Tuesday, September 25

Kloof: Shift to business suburb evolves

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A growing trend towards working close to home has triggered the development of office parks along the M13 highway which intersects this clean and leafy suburb

The leafy upper middle-class suburb of Kloof has long been the preserve of residents seeking to reside slightly above the heavy humidity that pervades neighbourhoods closer to the Durban central business district.

Traversing the 550m altitude climb from the Durban beachfront and up Fields Hill has rewarded patrons with cooler summers and winters, given the region’s name is derived from the Afrikaans word for gorge.

The growing trend towards working within close proximity of the family home has also triggered the development of commercial office parks and complexes along the M13 national highway that intersects Kloof.

Focusing along Village Road, these developments include Simunye Square, 6 Village Road, Kloof Family Health and Business Centre, MRM Office Park, Bellevue Campus, Village Veterinary Clinic, Greenwich Office Park, Loudon Park and Village Square. Travelling further west are Tasica House, Kloof Medical Centre, Abrey Eco Park, Fairway Green, Natalia Terrace and Six Abrey.

Medical centres catering to clients’ requirements from dentistry to health and wellness as well as general practitioners and veterinary services are a strong feature of Kloof commercial property tenants. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Established shopping centres include Delcairn Lifestyle Centre, Field’s Shopping Centre, Maytime Shopping Centre and The Village Mall.

A notable characteristic of the neighbourhood is its cleanliness – the absence of graffiti, the beauty generated from well-kept pavements and private gardens that have a colourful abundance of indigenous plants, shrubs, succulents and trees, and the very limited litter along its streets.

The blooming of aloe trees provides a riot of luminous orange across verges and sidewalks.

Following the residential trend that has seen people moving further from the traditional city centre, the commercial property trend is swiftly catching up, says Acutts Property Group managing director, Jonathan Acutt.

“This means people are choosing to live and work further away from the city and, as the suburbs grow, businesses will increasingly be looking for commercial property opportunities based in those suburbs from which to operate,” he says.

Acutt says Westville has evolved into providing investors and business owners with a huge commercial node development, and the medium-term potential will see the same opportunities emerging in Kloof as the neighbourhood’s commercial offering shifts from retail towards office space.

There will probably be a self-accelerating movement as a growing number of residential homes are converted into business premises which encourage further businesses to request additional business premises created from the large, older properties.

Various properties operating as commercial space have their roots in old family houses from an era when large country houses were commonplace. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

However, one downside is Kloof’s accessibility. While the M13 is a double-lane highway, it is also the only main route for Kloof residents and business owners.

If there is a road accident, typically on Fields Hill, traffic swiftly backs up to cause delays. Access into the area’s schools also generates delays.

That said, there is a plethora of commercial properties for rent and sale in Kloof. Within the rental market, there are properties in premium grade office parks and premises ranging between R135/m2 and R160/m2 and across various office sizes to suit individual and company requirements.

Investors looking to acquire commercial property have a fair amount of opportunity, ranging from units within established office buildings on the market for about R1.5million to R1.9m, to residential premises converted into office space and selling from R5m. Most of these will suit professionals and consultancy groups.

Slimming salon, fish takeaway among various businesses

Cooke Fuller Garrun

Established in 1981, Cooke Fuller Garrun has evolved from its original specialisation in estate and retirement planning into a multi-faceted brokerage offering more than 5 000 clients access to a broad range of insurance-related products. 

The AAA-grade commercial space that is home to the Cooke Fuller Garrun insurance company. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Kloof and Highway SPCA

Covering an extensive representative area under its jurisdiction stretching from Westville to Cato Ridge and all the surrounding areas, the Kloof and Highway SPCA provides a comprehensive service to the upper Highway community in fulfilling its mandate for protecting animals and preventing cruelty, neglect and suffering. The welfare organisation is situated in the heart of the Glenholme Nature Reserve.

The Firm Slimming and Health Clinic

The Firm franchises offer customers slimming techniques, cellulite treatments and health programmes specifically designed for centimetre loss, muscle firming and toning and cellulite reduction. Treatments include electrotherapy muscle stimulation, infrared therapy, eating plans and the company’s own wellness range.

Expressions Hair Design

Established more than a decade ago, Expressions Hair Design salon services the demands of its clients in its tastefully decorated hair salon. Owned and operated by talented and experienced stylists, the team offers consultations and world-class cutting and styling techniques within a warm andcomforting environment. 

6 Village Road is another business complex with established roots in the neighbourhood and provides tenants with good exposure from the M13 national highway. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Fin ‘n Scale Seafood and Takeaway

An iconic seafood outlet, Fin ‘n Scale is owned and operated by an active fisherman who brings his extensive knowledge of the sea to his customers’ plates. The busy takeaway offering has many local residents sorted for their lunch options.

Benefits of being in this established area

Established community

Kloof is an established residential community that more recently introduced commercial elements to its neighbourhood. This means opening commercial premises or new businesses in the area have access to an upper middle-income clientele and a solid marketing and purchasing platform. 

Opportunities for commercial property development as land is rezoned

The shift in lifestyles that has seen people preferring smaller properties to the responsibilities attached to larger ones means Kloof, like other neighbourhoods in the upper Highway area, provides opportunities for commercial property development as land is rezoned or sub-divided. 

Signage reflects the supply of commercial space. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Substantial socio-economic support

The mix of outstanding residential and sound commercial property offerings is also balanced by highlevel socio-economic support. The neighbourhood is known for its private and public schools and the broad spectrum of banks, estate agents, lawyers, accountants and medical practitioners servicing the local community. Other attractions include Kloof Country Club with its prestigious golf course and Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.

Good infrastructure

The M13 bisects Kloof to provide sound infrastructure and accessibility. The bulk of commercial activities happens in properties with good visibility from the national highway. Comrades Marathon route Kloof forms part of the Comrades Marathon route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, offering sports enthusiasts a front row seat for the annual road race. The commercial advantage is the ability to have your business captured on television as the thousands of road runners pass through the area.

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