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Cornubia: From farm land to town centre

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Bustling mixed-use, mixed-income, fully-integrated human settlement is emerging from former sugar cane land on the North Coast.

When the Cornubia Shopping Mall opened its doors in September last year, it heralded more than just another retail and entertainment space. The multibillion-rand regional shopping centre, offering consumers 85 000m² of food, fashion, lifestyle and sports stores, was also the embodiment of a new neighbourhood emerging from former sugar cane land.

The centre is strategically located within 1km of the Umhlanga/Mount Edgecombe interchange and directly connected to the new Umhlanga town centre. This also
provides visibility and easy access from the N2 national freeway, M41 highway and Cornubia Boulevard.

The Cornubia Mall complements the development intention for Cornubia as a mixed-use, mixed-income, fully-integrated human settlement concept. As more businesses establish roots in the industrial park to join ground-breakers like MMI Holdings, the zone is emerging as a highly sought-after residential and business
location. 

The project is another Tongaat Hulett Developments initiative that has changed the landscape of the KwaZuluNatal north coast, with the group commenting that the 43 hectare Cornubia site is “the development of the future and affords a strategically important investment opportunity”.

Cornubia: Well-known companies invested in the neighbourhood

“The new Cornubia town centre is poised for development as an environmentally-friendly business and mixed-use district and forms the nucleus of the interlinked
corporate business and affordable residential components that dominate the overall Cornubia development,” the company says.

Located at the intersection of the M41 and the N2 and adjacent to the Cornubia Retail Park south of the N2 Business Estate, the Cornubia town centre will span 25 hectares of mixed-use development comprising a comprehensive range of shopping, business, commercial, residential, social and business park activities.

The intention was to create a modern African town centre offering complementary uses to augment the services and amenities found in the broader Umhlanga Ridge area. 

With its sympathetic transport network, extensive facilities for business workforces, excellent retail footprint, budget hotels, healthcare facilities and educational institutions, Tongaat Hulett Developments is promoting Cornubia as an ideal base for businesses with large staff complements, such as call centre operations and other labour-intensive enterprises.

This site has been levelled in anticipation of development. In the background is the recently opened Cornubia Mall and on the right are the trademark Tongaat Hulett Developments street poles and lighting. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Cornubia is situated along the eThekwini Municipality’s integrated rapid transport network route, GO!Durban, with Tongaat Hulett Developments, indicating it will

be designed to accommodate a crosssection of transport types from vehicular to public transport as well as pedestrians.

The development is on the periphery of Africa’s first purpose-planned aerotropolis (airport city), an initiative itself aimed at being a key driver for economic growth
and development in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the past year there has been substantial development in Cornubia as companies have acquired land and developers and investors taken the chance to develop greenfields projects. A year ago rain created mud tracks where today there are tarred roads, and the quiet of undeveloped open land is now broken by construction sounds, cars and people shopping in Cornubia Mall or working.

Cornubia: Advantages in a new live, work, play area

There are a host of investment opportunities within the Cornubia industrial zone. Broll is currently selling off-plan units ranging from 280m² to 5 000m² with prices
ranging from R9 500/m² to R10 800/m². Adhesive tape specialist company Absto is constructing a new warehouse and office building there, while Redefine Properties is developing a warehouse and office facility for advertising and marketing companies Hirt & Carter, Uniprint and Triumph Printing.

Auction house specialists In2Assets recently auctioned a large-scale serviced site near the Hirt & Carter property, while Index Property Solutions has a sole mandate on a new development that will accommodate units between 200m² and 380m². Occupation is available from June. 

The DBJ Business Park development being promoted by Kopp Commercial Properties promises new industrial warehousing for tenants, while the Vishal Seebran Investment Trust is building a new factory, warehouse and office space within the zone.

Both Index and Rasmussen Industrial Property are involved with another warehouse development with the former promoting sales and the latter rentals.

Last, but not least, Fountain Civil Engineering is advertising factories for sales on land the company is developing.

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