Integrated infrastructure delivery company AECOM has played an important role in the development of Sandton in Johannesburg, touted as one of Africa’s richest square miles, and characterised by continuous growth.
Flagship projects for AECOM here have been 129 Rivonia Road, known as The Marc, where it is providing full cost-management services for this mixed-use development, and the Old Mutual Head Office, where it is overseeing the quantity surveying for the 110 000 m2 basement parking, as well as the key Sandton Gautrain Station. AECOM is currently also providing quantity surveying services for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system on Katherine Street in Sandton.
Developed by the Eris Property Group, The Marc is located at the old Village Walk Shopping Centre site on the south-western corner of Rivonia Road and Maude Street. It comprises two high-rise office towers of 13 and 18-storeys (27 000 m2 and 35 000 m2 respectively). Tower 1 will have a 4 Green Star Built and Design rating, while Tower 2 will have a 5 Green Star rating.
The demand for offices in South Africa is currently at its highest level post-democracy, as confirmed by JHI Properties in its South African Property Review and SAMCO Report 2017, points out Shevira Bissessor, Director, Commercial Sector, Buildings + Places, AECOM.
“While the retail market has also shown growth, we anticipate a decline in major malls being built. However, there is a significant need for neighbourhood centres and regional convenience centres. The future of the retail space is driven by the digital era, with most consumers looking for convenience with on-line shopping, which is envisaged to increase, and which will result in an increase for data centres and warehouses to support this,” Bissessor comments.
Sandton remains one of the most affluent areas in Johannesburg, and one of the most significant financial and business districts, which adds to its timeless appeal as the ultimate address for every corporate. “It’s a great place that has spelt out the ‘live, work, and play’ concept aggressively,” Bissessor notes.
What contributes to the ongoing success of an area like Sandton? In a lecture on feasibility as part of the Graduate School of Business’s Property Development Programme, Bissessor referred to Sandton as a textbook example highlighting advanced economic growth and clear return on investment. Added to this, with recoverability being high on the agenda in measuring feasibility, multinational brands continue to invest in this space.
“Any successful property development thrives on a combination of the professional team’s attitude, experience, instinct, and lessons learnt from both victories and challenges. Commercial property development can be very exciting. However, maintaining focus, thinking creatively, and always remaining one step ahead are vital to the success of any project,” Bissessor elaborates.
It is also important to choose the right expertise and skills to bring your vision alive as a developer. One of the key drivers in this regard is to ensure you create the correct concept, which means self-virtualisation to simulate and articulate it.
“You need to take into consideration the future of buildings and infrastructure developments by keeping up to date with innovation, technology, and ‘smart’ buildings and cities, while embracing the digital era, and placing all this high on your agenda, along with sustainable buildings and environmental concerns,” Bissessor explains.
“This will ensure a well-rounded development that can be ready to go live in the future. You have to choose the right company that can offer you this, meaning a company like AECOM that can help make your dream a reality by offering the correct capabilities and qualities, which are all crucial to your future success,” she concludes.