John Whall. Picture: SUPPLIED
John Whall. Picture: SUPPLIED

4AX-listed commercial development company Heartwood Properties has launched a new hybrid office development, Sunvlei in Somerset West in the Western Cape.

CEO John Whall said the company wanted to appeal to people semigrating to Cape Town.

The group, which was the first property company to list on the 4AX, has grown its asset base from R100m to R250m over the past three years. 4AX, which has five companies listed and a market value of around R7bn, is an alternative stock exchange that is designed to cater for smaller companies.

Heartwood owns commercial offices and industrial warehousing developments across SA. It has created Sunvlei to appeal to people returning to the office as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out across the country. 

The new office block will be situated in the Paardevlei precinct of Somerset West, just outside Cape Town, close to the Strand Beach and the Paardevlei Nature Reserve. This area is a 30-minute drive into the city of Cape Town.

Research showed that many of Heartwood's office tenants were not planning to make a full return to the office, even when Covid-19 becomes a thing of the past. But because of the human interaction the office provides they wanted to have a solution that would meet both demands. 

“It’s no secret that Somerset West has fast become one of the Western Cape’s leading semigration destinations. The little town has a lot going for it which makes it incredibly desirable for people who are looking to move away from the city in search for a better quality of life,” Whall said.

“The pandemic, lockdown and remote working has only amplified the semigration trend, but now as many companies contemplate bringing employees back to the office, the big debate is about how,” he said.

Sunvlei is a 2,000m2, R57m office development offering tenants access to innovative future-focused features such as electric vehicle charging bays, 100 solar panels, a Tesla UPS battery system, ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi, a backup power generator, and backup water tanks.

Sunvlei's hybrid design will meet the demands of tenants who do not need  their entire staff compliment at work at the same time.

Sunvlei consists of eight business suites, sized between 163 m2 to 233 m2, available to buy or rent with the ability to combine units and ranging in price from R17,862 per m2 to R19,213 per m2.

Heartwood director Andrew Utterson said the Sunvlei offering was unlike other shared workspaces in SA.

“It’s a little different from the co-working office model offered by the likes of WeWork and Regus in the sense that only employees of Heartwood tenants will have access to the co-working spaces.

“All tenants and their employees will be able to access the shared business lounge. In other words, clients get the best of both worlds with a combination of their own private space where they can create their own identity and manage their own facilities, but then also have the benefit of the use of a business lounge and meeting rooms,” said Utterson.

Heartwood plans to grow its portfolio to R1bn in the next five years.


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