“The rise of eCommerce is resulting in shifting patterns of land use. In particular, there is an increased demand for light distribution warehousing which Rand Airport’s new development is ideally suited to provide.”
This shift in consumer and buying behaviour is driving the transformation of land-usage around the world and in South Africa, and directly affects the patterns of property development. More warehousing and distribution space is needed by retailers and suppliers. As a result, even some of the oldest players in the industry are recognising the need to transform their approach.
Rand Airport, which has been in operation since 1931, recently partnered with Aerospace Developers and the Currie Group, established in 1887, to develop the land surrounding the airport. The aim is to unlock the value that these circa 140 hectares of land offer, while still allowing all aviation activities to continue uninterrupted. Rand Airport Commercial Precinct will soon be able to accommodate logistics and distribution facilities with airside access, light manufacturing facilities, commercial office users and showroom facilities.
Aerospace Developers and the Currie
Group have launched Phase One of the development to be known as Airport Park Extension 7. “With the global focus on eCommerce, the need for reliable, large- scale warehousing, logistics and distribution facilities is set to increase”, confirms Richard Currie, CEO of the Currie Group.
The rise in eCommerce is encouraging companies to consolidate their logistics and distribution facilities. “A recent example is the Pepkor transaction with Equites Property Fund to develop a 122,734m2 warehouse in Kwa-Zulu Natal,” adds Currie. “Locally, the Ekurhuleni region offers the perfect location for developments of this size, comprising big areas of flat land that can easily accommodate massive distribution facilities.”
The development of Rand Airport will be able to accommodate logistics and distribution facilities of over 100,000m2 in capacity. The Improvon Group has acquired an interest in Phase One of the development. Bulk services are currently being installed and top structure development is likely to begin in the second half of 2020.
While the development will offer the most advanced, state-of-the-art security, incorporating smart camera technology, it also delivers various benefits to Rand Airport itself, as well as the city at large. According to Stuart Coetzee, Airport Manager, this development creates immense employment opportunities, improves land security, and bolsters wealth creation for the airport’s shareholders. Currie agrees, confirming the marked positive impact that the development will have on both the Airport and the local municipality.
Through the development of this unused land, Rand Airport will also enjoy the freedom to update and improve its current assets and facilities – including its hangars, runways and taxiways. “With this investment, and the influx of traffic to the area, we hope to enjoy increased revenue and enhanced value for our shareholders. We expect to attract many new people to the Airport – whether in need of flights, helicopter charters, or a meal at the Harvard Café,” concludes Coetzee.