Woodstock lease concluded for renowned Sparks & Ellis

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Seamus Daly (seen in photograph) of JHI Properties concluded a lease in this commercial property on behalf of Cape Town´s renowned supplier of uniforms, Sparks & Ellis. Seamus Daly (seen in photograph) of JHI Properties concluded a lease in this commercial property on behalf of Cape Town´s renowned supplier of uniforms, Sparks & Ellis.

National Home Builders Registration Council

The continued demand for well-positioned, quality commercial property in the revitalised area of Woodstock, on the periphery of Cape Town, is further evidenced by a sizeable lease concluded by JHI Properties on behalf of renowned Sparks & Ellis, a member of the Cape Union Mart Group of companies.

Comments Seamus Daly, leasing and sales broker for JHI Properties who concluded the transaction: "With a total lease value of R2.5 million, the lease is for 1 600sqm of state-of-the-art warehousing and office space at 281 Albert Road in Woodstock in a vibrant, character-filled area close to the popular and trendy Old Biscuit Mill with its bustling Neighbour Goods Market.  

With secure, off-street parking for customers and staff, a large shop/showroom area, spacious office accommodation and ample warehousing, Sparks & Ellis now enjoys a venue with a convenient, central location, which is easily accessible to central Cape Town as well as all major routes in and out of the city. The building is in excellent condition with high quality finishes, in an area which continues to experience regeneration and increasing popularity among commercial enterprises.

"In recent years Woodstock, which is one of Cape Town´s oldest suburbs, has really come into its own, with steady redevelopment as old buildings have been upgraded and new buildings have been completed, both in Woodstock and the Main Road, Salt River district, which is near the Old Biscuit Mill.

With its central positioning and easy access, coupled with a hive of coffee shops, art galleries and the like, Woodstock has also attracted new residents such as professional people and singles, who thrive on being in a vibrant hub such as this. In turn, the `re-birth´ of the area has positive spin-offs for the commercial property market, particularly for those who either live in the vicinity or need a convenient, central location for business purposes," says Daly.

South Africa´s oldest and well respected manufacturer and supplier of uniforms, Sparks & Ellis was originally registered in the early 1930s and purchased by Cape Union Mart in 1967. In the 60s and 70s Sparks and Ellis was located "behind the till and up the stairs to the first floor" in the original Cape Union Mart store at the corner of Corporation and Mostert Streets.  

At that time they mainly supplied overalls, gumboots, motorcycle clothing and rain suits, and in the late 70s they began manufacturing uniform shirts for traffic officers. The business grew steadily over a few years and in 1980 Cape Union Mart Group became the new owners of the Hepworths tailoring factory, which later became known as K-Way Manufacturers. 

Sparks & Ellis continued to grow and to trade from the premises upstairs from Cape Union Mart until the mid-80s when the Barrack Street premises in Cape Town´s city centre were built to house K-Way, Cape Union Mart warehouse and offices, Sparks & Ellis and the group´s headquarters. The entire company continued to grow rapidly and eventually K-Way was relocated to Ottery.  

In 1997 Sparks then moved up one floor to take over the top floor of the building and continued trading in these premises until 2010 when additional space was needed for Cape Union Mart head office expansion.

Says Daly: "Sue de Wet (director) and David Gaussen (MD) of Sparks & Ellis began looking for suitable premises in September 2010 and the first premises viewed were 281 Albert Road, Woodstock.

However, as they felt that the premises were too large, they then spent the next four months looking at various industrial premises, but found nothing close to the company´s requirements. On revisiting these premises in Woodstock, and with some proposed minor alterations to the premises the lease was concluded."

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