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Glen Anil: Tucked away and thriving

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An eclectic mix of manufacturers and businesses spread in what was once rolling hills of sugar cane on the Durban North landscape.

The development to the north of Durban and away from the traditional central business district has created new nodes for commercial and industrial property investment opportunities. Durban’s broader surroundings have shifted from the green rolling hills of sugar cane to commercial and industrial nodes accommodating businesses demanding huge warehousing and distribution facilities to small sectional title mini-factories suitable to new entrepreneurs.

However, this growth does not dismiss the older areas that have been a part of the Durban North landscape for years with Glen Anil, Briardene and Red Hill being the main long-standing industrial areas. Chris Hani Road is the main industrial arterial road in Durban North, abutting Briardene and Glen Anil industrial areas and servicing the traffic flow through the developments.

The corresponding residential suburbs include Glen Anil, Glen Ashley, Glen Hills, Virginia, Durban North, Park Hill, Umgeni Park, Avoca, Kenville and Sea Cow Lake.

The bulk of Glen Anil’s industrial area is tucked away amid natural bushes, remnants of the former extensive sugar cane farming that dominated the area and several municipal dumps. The general impression hints to needing some tender loving care – the verges tend to be unkempt, while the busy roads have some potholes that require attention. Building speed bumps and traffic calming zones may well reduce some of the excessive speed undertaken on the main roads.

However, the area remains a thriving commercial and light industrial zone, home to a combination of stand-alone business properties and various business parks. 

Included among the investors are blue-chip South African companies benefiting from the advantages of accessibility to the national freeway network without being bound to the substantially higher rentals demanded in the newer development areas only a stone’s throw away.

Owners and tenants are an eclectic mix that speaks to the vibrancy of Durban’s businesses – from clothing manufacturers to wooden pallet manufacturers, car tracking device manufacturers, a fire fighting equipment production company and food importing and exporting companies. These are the businesses that underpin economic growth and development.

Durban North-based crime prevention company Marshall Security has a strong dominance across the industrial area, reflecting the strength of focusing a business on the neighbourhood in which you are located. The company’s guards, armed response notices and electronic security presence is evident for a significant number of the different businesses in operation.

Historically, Marshall Security has built a close working relationship with local community forums, neighbourhood watches and the South African Police Service to establish the business as a crime fighting entity.

Glen Anil has a number of properties for sale or rent to suit the needs of investors wanting a diversified portfolio. Among the properties Rawson Commercial Property has on its books are a 300m² warehouse just off Chris Hani Road and a 248m² factory suited for storage or distribution, both demanding monthly rentals of R70/m².

Kopp Commercial has opportunities within a new factory development due for completion by the end of December 2017. The 332m² warehouse carries a R2.75 million sale price, with agent Gary Colby indicating early buyers can combine units to form larger ones.

Property specialist auction company In2Assets regularly auctions properties in the industrial and commercial area with its signboards scattered throughout the area. 

The company has shifted the property auction market by offering property-minded investors opportunities to buy and sell online in real time.

Some examples include a 1 807m² multi-faceted warehousing facility previously used by a screen printing company, and an industrial factory with sufficient power supply to accommodate heavy industry in its 3 253m² extent.

The group has numerous rental properties on its books, including a 682m² industrial unit on Chris Hani Road for R80/m²; a 370m² light industrial premises conducive to storage and distribution for R70/m²; and a 200m² mini warehouse immediately available for a monthly rental of R70/m².

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