Cornubia mini-factory park excites buyers

Category Umhlanga New Development

Businesses are snapping up space at the first mini-factory park in the Cornubia development.
HE 9 400m2 first phase of Boulevard Business Park, the first mini-factory park in the Cornubia development, was snapped up in just three weeks and at least 40 percent of the 8 300m2 second phase, which has just been launched, is already sold.

Dave Williams-Jones, the chief executive of FWJK, a specialist in commercial and industrial sectional title development, says there is a need for smaller business premises in the megaindustrial parks emerging in northern Durban. He says the development suits smaller companies that want to be close to large clients or the airport, as Boulevard Business Park is just 10km from King Shaka International and Am from Umhlanga New Town Centre.

Construction of a new road and bridge that lead into Umhlanga is expected to start next year after critical mass has been achieved. Buyers at Boulevard Business Park comprise a mix of investors and end-users. Williams-Jones says the codevelopment model pioneered by FWJK has significant cost advantages. "We offer co-development at cost. There is no profit mark-up. We charge a professional fee for assembling the development."

Boulevard is expected to house a variety of facilities ranging from mini-distribution buildings and small warehouses to light industry and premises for small manufacturing operations. Units measure between 380m2 and 1240m2. Buyers so far include auto trimmers, software importers and small logistics companies - new businesses and established companies that are moving premises.

Williams-Jones says FWJK expects the R130 million development to break ground in November. Both phases will be developed as a single property, scheduled for completion within 11 months. Based on the rapid uptake of units at Boulevard Business Park and the sale of 80 percent of the industrial land available within the multibillion-rand Cornubia development, he expects the industrial and business estate to prove as big a success as Riverhorse Valley Business Park, where his company developed a mini-factory park.

Since diversifying into sectional title developments from quantity surveying, FWJK has developed properties at Old Mill Industrial Estate in Mount Edgecombe and 24 000m2 of upmarket office space in five office blocks at the Ridgeside Office Estate. Other sectional title projects in the pipeline include a 7 000m2 office block at Ridgeside and an 11000m2 office development in Bree Street, Cape Town. "The biggest attraction for us and other investors is that this is a Tongaat Hulett precinct. The high standards they have set elsewhere are the reason for the success of our launch," he says. Cornubia, a 1200-hectare greenfield site, offered features such as safety and security, location and proximity to stable labour pools in the adjoining Cornubia and Phoenix, says Williams-Jones. He believes the take-up of development land in Cornubia is directly linked to the shortage of well-located serviced industrial land in greater Durban. Most of the buyers are large local developers, listed property funds and end-users. Afrox plans to invest more than R500m in its 110 000m2 site, which will include its industrial and medical gas filling operation. Williams-Jones says FWJK intends to look for further development opportunities within Cornubia as well as at Bridge City and the inner west. 

Author: Shirley le Guern

Submitted 28 Aug 13 / Views 5560