What Businesses Look for in Commercial Spaces Offices Must Be Right Fit

Cape Times (South Africa), June 6, 2018 | Go to article overview

What Businesses Look for in Commercial Spaces Offices Must Be Right Fit


Offices:

Depending on their particular niche, office space businesses will look for client-focused offices and walk-in centres located in "quality" locations in secure high-visibility areas, says Broll's Frank Reardon.

"Many high-end call centres, which have become a feature of the South African office landscape, have to do a balancing act to ensure the transport, amenity and other needs of their staff work together with the need to have offices that impress their (often international) client base.

"Security is critical to decision-making."

JT Ross's Craig Woods says for office space, the most important factors are:

a Traffic impact;

a Proximity to workers' residential areas;

a Coffee shops or food outlets which can be used as breakaway areas;

a Ease of access;

a Visibility from main road for visitors;

a Branding opportunities;

a Proximity to gyms and/or shopping centres.

Adequate parking for staff and clients, safety, and proximity to target market are also big considerations, says Portfolio Property Investments' Yianni Pavlou.

Retail:

Reardon says retail businesses will need to be based in locations that offer high footfall of the target groups that would like the retail offerings or goods offered. Restaurants often target office workers.

In suburbs, quality retail spaces are scarce, so Gavin Klarmann of Cushman & Wakefield Excellerate says retailers may be forced to take space wherever it is available.

Other complications may also arise, he says, and these include:

a Shopping centre management insisting on certain retail goods/activities for a specific available shop, which may not suit all applicants for that space;

a Exclusivity clauses in favour of specific existing retail tenants in a centre that would prevent a competitor from trading in the centre; and

a Over-trading in that geographic area of the goods that a specific retailer wishes to sell.

"Rental rates and positioning within a shopping centre should also be carefully considered, as well as the general demographics of the surrounding area."

Pavlou says the location of competitor stores - as often competition helps drive each other's businesses - parking facilities, safety, distance between other retail nodes, accessibility for customers and staff and branding opportunities are also considerations for retail premises.

Industrial:

"Industrial space can be very specific with different requirements depending on the use," Reardon says.

"Manufacturers often require high electricity supply, access to gas and other pipelines, effluent management and so on. While location - access to port, rail and road - is critical for logistics businesses, this kind of access can be less important for other industrial users."

Klarmann says: "Industrial tenants would also generally take into account transport routes, proximity to workforce, public transport, safety (especially for female personnel), competitive rentals and building features - such as power, turning circles for large vehicles, floor-to-eaves height, floor-loading capacity, sprinklers, and loading docks."

Of all considerations, which include access to transport routes, signage or branding on to main roads, and accessibility to freeways for trucks to avoid traffic and save time, close proximity to the port is the most important, Woods says.

In addition to proximity to airports or harbours, Pavlou says sites in Special Economic Zones, where benefits can be derived, are also appealing. …

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