Recently acquired by Aria Property Group, Pier Place, a prime-situated 15-storey, 15 000sqm building in Jetty Street on Cape Town’s Foreshore, is undergoing redevelopment and refurbishment at a total investment of in excess of R200 million.
Says Ilan Kaplan, MD of Aria Property Group, which is undertaking exciting and innovating changes to the property: “We looked at Pier Place with fresh eyes to see how it could be moulded to be more contemporary while retaining its timeless appeal. Our intention is to reimagine the building with modern standards within the existing envelope.
“Formerly entirely tenanted by Vodacom, this is a well-maintained and attractive building with efficient floor plates of 1 000sqm, and consequently lends itself to redevelopment and optimal space usage, allowing for one, two or up to four tenants per floor.”
The changes and improvements to the building include a New York inspired rooftop garden on top of the existing, adjoining garage, which will link into 500sqm of floor space for shared services comprising meeting rooms, canteen and lounge area dotted with tables and chairs for tenant use. The building will feature aluminium cladding and LED lights on the front façade, a landscaped façade overlooking the garden and refurbishment of the lobby and landings.
Explains Kaplan: “The convenient option of a shared office component is an extra bonus for tenants wanting to make use of it. There’s been a big trend among office users, including corporate headquarters, moving to share office spaces or similar facilities. Many have found that they don’t all need a canteen/lounge and kitchen within their own office and are looking for smaller office accommodation and collaborative shared spaces which not only facilitate cost saving, they also add a social element and enhance staff working conditions.
“The space in Pier Place is letting at highly competitive rentals of R145 gross per square metre (for delivery next June) which compares favourably with similar top end office space in key locations and corridors within the city centre, and is significantly cheaper than the trendy but small, shared office space.”
Pier Place is in a prime position in Foreshore, an area undergoing considerable redevelopment and rejuvenation with recently completed projects such as Growthpoint’s new Roggebaai Place and Redefine’s The Towers.
Says Kaplan: “Pier Place is the point of convergence of the three major office growth areas in the city of Cape Town. These include Bree Street, which has taken on a life of its own and emerged as a thriving mix of business and retail, transforming into an area which is vibey and constantly buzzing with life. Secondly, the highly successful V&A Waterfront, which is very accessible to the CBD, is now experiencing more activity towards the working harbour area between Dock and Port Roads.
“Finally there is the Foreshore district with the newly developed Atlantic Centre and Cape Town International Convention Centre including the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital and Virgin Active gym, which coupled with the nearby Media24, BMW and KPMG buildings, are breathing new life and energy into the area.
“Pier Place is ideally placed within a transportation hub and corridor easily accessible to major arterial routes in and out of the city as well as being conveniently located on the MyCiTi bus route and close to trains and taxis.
“Following the successful rejuvenation of Cape Town city centre with numerous buildings being converted to residential space in an ongoing trend, we are now seeing a second wave consisting of a resurgence in commercial space, and a major move of users back into the area. Subsequently A Grade office space has come to the fore and flourished, with rentals starting to climb once again after a period of weak growth.”
Kaplan says in redeveloping Pier Place, Aria Property Group has applied a similar strategy to the very successful redevelopment of Northgate Park, a high profile A-grade office space with its own green urban park on a prime site adjacent to the N1 in Brooklyn, Cape Town, which attracted blue chip tenants. “We are offering a high specification of office accommodation while making it available at accessible rates – putting the tenant first by creating functional breakaway spaces giving the building a feeling of ‘cool’, with people wanting to work here.”
With work well under way tenants will be able to take occupation in Pier Place on 1 June 2017.