Industrial Development - Strong precinct management attracts property investors to Cornubia

A strong precinct management system has played a strategic role in the success of the Cornubia Industrial and Business Estate (CIBE).

One of the Cornubia Industrial & Business Estate patrol vehicles.

Karen Peterson, Development Director at Tongaat Hulett Developments, confirmed that only one property out of 40 remained unsold. 

This large, seven-hectare property is best suited to a single, large investor and she said that Tongaat Hulett Developments was actively pursuing a user that would develop a facility that would occupy the entire site and offer significant employment opportunities for the local community. 

The R25-billion mixed-use Cornubia development was planned in line with sustainable development principles and designed to evolve into KwaZulu-Natal’s largest mixed-use, mixed income, fully-integrated human settlement. It provides for higher densities, a range of income levels and the stimulation of employment and economic opportunities. 

The CIBE is central to this vision and Peterson said that existing businesses within the CIBE were employing people from the local community.   An example is Idea Logistics, which has employed close to 60 local people. 

She said one of the chief challenges when it came to employment creation was the fact that the majority of the residents have little or no skills. In response, Tongaat Hulett Developments SSIP (Social Sustainability and Innovation Programme) has put in place a training programme aimed at up skilling local people. This has been highly successful thus far, with approximately 250 people trained and placed in local jobs at the Estate. 

She said that investors in the CIBE had a number of priorities that included the availability of suitable skilled labour as well as security and maintenance of infrastructure as this influenced the value of their properties and contributed towards a meaningful return on their investments. 

The CIBE Management Association was set up in 2013.  “The purpose is to manage the public environment, roads, security, landscaping and parking.  By looking after public spaces, this will ultimately increase the value of properties,” she explained. 

Brian Wright, who heads up the CIBE Management Association, added that the Estate Management team is responsible for onsite operations and administration as well as overseeing the daily operations of all service providers, handling queries, co-ordinating meetings, collecting levies, financial management and development control.

Apart from day to day issues, it interacts with city departments to optimise municipal service levels and, where necessary, lobbies on behalf of members on issues or requirements.  

“The Association has a good working relationship with the municipality and reports and follows up on all municipal service delivery requests such as pot holes, damage to infrastructure and lighting,” he said. 

The aesthetic of the estate is an important component. The Management Association controls and co-ordinates development through the Design Review Panel, ensuring that developers meet stringent aesthetic standards and closely manage contractors. This process ensures that the collective interest of property owners and protected by ensuring quality developments backed up by optimal management of the public areas.

It also sets a high standard when it comes to the on-site contractors who provide top-up services to those provided by the city, especially when it comes to landscaping and street cleaning. 

“After initial development, roads are handed back to the municipality for maintenance. The Management Association provides top up services to that of the municipality to ensure the Estate remains a highly desirable business location. we are committed to ensuring that the area is well managed,” said Peterson.

The Management Association, which is a non-profit company, is funded from levies paid by all property owners. As these are paid from the time the new owner takes transfer of his property, all immediately become members of the association.  

St the CIBE, which has open access public space as it is not a gated estate, security is a priority.  Peterson said that property owners enjoyed peace of mind as, during the three years since the Management Association was started, there had not been one serious incident of private property crime.

A dedicated security vehicle currently patrols the precinct 24/7. Tongaat Hulett Developments is about to install a CCTV system to cover all roads and public areas which will be monitored in an onsite control room at the Management Association offices. 

Wright said that the Management Association team was experienced, committed and consistently evolving precinct management best practice to ensure that the CIBE was a highly desirable investment and business location. “This includes our internal management systems, development of staff and on-going efforts to build and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships with the municipality, Durban Metro Police and the SAPS. All are vital to ensuring optimal management and cost efficiencies,” he said. 

Peterson concluded that Tongaat Hulett Developments intended including a management association in all its future developments. “This is important considering the challenges faced by our local authorities. A Management Association is critical post development and an important value add.”

Issued by: Tongaat Hulett 

KEY CONTACTS

Shirley Williams Communications – Shirley Williams

Telephone: 031 564 7700 or 083 303 1663

Tongaat Hulett Developments – Karen Petersen, Development Director.

Telephone:  031 560 1900

About Tongaat Hulett

Agriculture and agri-processing is a fundamental element of socio-economic development in Africa - particularly in the development of rural communities, farming activities, food security and water management, housing and land conversion to development as urban areas expand. This is also linked to the socio-political dynamics of the region. Tongaat Hulett is well positioned in the nexus of these dynamics.

Tongaat Hulett is an agriculture and agri-processing business, focusing on the complementary feedstocks of sugarcane and maize. Its ongoing activities in agriculture have resulted in the company having a substantial land portfolio within the primary growth corridors of KwaZulu-Natal with strong policy support for conversion at the appropriate time. A core element of Tongaat Hulett’s strategic vision is to maximise the value generated by optimum utilisation of land in the portfolio through its conversion to the most productive land use thereby optimising total real estate investment on the land.

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