Redefine redevelops Black River Office Park amid demand for quality office space in the Western Cape

Black River Office Park

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JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) will continue to invest in the redevelopment of Black River Office Park, one of the greenest office precincts in South Africa, as it looks to satisfy demand for quality office space in the Western Cape.

Located in Fir Street, Observatory, a vibrant Cape Town suburb, the ultra-modern Black River Office Park boasts a diversity of office space, with a growing retail offering that will be boosted by the retail offerings being built next to the Amazon River Club development.

The office park is comprised of two units, namely South Park and North Park (also known as Observatory Business Park). It’s ideally located just off the N2 freeway, with easy and convenient access to Cape Town International Airport as well as the CBD. The roads within the precinct are being upgraded to ensure ease of access to the Amazon development and Black River Office Park. Berkley Road will be extended to feed into the M5, a major metropolitan route that links to the N1 and N2, as well as Maitland and the northern suburbs.

The gradual upgrade of the various properties began with the refurbishment of the courtyard in North Park. The courtyard was extensively upgraded in 2022. This expansive space within the business park was transformed while retaining its Varschedrift homestead historic heritage elements.

Scott Thorburn, National Office Asset Manager at Redefine, explains that the redevelopment of the internal heritage courtyard includes the introduction of information display boards that accentuate the historic nature of the site. The design and positioning of the courtyard seating areas highlight the foundation of the historic homestead. This, he says, has created a relaxing and serene environment that existing and future tenants can use to break away from the business of the day. The next phase of the courtyard improvements include impactful aesthetic improvements to the four perimeter common area entrance lift lobbies.

The office park’s Central Building, renamed Central Park after the upgrade, is being refurbished to provide +/- 12 245 sqm of P-Grade office space over five floors. Upon completion in April 2024, the building will be an iconic landmark within the node, thanks to its modern design and breathtaking views. Given the shortage of quality office space in Cape Town and the excellent location of the property within a rejuvenated node, there is keen interest from prospective tenants to take up the space. Following a successful upgrade of Central Park, Redefine is refurbishing other buildings and the common area of the park to further enhance the Black River Office Park offering.

Black River Office Park seamlessly blends office and retail space. Outstanding on-site facilities deliver the latest in urban living, with work and leisure elements skillfully integrated. Restaurants, coffee shops, a hair and beauty salon, yoga studio, car wash facilities as well as a Total Ninja inflatable obstacle course, are all available onsite and provide much-needed convenience for tenants.

The 14 buildings within Black River Office Park offer a combined +/- 75 000sqm of office space. Eleven of these buildings have Green Building credentials awarded by the Green Building Council of South Africa. Additionally, the park’s 1 561kWp roof-mounted solar panel installation is one of the 30 largest installations in the world and one of the largest in Southern Africa.

  • Three buildings have 4-star ratings
  • Six buildings have 4-star ratings
  • Two buildings have 3-star ratings
  • Ten buildings feature solar panel installations of 962kWp
  • Four buildings feature solar panel installations of 599kWp

The park’s tenant mix is equally impressive, with blue-chip companies and multinationals finding a business home in the heart of a prosperous node. Some of the tenant mix include Regus, Genesis Medical, Smollan, Flash Mobile, SKAO, SITA, AON, Beck Family Estate, Cavi Brands, Adidas, Sunglass Hut, Asics, Performance Brands, Vida e caffè, The Mill and Press Café, Yo Yoga, Total Ninja, At Stylar, and Black River Office Park Car Wash.

Thorburn says: “All tenants within this development find peace of mind in knowing that the park is equipped with a state-of-the-art security system with on-site connectivity through various fibre providers. Thanks to standby generators that are equipped at each of the buildings, business can flow freely and without disruption when load shedding kicks in.”

Demand for A-grade office space has recently spiked in the Western Cape. “The area that Black River Office Park is in is seeing heightened development activity with, for instance, the new Amazon Web Services building, situated opposite our development, currently in construction. This is set to bring upgrades to the node, including cycling and running trails, and unlock access from the North, South and CBD areas, which will of course benefit our tenants.”

He adds: “Businesses are seeking quality spaces in excellent locations that support business continuity and offer easy and convenient access to amenities and services to complement the fast-paced lifestyles of the modern world”. This is exactly what tenants and prospective tenants can find in Black River Office Park.

“With the upgrades we are currently undertaking, the space will certainly encourage further social interactions, connections, and breakaways from the tenants’ working day. This, in turn, helps promote and enhance wellbeing in the workplace, which has become fundamental in the post-COVID world,” Thorburn concludes.


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