Plan for Melrose Arch to rival V&A Waterfront area

Posted On Monday, 13 July 2015 18:20 Published by
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Amdec’s expansion plans will see Melrose Arch growing to 600,000m² from its existing 225,000m².

 Guy Gordon

Amdec, the main shareholder of premium mixed-use development Melrose Arch, has plans to nearly triple the precinct’s size over five to eight years.

Amdec’s expansion plans will see Melrose Arch growing to 600,000m² from its existing 225,000m². The developer plans to add a mix of high-end shopping, residential and office space. It has 375,000m² of land suitable for development that is being used for its expansion.

Melrose Arch is worth R8bn and will be valued at about R20bn at completion, on current projections. The majority of the expansion will be used to boost the office component but residential will also be included.

Various developers are building properties in what they have selected as business nodes, to cater for the growing number of professionals in Gauteng. These include Hatfield and Rosebank. “We believe that Melrose Arch can become the main destination for LSM 10 customers in Gauteng,” said Amdec’s joint MD, Guy Gordon. “It can become like the V&A Waterfront of this province.”

Located in Cape Town, The V&A Waterfront is the most valuable commercial property asset in SA, worth about R13bn. Mr Gordon, who has been involved in previous upgrades to Melrose Arch and is leading the precinct’s major expansion, said that in terms of the expansion, retail would also be boosted, even if this component would account for only 10% of the overall precinct.

Melrose’s 38,000m² of retail space would be increased to 60,000m². The precinct’s 6,000 parking bays would be increased to 18,000. “Well, Melrose Arch functions very well. Retail and parking have been the two areas which we feel have not reached our high benchmarks yet. We are paying careful attention to them. This is why the tenant mix will soon include fashionable brands such as Bang & Olufsen and a top quality watch brand,” Mr Gordon said.

The financial services division of SA’s Liberty Group bought a quarter of the Melrose Arch precinct last year, which has strengthened the asset’s profile.

Mr Gordon said Liberty’s decision to buy a minority stake in the precinct signalled that it trusted that Melrose Arch was a sought-after asset with strong growth potential.

While the Liberty group’s acquisition of an interest in the Melrose Arch precinct was lauded by analysts, some commentators believed the precinct needed large clothing and food anchors rather than an overly heavy focus on specialised high-end stores in order for its retail offering to excel.

Source: Business Day

Last modified on Monday, 13 July 2015 20:33

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