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Waterfall City: On track to be a new CBD

More projects announced. 

Attacq Limited’s Waterfall City, a 240-hectare development sandwiched between Sandton and Midrand, is on track to be “a new CBD” with more projects announced. 

The company has earmarked R40 million to construct a three-hectare park which will anchor the commercial and retail offering at the development called Central Park.  

Attacq CEO Morné Wilken, who likens the size of the park to “six rugby fields”, says the idea with Waterfall City is to create a new city. 

As of December 2014, the company completed 211 000 square metres of the mixed-use development’s 1.4 million remaining development bulk, which will roll out in the next two years. Of the completed buildings, Attacq has sold 38 000 square metres and held 173 000 square metres of the development.

Some of the tenants which have already taken up space at Waterfall City’s completed buildings include Honda, Premier Foods, City Lodge, Westcon and Angel Shack. 

Wilken says the number of buildings occupied at the moment is indicative of a lot “corporates who are consolidating at Waterfall City.” 

About 176 000 square metres is currently under construction with Novartis, Colgate, Servest and more, expected to occupy Waterfall City this year.

Wilken says Waterfall City has secured a further 60 000 square metres development bulk which includes the new 25-storey PwC head office, boasting 40 000 square metres. “There is a lot of development potential going forward and it’s giving us substantial pipeline,” he says. 

Mall of Africa

Attacq is also busy with a bridge, which extends from east to west and is parallel to the Allandale Interchange, to the tune of R150 million. The bridge will connect people to, among others, the Mall of Africa. At 131 000 square metres, it is said to be South Africa’s biggest single-phase mall development and is due to open in April 2016. 

“Leasing [at the mall] is going well. We are holding some of it [space] back to open to international retailers which are in talks with us. We don’t have finality on that,” says Wilken. 

The R3.2 billion mall is “more than 75%” pre-let with tenants including Forever New and Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Woolworths, Checkers, Truworths, Mr Price, Edgars and more. 

More public transport is planned at Waterfall City with the roll out of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System routes. The development is surrounded by Gautrain bus routes which link to the Midrand station. A Gautrain station in proximity to the development was once mooted, but Wilken says while this might be Gautrain’s long-term plan, it is not seen happening “at the moment.”

Sole shareholder

The additional projects are just one component of a breakthrough for Waterfall City.

Attacq is now the sole shareholder in Attacq Waterfall Investment Company (AWIC), which has the rights to the Waterfall Estates development. 

The company purchased a minority stake of 18% from Atterbury Property for R655 million, increasing its stake in the Attacq Waterfall Investment Company (AWIC) from about 82%. 

Attacq says the acquisition is part of its strategy to manage the entire Waterfall City pipeline and working on an unrestricted basis with Atterbury and other developers. 

“There is also a transaction with Atterbury where after 2018 we can deal with any developers. What this will do is create more activity, acceleration in the roll out of Waterfall City,” Wilken notes.

Industry players have raised concerns about whether Attacq has enough capital to see through the development. The company’s financial director Melt Hamman has responded saying that Attacq has about R11 billion of committed debt facilities for the development.

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