Big businesses relocate to V&A

Aerial view of Table Bay harbour, Table Mountain, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, V&A, Cape Town

The V&A Waterfront is set to become a new hub for businesses, with three major firms relocating their headquarters to the Waterfront, among them British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA), auditors Price-waterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Werkmans Attorneys. This forms part of the R1.5 billion development strategy of the Waterfront’s Silo District.

“The City of Cape Town is encouraged by the fact that more and more companies are choosing to locate their head offices in Cape Town,” said Garreth Bloor, the City’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development.

“This is a testimony that Cape Town has become an increasingly desirable place to do business. It enables distribution of economic opportunity.”

The 80 000 square-metre Silo district development is set to be completed around the end of November, incorporating seven new buildings which will include the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and other top companies.

British American Tobacco, one of the largest businesses listed on the British American Tobacco, one of the largest businesses listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, will be relocating to 1 Dock Road in November 2016, after having had its headquarters based in Stellenbosch for 25 years. Atterbury, which is a retail, corporate and prime commercial property company, will house the new headquarters of BATSA in the South Block, covering an area of 7 500 square metres from the ground up and three additional floors as well as two basement parking areas. This development will cost the company around R211 million.

Werksmans Attorneys moved its Cape Town offices to the Silo Precinct in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, last Friday, July 1.

“The relocation of our Cape Town office is a culmination of exciting growth in the region,” said Werksmans chairman, David Hertz. “The firm continues to go from strength to strength and in less than a decade since we established our Cape Town presence, we have outgrown our current space.

“We are therefore delighted to move to the beautiful Silo District.”

PwC are expected to make their move on Friday July 22. Danie Fölscher, the partner in charge of PwC’s Western Cape Region, said: “We are excited about this move. This new location will keep us right in the heart of Cape Town’s most vibrant area, easily accessible to our clients”.

The new developments at the Waterfront will comply with green building principles, being climate controlled with a district seawater cooling plant, and having electric car charging points and bicycle storage facilities.

Other green features will include systems which will monitor carbon dioxide levels to ensure optimum amounts of oxygen are delivered to the building, the installation of metering systems that monitor and manage water consumption, an acoustic design which maintains suitable internal noise levels and a design which will provide good daylight levels for those using the building.

With the Waterfront receiving around 24 million visitors each year, the decision by big business to move there could mean an economy boost for the city.

According to the V&A Waterfront press release, the development will see approximately 2 500 people working daily at the Silo District. To accommodate the expected increase in traffic, the Waterfront has planned to widen South Arm Road, which is the road which links the harbour to the areas surrounding the Waterfront.

The basement parking will also be extended from 1 050 bays to a total of 2 750 bays to accommodate for the new expected influx of people.

According to the City, the new development will help boost Cape Town’s economy through foreign investments which will lead to job creation, but officials are well aware of the potential impact of traffic on commuters in the CBD and Waterfront area.

“We are aware of the massive impact it will have on congestion around the V&A Waterfront.

“The City has urged visitors and residents to opt for public transport and has launched MyCiti routes in the inner city. The V&A Waterfront is serviced by the 101 MyCiti trunk route.

Feeder Route (Route 104) serves the Foreshore area, which includes the CTICC, Granger Bay, Mouille Point, Three Anchor Bay and the V&A Waterfront,” said Brett Herron, the City’s mayco member for transport.