to capitalise on it. Astute developers and investors are planning ahead, and those who have seized the opportunity either to redevelop brand new, high grade commercial buildings or revamp older buildings to high specifications, have seen these fully taken up by businesses, mainly for prime office accommodation. Such buildings are the catalysts to stimulate growth points in the area, with spin-offs for further redevelopment from a second tier of new investors,” says Reid.
He says in much the same way that some five or more years ago, those with foresight invested in acquiring commercial buildings in Parktown and refurbished them, opportunities now exist in Bedfordview to purchase investment properties which potentially offer very sound value for money.
Coupled with this, there are also opportunities for tenants seeking office space, with B-grade accommodation with ample parking in good locations and providing excellent value at gross asking rentals of R85-R95 per square metre. This represents a disparity when compared with Parktown, where actual office rentals are as high as R120 per square metre – if you can find space.
Concludes Reid: “Once Bedfordview’s road infrastructure improves, it will be interesting to see how rapidly this area begins to realise its potential and evolve into a sought after location for blue chip businesses. It just requires a few more savvy investors to kickstart the process of upgrading and refurbishing commercial buildings, particularly in the CBD area. Those who have had the foresight are already reaping the rewards of increased occupancies.
“Currently quality office accommodation ranging in size from approximately 100 to 3 500sqm is available in various locations in Bedfordview, including established office parks and freestanding buildings, such as Corporate Park, Eastwood Office Park, Riverwoods Office Park, Ernest Oppenheimer Office Park, Gilooly’s View Office Park and other properties in Skeen Boulevard.”