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Harries on a roll with Century City deal

NEDBANK Corporate Property Finance has renewed its longstanding connection with Harries Projects by providing the funding for its latest commercial development at Century City.

Known as Heron Place, this will be a five-storey office block in the Wetlands, an area with abundant bird and pond life. The site adjoins Knowledge Park II and has Century Square and Boulevard Place on the opposite sides of Heron Crescent. Heron Place will have a gross lettable area of 4 173m².

Barry Conlin, senior key client residential manager of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, says the design by Marc Harries Architects allows for a central courtyard and an elegant arched plastered façade in strong modern colours. The ground floor will have 419m² of shops, including a coffee shop.

“The A-Grade building will probably command rentals of up to R125/m² by the time it is completed in December,” he says.

The deal with Harries Projects required considerable flexibility and a quick response from Nedbank because early on in the negotiations Harries sold the whole development to what was then Spearhead Property Holdings and is now the Cape branch of the Redefine/Madison Property Group.  Redefine asked for an extra lift and variations to the specs, for which additional funding had been provided.

Richard Edwards, new business manager for Nedbank Corporate property Finance (Cape) says Redefine, which is nearing completion on its Knowledge Park II development, was successful in letting this 6 530m² building and was therefore on the hunt for further premises in Century City.

He says Heron Place will fit well into Redefine/Madison’s upmarket portfolio.

“The Nedbank deal with Harries Projects follows on from an earlier agreement to fund its 6 200m² Boulevard Place office complex opposite Heron Place, which is now nearing completion. These two contracts will be followed by a further agreement to finance Harries larger 10 500m² Canal Plaza office complex, for which Nedbank has already bonded the land. Work on this R170 million addition to the Harries list of successful projects at Century City will start in mid-2007 and end toward the end of 2008.”

Edwards says the Harries team has become particularly well knows for designs which enclose a courtyard with offices and retail accommodation, the best examples being its developments at Westlake Square, Roeland Square and Century City.

“Creating village square environments of this kind  tends to result in pleasant, relaxed and quiet working conditions. For instance, the Oasis Retirement Village, also at Century City, where Harries is again in partnership with Redefine, will have similar appeal and quality.”

Edwards says the three Century City projects and the Oasis Retirement Village have put Harries Projects among the top three developers at Century City.

Source: Sunday Times, Property Section – 14 January 2007