Westway's tenant and owner mix includes small firms, consultancies, big names and JSE-listed entities housed in an office park environment offering top-notch security, trees, birds and wildlife, and there is public transport nearby.
The regional Pavilion Shopping Centre, opened in 1993, brought another sphere to living in Westville and was a significant trigger for the development of commercial property enterprises in Durban’s western suburb.
One initiative was a joint venture between construction company Murray & Roberts and the eThekwini Municipality in the 1990s to develop Westway Office Park opposite The Pavilion and Life Westville Hospital. The first buildings in the now fully established complex were completed in 1998 and have provided Westville with one of several key commercial hubs.
Today the tenant and owner mix crosses the business spectrum from small firms like consultancies, insurance brokers and recruitment agencies to JSE-listed entities including Pick n Pay, Smith & Nephew, Dimension Data and Mutual & Federal.
This concentration of corporate entities within the precinct provides Westway with the critical mass not something always applicable to smaller commercial nodes located in the west. Yet, the leafy suburb – trees and Westville are synonymous as the suburb was developed on large properties – provides a tranquil setting for all businesses.
Westway overlooks the Roosfontein Nature Reserve, a protected green belt where the municipality consistently endeavours to remove alien vegetation. That initiative has witnessed the return of small buck and birdlife to the green lung.
Formed in 1847, Westville was originally laid out as a farm and its name honours Natal’s first British lieutenant-governor Martin West. The arrival of German immigrants a century later further developed the suburb and, between 1956 and the first democratic local government elections, when Westville was incorporated into eThekwini, Westville functioned as an independent municipality run by a town council.
Westway’s natural beauty captures the indigenous trees and flowers in well-established gardens and communal areas that act as magnets for bird and insect life. It is also the attraction for troops of monkeys seeking easy sources of food.
The office blocks within Westway are descriptive interpretations of their individual locations – The Terrace, The Boulevard, The Crescent, The Viewz, West Side Office Park and West End Office Park.
JT Ross development director Grant Smith says Westway offers A-grade office accommodation facilities for companies. Several years ago the group constructed the last new build in the office park as its second investment into the precinct. That development brought 11 000m² of space spread over four floors, making it the largest office building in the office park.
“Few tenants relocate away from the Westway precinct and moves to larger premises usually take place within the zone. Consequently, there are few vacancies with tenants tending to relocate within the precinct, effectively creating certainty for new users entering Westway,” Smith says.
Rentals in the precinct reflect the A-grade office accommodation quality. Strathmore Commercial and Industrial Property has on the market a 2 359m² stand-alone double-storey office to let for R150/m², while Portfolio Property Investments has a 158m² commercial office space available to lease for R131/m² for the basic rental plus monthly undercover and open parking bays and a storeroom.
MMRealty currently has office options within Westway ranging from 500m² units to entire, free-standing office blocks offerings of 3 000m² on to the market for R130/m² plus additional rental on dedicated undercover and open parking bays. Soukop also has a 338m² ground floor option in The Boulevard for R130/m² in a space, agent Phillip Bulose describes as “boasting great architecture and natural scenery”.
Flexible office space provider Regus also operates out of Westway to bring flexible space to anyone from entrepreneurs to large corporates requiring temporary office access.
The Regus model allows businesses and business people to hire the amount of workspace they require for any time period from one hour to years for an all-inclusive pricing structure.
“Westway is a choice alternative to the north of Durban and a slightly different product that has already proved a great location for corporate tenants,” Smith concludes.