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Chatsworth: Ex-buffer now a melting pot

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Area buzzes with opportunity for residents and workers who find all they need here to go about their daily lives

Situated in the south Durban basin, the neighbourhood is roughly bordered by the Umhlatuzana River in the north and the Umlaas River in the south. Modern Chatsworth is spread over seven municipal wards roughly falling into the south central municipal area, while the original intention as a buffer zone has created an intriguing melting pot of people frequenting its business district and bustling central hub.

Chatsworth remains one of Durban’s largest inner-city suburbs and is a cosmopolitan home to more than 450000 people across 64 different suburbs. Consequently, the diverse economy buzzes with opportunities from spaza shops to national and international brand stores.

The many schools pay tribute to the emphasis South African Indians have traditionally and culturally placed on education. Most high schools boast matriculation pass rates above 90%, while Kharwastan Secondary and Wingen Heights Secondary regularly produce pupils in the provincial top 30.

Predominantly still an Indian area, Chatsworth’s heart is reflected in its various mosques, temples and churches.

Chatsworth offers Eastern allure from fireworks to a sari – and more

Completed in 1986, the iconic Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding, known as the Sri Sri Radhanthan Temple of Understanding, is a tourist attraction renowned for its Victorian-inspired Vedic architecture, marble tiles, gold-tinted windows, brass ornaments, crystal chandeliers and golden statuettes.

Another historical tourist attraction is the Gandhi Centenary Park, an open public space encompassing a street block amid the humming commercial neighbourhood and across the road from the local police station. Erected in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival a century earlier, the park includes a bust and plaques inscribed with some of his best-known expressions.

Currently under renovation, Chatsworth Centre has been the area’s commercial heart for decades with over 1.2million shoppers passing through its doors every month. Renowned for its rich Indian experience and boasting 150 shops, the centre provides commercial opportunities across jewellery, furniture and authentic food stores, as well as banking and eastern fashion.

Directly opposite, Colin’s Home centre operates from a small outhouse-sized building to sell everything from plastic bins to toilet paper and offer a blacklisting relief service.

Business Partners has six complexes for small factory outlets in Chatsworth central. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Specialist risk finance company Business Partners currently manages six buildings known as Chatsworth Factories. Essentially, the mini-factory units provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish manufacturing initiatives within the centre of Chatsworth – with a symbolic view on The Chinese Shop situated across the road.

Business Partners has six complexes for small factory outlets in Chatsworth central. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography
Extensive further commercial developments also place national retailers within the community, limiting the need for residents to travel outside their neighbourhood.

Currently, there are widespread commercial property opportunities within Chatsworth central.

Advertised by the owner this week are secure warehouses between 150m² and 450m² with covered parking to rent. Prices are available on request.

The information provided indicates the well-maintained multi-floor building offers tenants 24-hour armed security and drive-in access to selected units in an area zoned for industrial use.

Immediate occupation is available with the rentals being “reasonably negotiable”. The leasing arrangement will be conducted directly between the owner and tenant with no brokers or agents allowed.

A wide range of skills is available in Chatsworth

Rawson Durban Glenwood has a fully tiled 150m² shop in a busy shopping complex on its books for R1.399million. The facility has high ceilings, two shop levels, a kitchen area and fire hydrant and is well secured with a roller shutter door.

Re/Max Advance has a 1072m² industrial space in Silverglen (5km away from Chatsworth central) on the market for R13.5m, promising a sound investment opportunity.

The four-storey face brick building is located in a busy commercial district and each of the floors is currently tenanted.

The rooftop floor has an indoor soccer pitch and hall with a fully fitted kitchen for hire. The third floor is a church, the second floors is a busy gymnasium and the first floor houses the township board and a shoe factory.

Integrity Real Estate also has a Silverglen commercial property on its books for R6.145m. The 465m² building comprises five shops downstairs and a massive church upstairs to provide its owner with significant rental opportunities.

The property has six bathrooms and parking space for up to 18 vehicles.

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