Atterbury gets Joburg’s engine roaring with Newtown’s latest property development
Atterbury, the leading South African property investor and developer, continues to reshape the Joburg skyline with the development of Joburg City Auto BMW and Joburg City Ford – two state-of-the-art motor showrooms and service facilities.
The top branded motor dealerships represent another victory for Atterbury, which has undertaken a number of large projects in Newtown in recent years. They have added further critical mass to growing attractions and businesses already centred in and around the popular mixed-use Newtown Junction.
Working together with partners Old Mutual and Stephen Nale, the owner of both dealerships, this latest development is ideally located opposite the Newtown Junction shopping centre, set against the background of Nelson Mandela Bridge and Old Park Station.
A major boost for the entire city, Atterbury’s latest development project created over 400 jobs during the construction phase of the project and now that the development is complete it is expected to support around 160 permanent jobs of which 80 jobs are with the Ford dealership being a brand-new business.
“The ongoing revitalisation of Newtown will continue to attract more people to the area while encouraging them to invest. We are thrilled with the end result of this latest development and we do believe that there is a great deal of potential for further development around Newtown Junction in future,” says Atterbury Property development manager, Derrick Pautz.
Excited about the journey ahead, Nale celebrated the official opening of both dealerships, with Ford and BMW opening within a week of each other during November.
“It has been quite a journey, but I feel very fortunate to have found myself in partnership with Atterbury. While looking for land to build the BMW dealership, I became interested in our current location, which belonged to Transnet at the time. Atterbury happened to be developing the land adjacent to this location and it was through a referral from Transnet that I was first introduced to Atterbury’s management team,” he explains.
Atterbury developed Newtown Junction mixed-use development, which opened in 2014 in the heart of Newtown alongside the M1 freeway and next door to the Market Theatre. It is biggest mixed-use development built in Joburg CBD since the Carlton Centre, which went up in the 1970s.
Then, it developed the 148-room City Lodge Hotel Newtown, which opened its first phase in January 2016. It is the group’s first hotel in downtown Johannesburg, and the first hotel to open in the Joburg CBD in over two decades.
Pautz says: “We are thrilled that the success achieved by Atterbury and our partners in the node has proven to be a catalyst for even more investment, development and business confidence in Newtown. We saw the great potential here when we first developed Newtown Junction. Now, three years after its opening, we can confirm the strong demand for great commercial infrastructure in this vibrant and thriving area is everything we believed it to be, and more.”
Atterbury and Nale both have over 20 years’ experience in their respective industries and know how to choose a great location for business.
Nale believes that Newtown has a distinctive competitive advantage due of its pivotal location at the centre of the city, and its role as a chief public transportation hub connecting all major means of transport such as rail and bus services running into the city centre.
“It’s also very people centred, accessible and celebrates cultural diversity, and I think it’s an ideal place for residents, tourists, workers, and even the entrepreneurs and learners. This is something that has made investment property desirable in Newtown. This project has allowed the creation of jobs for the community and we are happy to have had a hand in the economic upliftment of the Newtown precinct,” he says.
The contemporary design of both buildings has ensured that the materials used, blend effortlessly into the fabric of the urban design, providing a sharp contrast with the conventional, and ensuring a sense of belonging in the broader Newtown development.
Environmentally friendly techniques were also incorporated throughout the development, including water harvesting and the use of extensive glazing to reduce the reliance on artificial lighting.
In terms of their interior, both dealerships are the first to incorporate the latest corporate identity, with state-of-the-art equipment and furniture ensuring that the highest standards were met.
“I like how each dealership has its own character and unique features. Although both were designed by the same architect, each dealership has its own unique feel and fantastic ergonomics,” Nale says.
Pautz reports: “This is yet another positive for the Newtown precinct which continues to be transformed into a hub for innovators, entrepreneurs and residents across the income spectrum. We are proud of this development. Exciting possibilities for the area continue to emerge. We are keen to continue to work with the JDA and all local stakeholders on possible developments in the future – and we believe the future for Newtown is bright.”