More compact urban living predicted


JOBURG – With the advent of a flexible work culture and urbanisation, commercial real estate investors are realising the need to adapt to the changing environment. Mike Walters, CEO of Sentinel Property Group and Spacez explains what trends to look out for this year.

Greater demand for commercial-residential mix developments

With rising urbanisation, increasing numbers of people are opting to live in city centres and inner suburbs, preferring to live, work, and play in close proximity. Central location will, therefore, be key to staff recruitment and for companies.

When asked about the commercial-residential mix of the future, Walters said, “Until now, we haven’t seen office and residential accommodation alongside each other in the same building. What we are seeing is cafés, restaurants and convenience stores on the ground floor and serviced office suites and apartments on the floors above.”

He pointed out that this follows a global trend. As technology and data services improve, people are searching for more experiences, becoming more mobile and becoming more flexible in the process. Compact ‘less hassle’ urban living in these cosmopolitan hubs is increasing, and, in time, as prices rise, will overflow into neighbouring areas.

Expect more commercial-industrial mixed developments

He also said E-commerce, quicker delivery, on-demand information access and manufacturing are influencing industrial property needs. Smaller more flexible spaces in the right position, are required to enable increased efficiency and effectiveness for faster and free deliveries that enhance customer experience, thus blurring lines between these two property types.

“The office/industrial combination is already taking place to a certain degree in light industrial parks in our industrial areas. These suit smaller businesses and entrepreneurial-style operations, where the office component occupies 25-35 per cent of the building and the rest is modern, clean warehousing for product storage, logistics or vehicle safe keeping and assembly,” explained Walters.

Read Living easy in Johannesburg

Collaborative culture

The rise of a collaborative culture will revolutionise commercial real estate and disrupt the way companies lease and use corporate real estate

Start-ups, freelance and flexible work sharing initiatives reinforce the need for shared office space with low-risk commitment, collaborative benefits and central meeting points.

Commercial, especially office property owners face challenges from new competitors that are redefining office spaces, providing dynamically configurable spaces and flexible leases and associated services.

This type of lifestyle means less time spent in the car, and reduced travel time and costs. It is putting our town planning resources to work, but these mixed use applications are working, and the increased property values are proof of it.

Neo Phashe

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