Cape Town - A new 24-storey office tower development is under way at 35 Lower Long Street in Cape Town's CBD.
The development is a joint venture between property developers Abland and the Ellerine Brothers.
The four star green building is on the site previously known as the Ernst & Young offices. The office building is being developed with the occupants' needs in mind, angled away from the harsh summer sun.
According to the developers, flexibility within a work environment has become critical to tenants who require flexible office space and high speed IT connectivity.
Construction has already started and completion is set for the first quarter of 2020.
James Cresswell, Cape regional director at Abland, explained to Fin24 that buildings in the CBD converted to either hotels or residential units are usually older ones.
He explained that a building is regarded as premium grade for about the first ten years of its life. Thereafter it becomes and A-grade building. After about another five to ten years it becomes B-grade and normally the B-grade buildings get converted to hotels or residential units.
"We are confident that we will sign a tenant for 35 Lower Long soon, because there is a need for premium grade office space in the CBD and the last premium grade office developed in the Cape Town CBD was the Portside building, which was completed four years ago," said Cresswell.
"Of course there have been premium office developments in the V&A Waterfront, but we regard that as another market as rentals are at a premium in Waterfront."
Cresswell further explained that there is a need for premium grade office space in Cape Town's CBD.
"A lot of top class tenants are in buildings reaching the ten year period and would want to move to new premium grade offices," he said.
"Of course we did first consider just upgrading the existing building, but saw it was an old 1980s building with the lift core in the wrong space, resulting in a small entrance lobby. Premium grade tenants, on the other hand, want a grand entrance and other modern conveniences, which cannot be retro-fitted into older buildings."
The developers are currently in discussion with a number of possible tenants.
"I have to praise the City of Cape Town for having had the long-term foresight to create a fantastic node on the Foreshore, including a big pedestrian link with the V&A Waterfront," said Cresswell.
"There is also a MyCiTi bus route and train station also close to the building. That part of town - including lower Bree Street 0 is becoming quite an upmarket pedestrian type node with restaurants, hotels and commercial spaces. It has become the buzzing financial hub of Cape Town - something tenants want."
The building area will comprise 13 446m² of premium-grade office space, along with 323m² of retail space on the ground floor, 9 above-ground parking levels and a penthouse on the top floor.
Priority has been given to activating the entire street edges of Lower Long and Jetty Street, with multiple entry points and a double volume entrance space.
“We believe the location is perfect. Not only is the property next to the MyCiti bus station, but it is within close proximity to the main train station, making it easily accessible to individuals commuting via public transport. Motorists also have easy access to the N1, N2 and the Western Seaboard," said Cresswell.
"In addition, the building is located in the popular foreshore precinct close to the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Amenities such as hotels, restaurants and bars surround the building make this a very popular precinct."
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