Industrial leasing contract secured for BPL, Durban Port redevelopment
Ranking as one of Durban’s largest leasing deals of its kind in the Durban port area, Growthpoint Properties Limited has concluded a transaction with Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) for 20,767sqm of prime light-industrial space in Rossborough, near the Durban Port in KwaZulu-Natal, in a deal valued at over R52 million.
This transaction has enabled BPL to consolidate its Mobeni and Rossborough facilities onto a single property owned by Growthpoint, achieving both operational and economic efficiencies in a deal that, according to David Leisegang who led the project for BPL, simply makes good sense.
BPL is a global and national supply chain and logistics specialist in warehousing, transport and distribution.
“A lot of our business is port-based. In addition to the consolidation of our facilities providing economies of scale, Growthpoint Properties’ Rossborough site has fantastic access to the Durban container terminal – especially with the Khangela Bridge which now connects Bayhead Road to Rossborough,” says Leisegang.
The Rossborough property was upgraded and reconfigured with a R25 million investment from Growthpoint Properties, and additional substantial capital expenditure by BPL, to achieve its ideal installation.
For Growthpoint Properties’ KwaZulu-Natal regional office, this represents its largest deal concluded in 2011 to date.
Growthpoint Properties is the largest South African listed property company with property assets valued in excess of R35 billion located throughout South Africa. Its industrial properties in KwaZulu-Natal are valued at nearly R1.3 billion with its entire portfolio in the province totalling some R4.2 billion in value.
“Durban has a number of older industrial nodes which still enjoy huge user demand as a result of their superb location, specifically those with proximity to the port,” says Greg de Klerk, KwaZulu-Natal Regional Head of Growthpoint Properties.
“The benefits of redeveloping properties in these nodes are inherently attractive. This is further enhanced by the general lack of land available for new industrial developments.”
De Klerk notes that repurposing buildings in these areas provides extensive benefits for both property owner and tenant.
“Refurbishments can be undertaken to tenant requirements, providing a facility which meets their specialised criteria while enhancing the value of the property,” points out de Klerk. “Working together, Bidvest Panalpina Logistics and Growthpoint have maximised this opportunity”.
Bidvest is a large user of Growthpoint’s commercial accommodation across the office, retail and industrial sectors. Likewise, Growthpoint is a major user of Bidvest’s services.
“Our solid relationship provided a good foundation for this massive project,” says de Klerk.
Leisegang echoes this view: “It is a win-win. Everyone worked together extremely well and we all benefitted. Growthpoint Properties has a better asset and BPL has a more useable consolidated site.”
Before its redevelopment, the site included the established BPL facility in addition to a number of older buildings which had been added together progressively in a variety of separate projects over the years.
In order to create a workable warehouse for handling, internal walls were removed to improve the flow of the facility, flooring was upgraded and roof height was increased in selected areas, with the guidance of Peter Reis Architects and construction work carried out by JT Ross.
A number of site buildings were also demolished to create greater yard area, facilitating the relocation of BPL’s fleet to the new premises.
Leisegang adds that perhaps the biggest challenge of the project was the timeframe. Construction of the redevelopment began in March this year for BPL to be fully operation by November 2011.
“The complex logistics of the project were superbly handled by everyone,” notes Leisegang. “We now have a logistics park which has hugely improved our operations, comprising our established and new facilities in Rossborough with a spacious yard area surrounding both warehouses.”