After eight years of stalling, The Point Development, Durban, is on the move. The findings of an open public meeting in late July showed that opportunities exist for local property developers and investors. The Durban Point Development Company (DPDC) has taken a clear stand. Said Soban Bevarah, head of operations: South Africa at UEM Sunrise: “We’re handling the entire development – that is, the land still available and the land under the ownership of DPDC – and not selling off sections to other parties. We have control and we’re investing in our own development.” The thinking is that by selling off sections, the go-ahead for the development could rest in the hands of people who choose not to act, putting the overall development at risk, as happened previously.
About half the Point land is either developed or owned by parties other than DPDC. DPDC has about 300,000m2 of bulk to develop and has applied for additional bulk of 135,000m2. Most of the development will be for mixed use – retail malls, hotel, residential and commercial offices. The DPDC is also open to joint ventures. The DPDC is particularly keen for developers to get involved in its A-grade office space – rare in the inner city – to bring back the professionals who relocated.
“We’re opening up to local investors. We want great proposals from strong, credible companies with good track records; then we’re happy to form JVs and develop partnerships. We are looking to empower local developers, and we’re being approached constantly by national and international companies with local empowerment companies, or vice versa,” said Bevarah. “What we are saying is, yes, we want to develop it ourselves, but we are open to new investors or developers who are willing to come on board with our concept, and who want to work with us. But we won’t compromise on design or quality.”