Rosebank contends for JHB’s most desirable mixed-use hub title

Sandton may be known as “Africa’s richest square mile”, but Rosebank is emerging as a serious contender for the title of Johannesburg’s most desirable mixed-use hub.

Rosebank has undergone a major face-lift in recent years, with the extensive redevelopment of both the Rosebank Mall and The Zone @Rosebank creating a high-end retail and shopping prescient. Local authorities also identified the node as a priority development area for improved service delivery and infrastructure. As a result, the suburb is estimated to have seen a R7 billion capital injection in recent years.

Rosebank is becoming an increasingly popular destination for corporates. Surging demand for office space has seen rentals in the suburb increase by 9% in the second quarter, the strongest growth recorded in any Johannesburg office node. Rentals in second-placed Fourways rose by only 3.4%, while in Sandton rentals increased by just 2.5% during the same period.

According to developers, corporate tenants in Rosebank’s new, premium-grade offices are currently paying an average of R230/m² (gross), exceeding the average R207/m² paid in Sandton for space of similar quality.

The construction of premium office space and the refurbishment of existing properties is impacting positively on the area’s residential property market.

More than 700 apartments are currently in various stages of construction and planning. Burgeoning demand has seen these new, luxury units selling for up to R40 000/m² – prices usually reserved for top-end apartments in areas like Sandton and Melrose Arch, where investors typically pay R35 000/m²-R45 000/m².

“Developers believe Rosebank has the opportunity to become a true 24-hour live, work and play precinct…”

The Gautrain station has been a key driver of Rosebank’s reinvention as a mixed-use node. But it is the suburb’s leafy, pedestrianized environment and confined road network which allow it to easily accommodate a mix of office, retail and residential developments – all within a comfortable walking distance.

Developers believe Rosebank has the opportunity to become a true 24-hour live, work and play precinct, unlike Sandton – which failed to transform itself into a pedestrainised, mixed-use node. Initial plans to add hundreds of residential units to the Sandton CBD in the early-2000s faded amidst fears of a local housing bubble. If these units had been built, it is likely that the area would not be struggling with current high levels of congestion.

While developers are unlikely to repeat the same mistakes in Rosebank, some market commentators warn that the price point for sectional title apartments is key – cautioning against building apartments that are too big or too expensive.

Posted by The Know - Pam Golding Properties