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Westville: All-in-one where you can live work and play

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Small office parks and standalone businesses have brought an all-inclusive feel to an area of old houses and lush greenery.

Interspersed among the old Westville houses and lush greenery characteristic of the neighbourhood, small office parks and standalone business ventures have brought a different live, work, play element to the area.

The M13 bisects Westville through Westville Central and Berea West en route to 45th Cutting in Sherwood and the link to the N3 national road into the Durban CBD. 

The ease of accessibility and the central location has triggered commercial developments and office parks along its route, particularly in Berea West along Essex Terrace. These include the Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal head office, the Surrey Park complex, Network Configurations, Derby Downs office park, Essex Gardens, Essex Park, 6 on Nelson and the 100-store Westwood Mall.

Essex Terrace currently has many commercial properties available for rent by medium-sized businesses wanting to move their operations to the suburbs. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

The German Club, including its Musketeers bar, restaurant and hire venue, has been an integral part of the community for decades, reflecting Westville’s early history linked to the arrival German settlers in the late 1840s. Today it remains a centre for German culture and food, and a commercial initiative.

Burgess Nursery is another long-standing commercial venture within the area and countless Westville gardens owe their beauty to the shrubs, plants and trees sold through the family business.

The nursery occupied a site near the German Club for more than 20 years, having originally been further west along the M13 towards Westville Central. Former owner Geoff Burgess says the family closed the nursery a while ago and the property was sold earlier last month.

Other investment opportunities abound throughout the zone.

Portfolio Property Investments principal estate agent Bradley Hancock has a first floor office measuring 431.42m² in Surrey Park on his books for R110/m² excluding VAT and electricity. The building ownership is sectional title and each unit is billed separately for electricity use. The ground floor foyer area of the office block will soon be refurbished.

Find An Office agent Michele Lamb has a ground floor 255m² unit in Essex Terrace available to let for R100/m². The unit is wheelchair-friendly and would also suit companies that have to carry collateral from their vehicles to the office.

The Master Builders Association’s award-winning building on Essex Terrace is dramatically backdropped by rain clouds that later sent down a deluge over parts of Westville. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

The layout includes a spacious reception area, eight offices and its own kitchen and the building has the potential to carry corporate signage that will front on to the M13 for clear visibility. Lamb says there is another 110m² office on the first floor of the building available at the same price should the tenants of the larger space need more room.

Across the highway in Derby Downs office park, Swindon Properties’ Jeph Govender brought a 79m² office space to the market earlier this month for R120/m² that is available for occupation.

Investors looking to acquire commercial property in this area of Westville are also spoilt for choice. Lamb has a 796m² commercial property on the market for R10.746 million. Situated in a corporate office park, the first section (743m² and a 78m²) has one tenant and section four has three different tenants.

Wakefields has a 152m² office for sale within the Imperial Office Park complex on University Road near Westwood Mall on the market for R2m.

Specialist property auction house In2Assets sold the versatile office building at 36 Essex Terrace last week. The two-floor office building covers 2 148m2 and has a gross lettable space of 1 949m2 and was sold with vacant occupation, meaning the purchaser now has a significant amount of investment options.

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