Atterbury launches R25bn property

27th April 2012 By: Dimakatso Motau

Atterbury Property Group launched its R25-billion Waterfall Business Estate (WBE), a 1.6-million-square-metre mixed-use commercial development in Midrand, on March 28.

Atterbury Property Group CEO Louis van der Watt says: “The opportunity to develop this mixed-use commercial precinct in the heart of the fastest-growing metropolis on the African continent is an extraordinary legacy.”

The development of WBE will be market- driven and roll out over the next 14 years.

South African property fund Atterbury Investment Holdings (AIH) is the major investor in the WBE, with an 80% stake. “This develop- ment is expected to contribute positively to AIH’s growth and performance in the coming decade and beyond,” says AIH CEO Morne Wilken.

Waterfall spans land on both sides of the N1 highway, from the Woodmead interchange, through the bustling Buccleuch interchange to the Allandale interchange. It joins Modderfontein in the east and reaches beyond Kyalami in the west. It enjoys access from Pretoria, Sandton and Johannesburg and it will close the gap between northern Sandton and Midrand, creating a large commercial growth node.

Atterbury Property Development secured the commercial development rights for this prime 330 ha site, north of Sandton, in 2008, from the Waterfall Islamic Institute, which has owned this land since 1934.

Atterbury Property Development director Coenie Bezuidenhout explains that, over the past three years, the WBE has been meticulously planned to position commercial properties for peak functionality, access and visibility. Comprising nearly a dozen specialist pockets, the estate will feature various commercial uses, which include office, retail, light industrial, distribution, warehousing and showrooms.

“Painstaking attention to detail has ensured a business estate designed for unparalleled quality. Now that the groundwork is in place, we are pleased to enter the next phase of this development,” notes Bezuidenhout.

In line with the strategic master plan, site services have already been put in place, including electricity. Precinct gatehouses, perimeter walls and internal roads are currently being completed throughout the business estate.

The development masterplan places 200 000 m2 of offices on the prime strip along the N1 highway and in the business centre on Maxwell drive. The innovative feature of Atterbury’s commercial development is the exciting 800 000 m2 mixed-use Waterfall City. The heart of the city is a dynamic mix of retail in a 115 000 m2 shopping precinct, combined with offices and homes.

Bezuidenhout explains that integration and access are among the key benefits of the WBE. “The R800-million-odd South African National Roads Agency Limited upgrade of the Allandale intersections means they are now ‘free flowing’. Atterbury is investing R400-million for approved road upgrades in Waterfall and residential developer Century Property Development has made an equal investment.”

Besides road transport, it will be served by rail with a future Gautrain station planned next to the existing Gautrain maintenance yard. It also enjoys close proximity to OR Tambo International Airport, Midrand’s Grand Central Airport and Lanseria International Airport.

The WBE is already attracting top businesses. Its first project will break ground with over 50 000 m2 of commercial space.

A 30 000 m2 distribution centre for giant retailer WalMart’s Massbuild has already broken ground at the Waterfall distribution campus. It will soon be joined by an 8 000 m2 distribution warehouse for diversified services provider Digistics, which services fast-food industry companies like KFC and McDonalds. Atterbury is also undertaking a 10 000 m2 warehouse development and has completed a prime 4 500 m2 office building in the Woodmead North office park.