JSE-listed real estate investment trust, the Emira Property Fund, is undertaking a major R795-million redevelopment of its Knightsbridge Manor office park, in Bryanston, Johannesburg, transforming the development into a P-grade and 4-Star Green Star South Africa-rated office complex.
The three-phase redevelopment of the office park, which would be renamed Knightsbridge, would see it more than tripling in size to 29 352 m2 in terms of gross lettable area (GLA) office space.
The first of seven new buildings were set to be complete in May 2017 and the project would also result in the upgrade of the intersection of Sloane street and William Nicol drive.
“The groundbreaking redevelopment of Knightsbridge supports Emira’s strategy of improving the quality of certain B-grade office stock. It will significantly increase the value, attractiveness and competitiveness of this excellently located property,” commented Emira CEO Geoff Jennett.
The new development would feature a chilled water system, lighting sensors, access control, close-circuit television and rainwater harvesting for irrigation. It will also have built-in capacity to place photovoltaic panels on the roof.
He added that the development responded to demand for office space in the Bryanston area, which was the fourth-largest office node in Johannesburg after the central business district, Sandton and Midrand.
According to the South African Property Owners Association, Bryanston’s office vacancies were 7.2% for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with a national average of 10.5%.
“While Emira initially considered an upgrade for the park, it quickly became clear its complete demolition and redevelopment would be a much better option to boost its value and performance.
“The redevelopment will take place in three phases to spread letting risk. This also ensures that as much of the property as possible continues to produce income throughout the development,” said Jennett.
Emira owned 145 properties valued at R12.7-billion. It also has a direct interest in ASX-listed Growthpoint Properties Australia valued in excess of R796-million.