Student accommodation gets pass rates up

STAG African MD, John Schooling, says one of the biggest challenges for universities has been striking a balance between affordability and student needs. “Student living in the 21st century, especially on a continent where so many students live in remote areas, needs to offer high tech capability, access to transport and well-designed on-campus work and social spaces,” says Schooling.

Good on-campus accommodation has been proven to boost student throughput and success – particularly among first year students; “The likelihood of a first year student passing is increased from 60% to 80% if they stay in residence,” says Schooling. “The negative pass rate is even more staggering at previously disadvantaged universities, where it is common for six or more students to share a room, simply because there is no alternative.”

Richmond breaks ground

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Atterbury has broken new ground with the commencement of the internal works at Richmond Park for the first of two property developments on the site of the biggest land restitution in the Western Cape.

“We’re thrilled to announce the first two developments at Richmond Park will be for CTM and Cape Fruit Coolers. These deals have triggered the start of the internal services installation and allowed us to appoint Burger and Wallace as the contractor for this portion of the work in Richmond Park,” says Gerrit van den Berg, who heads Atterbury’s Western Cape operations.

Richmond Park is a multibillion Rand mixed-use property development in Milnerton, Cape Town, by major shareholder Atterbury, the leading South African property investor and developer, and partners the Richmond Park Communal Property Association (CPA), Qubic 3 Dimensional Property and Bethel Property.

One of the largest property developments in Cape Town, Richmond Park’s 300 000 m2 of greenfields development rights are on an 84ha site that is part of the milestone land restitution settlement.

 

Tenant and landlord relationship essential

“Unlike in the residential-property market, finding new tenants for office space can be a difficult and expensive exercise,” explains Wayne Windell, CEO of Cube Workspace, a company that provides tailored, fully-serviced office space in Joburg and Cape Town. “For that reason, it’s essential to maintain a good relationship in order to keep existing clients.”

A reliable landlord is a good starting point – look for a property owner that has a solid history of stability and a good reputation. “With many years of experience, I’ve been able to produce a high tenant-retention rate,” says Ryan Joffe, CEO of Ryan Joffe Properties, which manages several commercial properties in Cape Town. “This gives piece of mind to potential clients when considering leasing with us.”

Understanding all the conditions of the lease is vital for both landlord and tenant. Be upfront and open from the beginning about anything you don’t like in the lease to avoid future unpleasantness. “Comprehension of your lease is essential to prevent any nasty surprises down the line, which can be a costly exercise for all parties concerned,” says Windell.

Architect makes its mark in Sandton

Number 4 Stan Road in the heart of Sandton is the original and the new home of MDS Architecture, a South African practice with a history spanning over 60 years.  The new eight storey building has a unique sculpted street presence and manages to provide a sense of sanctuary and privacy despite its location amid imposing neighbouring structures. It also boasts both a 4-Star Design and a 4-Star As-Built Green Star Rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

MDS Architecture designed the office building for a consortium of professionals, made up of some of the partners in the practice as well as those of their long-standing office neighbours, Brian Heineberg & Associates. The original building was developed in 1991.

Sean Pearce, a partner at MDS Architecture, created the concept for the building and Pat Henry, also a partner, led the design development and construction of the project. Sean explains that the site’s context was an important consideration in developing the design. The site is bordered by complexes of residential towers on three sides, with a large office development between it and the very busy Grayston Drive. Its street address on Stan Road faces west, which created an interesting design problem for resolution.