Hatfield in Pretoria – a burgeoning business centre

The jacaranda lined streets of Hatfield are not necessarily representative of the flourishing business hub, but the suburb’s business presence has rapidly developed in recent years. Residential properties are much sought after by both home-owners and developers. The main campus of the University of Pretoria is situated in the heart of Hatfield, thus giving rise to a high student population, creating an active market for student accommodation. Hatfield is also home to many foreign embassies, while the Loftus Versveld rugby stadium is within close proximity, as are the Union Buildings.

Leon Breytenbach, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division, says that, “it was a major turning point in the commercial viability of the area when the Gautrain Pretoria East terminal was centrally placed in Hatfield.”

Hatfield has easy access to the N1 and N4 freeways as well as to main roads within the area. Pretoria Central is about 5 kilometres away, Centurion approximately 22 kilometres and Menlyn about 7 Kilometres. The suburb is also within close proximity to Arcadia, Brooklyn and Lynnwood and only about 16 minutes away from Silverton, which has a large industrial area. There is easy access to three airports, namely O.R. Tambo, about 40 minutes via the R21, Lanseria, about 45 minutes on the R14, and Wonderboom, about 30 minutes away, depending on traffic on the N1 North.

Commercial Office Space                                                                                                         
Hatfield is comprised of mainly A and B grade office space and some retail opportunities. “According to the SAPOA Report of October 2016,” explains Breytenbach, “there is currently about 30 552 square metres still available for lease.” The report shows that the vacancy rate stands at 10.9% and has remained fairly stable for the past nine months, with a minor increase six months ago, stabilising in the following quarter. The average asking price is about R140 per square metre for A-grade space and R100 per square metre for B-grade. A further 13 000 square metres of new development has been approved and is in the pipeline, of which 8 900 square metres are still available to lease.

Commercial Retail Space                                                                                                   

Hatfield Plaza, Hatfield Square and several nearby centres offer a wide assortment of retail outlets and a large variety of restaurants, fast food shops, gyms, medical, dental and recreational services. There are also many small businesses operating out of residential properties. Motor dealerships such as Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Mazda and Ford are present, while law firms, like Findlay & Niemeyer Inc and Klagsbrun de Vries Inc, have been present for many years.

There are at least four top public schools, one private school and Damelin College, in close proximity. “Municipal bus transport is readily available,” confirms Breytenbach, “and the Bus Rapid Transit or BRT system will be up and running in the not too distant future. The Gautrain provides adequate parking space for commuters while Gautrain buses traverse a wide area.” There is good infrastructure in the area and facilities are more than adequate to cater for the needs of the employees who work there.

Possible risk                                                                                                                        
The SAPOA report states: “Business and Financial services capital investment – a leading indicator of office vacancy rates - declined by 6.7% year on year to June, implying that office vacancy rates could deteriorate further before improving.” The report continues to explain that the office sector still faces a range of headwinds not least of which is economic growth and job creation. However, the office property sector, being in a recovery phase and despite recent ups and downs, is still on track. The future looks promising but will depend on growth within the financial and business services, employment growth and capital investment.

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