Shree Property completes R220 million Umhlanga development, in its first foray into the commercial office market

By Suren Naidoo

Shree Property Holdings – the Durban-based industrial property giant that owns most of the warehouses at Dube TradePort and several major industrial properties near the Port of Durban – has made its first foray into the competitive commercial property market with the opening of its cutting-edge new R220 million office building in Ridgeside, Umhlanga.

The new building, dubbed Pran Boulevard and located in a prime position in Tongaat Hulett’s booming Ridgeside node in front of Gateway, was officially opened in early July. It covers 6,500sqm and boasts a ‘4 Green Star SA’ office rating from the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA) and a striking design.

Shree Property said in a statement that with the opening of the new office building, it is poised to take KwaZulu-Natal’s commercial property development to a new level. The group is already recognised as a leader in the development, leasing and management of AAA-grade new generation industrial warehousing. Shree Property has a property portfolio exceeding 900,000 sqm, largely in KZN, and is touted to be Southern Africa’s largest self-owned cold storage company.

Speaking at the official opening of Pran Boulevard, Shree Property Holdings’ CEO, Pran Shree, said: “This iconic office complex symbolises our commitment to bringing to Durban’s commercial space premium grade office infrastructure… This office complex, located on a superior, sea-facing site in the upper-most quadrant of Ridgeside – one of this country’s most sought-after urban development nodes – represented ‘a new and challenging’ direction for the company.”

Shree added: “This is the manifestation of our business diversification strategy and is the first of a series of new and exciting commercial developments we have in the property pipeline. We are well-known for our professional industrial property development, connecting blue-chip clients to logistics supply chains across South Africa and the globe, so entry into the commercial sector is breaking new ground for us. However, we believe this to be a sector with massive development potential and we intend bringing all our industry experience and expertise to bear in our quest to take commercial property development to an altogether new level of Premium (P) Grade offices.”

Shree laid down the gauntlet, promising commercial structure customisation and finishes of the highest quality. “Expanding into the commercial space enables us to now begin introducing the same exacting standards of excellence we apply – and for which we are known – within the industrial sector,” he said.

The new and architecturally innovative building is anchored by auditing firm, KPMG, with leading Information Technology company, Thusa, also taking up office space here. It is also be home to Shree Property Holdings’ headquarters.

Ugen Moodley, KPMG’s KZN Managing Director, said of the company’s move to Ridgeside: “We are excited about our new home. This new office environment complements our agile development process as we continuously work to enhance our service offerings, with the goal of adding more hires across all departments. Our iconic new location and enhanced operational efficiencies will help us to continue to grow and develop, keeping pace with our clients’ needs and allowing us to provide exceptional value and exceptional service along the way.”

The new structure, on one of very few remaining road frontages off Umhlanga Rocks Drive, brings a refreshing new look to Ridgeside.

Thusa Director, Gerard Roberts, commented: “The location is great for us and with our long-standing friendship and business relationship with the Shree family, we believe we are ideally placed now to assist in promoting future growth, to the benefit of both Shree Property Holdings and our own company.”

Fellow Thusa Director, Carl Petzer, added: “Locating our offices in this stunning and iconic business complex finally correctly reflects the image Thusa, as a vibrant and dynamic IT player, aims to portray to South Africa and the world.”

Shree Property Holdings operates predominantly in Greater Durban. Its facilities – all developed, leased and managed by Shree Property Holdings – are home to many blue-chip companies. These include Samsung and Yangtze Optics Africa Cable, and are positioned in prime industrial locations around the port of Durban and within Pran Park at Dube TradeZone, adjacent to King Shaka International Airport. It also has properties in Mauritius at Mon Trésor, adjacent to SSR International Airport.