Growthpoint Properties (JSE: GRT) will apply its cross-sector development expertise to the R200m residential conversion of its Riverwoods office park in St Andrews, Bedfordview, in joint venture with Setso Property Fund (49%) and in collaboration with BlackBrick Hotels.
The game-changing development is a clever response to the surplus of office space in the market and the scarcity of residential space, especially for the new and upcoming generation of first-time buyers. It aims to make a positive contribution to society and the environment, reducing urban sprawl and carbon emissions by eliminating both new land and energy use.
In its current form, the 35,000sqm site has 10,000sqm of space to repurpose in six two-storey buildings, which are out of place in an area that, over time, has flourished into a sought-after and superbly situated residential neighbourhood.
These buildings’ will tell a new story as 250-plus studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments clustered by a large, lush social central courtyard with iconic water feature, encircled by meandering lawns, and featuring a clubhouse, pool, collaborative workspace and more.
“With little alteration and no additional development bulk, Riverwoods lends itself to residential conversion. By retaining the structure and many raw materials, we are conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions. We are immensely proud to partner with Setso and BlackBrick to bring the Riverwoods vision to life,” says Michiel Gerber, Development Manager at Growthpoint.
Setso, which specialises in office-to-residential conversions, is the development partner behind BlackBrick Apartments and Hotels’, with two successful developments in Fredman Drive, Sandton — both converted from offices.
BlackBrick is building a network of villages for free-minded global citizens to accelerate their growth as they live and work between cities. Its urban living concepts have proven exceptionally successful, even during the pandemic. It is expanding across a growing network of cities locally and globally, including Cape Town, Umhlanga, and, now, Bedfordview. BlackBrick Bedford’s serviced long- and short-stay residential community at Riverwoods will be packed with its popular facilities and services at accessible prices. BlackBrick will also manage the hotel and residential sectional title units.
“We are exceptionally excited to be adding this BlackBrick Resort Edition to the Collection. Bedfordview is a special project for us with its vast open spaces and green forest setting. We have been able to really turn up the resort facilities here with some new additions such as Padel Tennis, Volleyball a Trail Running Track, and a few other surprises,” Moritz Wellensiek, Managing Director of BlackBrick.
With its upscale design and park-like setting, the reimagined Riverwoods will offer affordable modern living in a high-end, vibrant neighbourhood rich with amenities by creating an idyllic lifestyle.
BlackBrick Bedford is in St Andrews, adjoining the leafy suburb of Senderwood. It is a short drive from OR Tambo International Airport and minutes away from the amazing range of retail and restaurants at Eastgate, Bedford Centre, Park Meadows Shopping Centre, Village View Shopping Centre and The Neighbourhood Square. The area is home to several of SA’s leading schools, from pre-primary to high schools, including SAHETI school, St Andrews School for Girls, King David Linksfield, Crawford International Bedfordview and Holy Rosary School. It is also near numerous top names in hospital, medical and health care and surrounded by various sports and fitness facilities.
“As part of our ongoing asset management, we frequently evaluate the properties in our portfolio and consider all options to unlock the best value from our assets. There is no recipe, no single solution, so we take care to find the right approach unique to every building. This eco-friendly approach to building a vibrant urban community is a great result for Riverwoods,” says Paul Kollenberg, Growthpoint Head of Asset Management: Office.
Once the redevelopment is complete, Growthpoint will exit its investment in Riverwoods. The move demonstrates Growthpoint’s agility in changing markets and commitment to developing properties that make sense for society, the environment and its business.
“We’re excited about the future of Riverwoods, which will make the best use of this prime residential lifestyle location for decades to come. We are also pleased to apply our development expertise to unlock value from this asset and advance Growthpoint’s strategy to optimise and streamline our portfolio,” says Kollenberg.
BlackBrick Bedford residential is scheduled to launch on 5 March 2022.