Named after a regiment of 19th-century British soldiers, the neighbourhood is now home to commerce next to residential
Travelling west out of Durban, and virtually around the corner from Westville, is Sherwood. It is nicknamed “the little garden suburb” for its green resonance, particularly attributable to the nurseries and beautiful gardens gracing this neighbourhood.
An interesting history lies behind the origin of Sherwood. It was named after the Sherwood Foresters, a nickname attributed to the 45th Regiment of Foot of the British army stationed in the area during the middle of the 19th century. The cutting through a hill, valiantly carried out with a pick and shovel for which they were responsible, is still called 45th Cutting today.
At the junction where Jan Smuts Highway/King Cetshwayo Highway and the M13 freeway meet, the names Sherwood and 45th Cutting are interchangeable, and anyone who follows the annual Comrades Marathon will know it is a key point along that 90km race route.
According to the travel website www. sa-venues.com, Sherwood is only now beginning to feel the effects of the quest for property, having escaped the expansion that affected areas to the north of Durban. The suburb is perfectly positioned to serve as a feeder suburb into the centre of Durban and, while many of the homes in the area are old, investors are following a strong trend for transforming these properties through renovations and upgrades.
The outcome has been a significant investment into the neighbourhood – evident from travelling through 45th Cutting – that has brought new commercial and high-density residential properties to the market.
Current rental and sales opportunities in Sherwood/45th Cutting reflect the value the neighbourhood promises to investors. A 63m² commercial space on the ground floor of an office block is available for rent at R100/m², including a single parking bay. In a newly renovated commercial space and also part of an office complex there is an unfurnished office measuring 136m² available immediately for R112/m², while another property for rent is asking R150/m² for a 64m² space.
An ultra-modern property where electricity is partially generated by solar and wind turbines and measuring 1150m² recently came to the market for R16.25million. Its location promised investors maximum exposure for the brand or company with the property currently used as a showroom and office.
It has potential for an accounting or legal practice or a business requiring warehousing space, and includes modern apartments alongside the commercial space available to let. In December a multi-bedroom property came to the market for R2.995m as an investment opportunity.
Zoned commercial, the property had a four-bedroom house in front and a three-star bed-and-breakfast establishment with a fully fitted kitchen and four bedrooms upstairs. Last, but not least was a 2266m² commercial and industrial space for R18m. The building can accommodate about 20 offices and has three road frontages.
Care services for pets, children and terminally ill patients
Vetcare Animal Clinic
Currently operating in Sydenham, the Vetcare Animal Clinic will open its doors in 45th Cutting in August to provide veterinary services to the community.
Seattle Coffee Company
Created by husband and wife team Alley and Scott Svenson, the Seattle Coffee Company opened its doors in the UK in 1993 and in Cape Town’s Cavendish Square three years later. Today the company offers speciality coffee brands to customers through its 200 stores, and has grown its footprint by operating in garage forecourts.
Opened in 1978, the Tropical Nursery has been a stalwart business along Jan Smuts Highway for anyone seeking to expand their garden or provide tranquillity in their personal space. The colourful entrance with its statues and lush tropical plants promises a haven for customers.
Sherwood Children’s Assessment Centre
The Children’s Assessment and Therapy Centre Trust was established in 1973 with its founding professionals having a particular interest in working with developmentally delayed children at risk of learning difficulties and emotional adjustment issues. Today the centre annually provides a range of services to about 3000 school-going children with learning disabilities, young adults requiring career direction and their families or caregivers.
The Highway Hospice is one of Durban’s oldest non-profit organisations and has been providing hospice and palliative care for the eThekwini community for more than 35 years. The institution provides care for people with advanced, incurable terminal illness in the final stages for their lives with the goal being to make people feel better. Care focuses on pain management, comfort and symptom control.
The advantages for businesses, residents
The neighbourhood is centrally located close to the N3 national freeway linking Durban to Gauteng and the economic heartland, as well as being the starting/ending point for the M13 highway travelling west towards Pinetown or east into the Durban central business district.
Properties for development
As the neighbourhood changes from residential to commercial, tired houses continue coming to the market for renovation or demolition and thus conversion into business premises or opportunities for property developers to construct highdensity residential apartments.
Live, work, play
Developing into a mixed-use neighbourhood, Sherwood and 45th Cutting now offer opportunities for living, working and playing within a 5km radius. As well as being an inspiring piece of local architecture, the Habibia Soofie Bhaijaan Darbaar; 45th Cutting has a long history of accommodating the community’s religious requirements.
Businesses located along Jan Smuts Highway have a high visibility to the dual-carriageway traffic travelling in either direction. Being former residential properties, the land sizes are sufficiently accommodating for off-street parking and signage advertising businesses and specials.
The central location means it can draw on customers within a 5km radius and hook into established markets. The upper middle-class suburb of Westville borders Sherwood/45th Cutting, while the high density neighbourhoods in Sydenham and Sparks Estate are also easily attracted to businesses along the route.