South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria (or the Tshwane Metropolitan) intersects in its multi-cultural CBD, which is filled with buildings – old and new – that show the overlap of history and architectural styles; the personality of which is represented by the people who live, work, and eke out a living in the CBD. With the Telkom buildings, law offices, and other commercial and retail tenants bringing the private sector into the CBD, the city’s aged town planning (and the lack of public parking and easy-access transport) proved to be a hindering factor in the business growth of the CBD.


While government departments make up many of the city-based tenancies, private sector companies have over the years opted for moving out of the CBD to more suitable and modern decentralised locations. There are a number of decentralised office nodes that now characterise the business environment across the greater city of Pretoria.


Arcadia and Hatfield

The suburb of Arcadia consists of many residential abodes that have been converted into commercial properties. This is also the area where many embassies are located. Office buildings and office parks are few and far between, with office buildings modestly offering 3 500sqm of office space or less. Hatfield comprises quite a bit of commercial activity, along with some of Pretoria University’s development centres. Hatfield’s vacancy rate of 6% shows stability in commercial tenancies, but the downside to this area is that there is little potential for more development.



Gaining considerable popularity over the years due to its proximity to the CBD as well as to the retail space in Brooklyn Mall, Brooklyn and its surrounding areas comprise about 160 000 sqm of luxury and A-grade office space. With a very favourable vacancy rate of 2-3%, it’s easy to see why businesses want to be in Brooklyn.


Lynnwood and Menlopark

Moving further east away from the CBD and into the residential areas of Lynnwood and Menlopark, commercial nodes in these neighbourhoods are represented by low-density office parks found on the main routes. There is increased commercial interest in this area because of the N1 highway upgrades as well as the development of the Lynnwood Bridge lifestyle centre and office park, just off the Lynnwood Road offramp. With a total of 233 000 sqm of office space and only 6.5% vacancy rate, this space will soon be in huge demand because of the limited development capacity in this primarily residential area.

Several prime Pretoria properties go up for auction on Wednesday October 27 at noon. Auction Alliance will host the event at the prestigious Hilton Hotel located at 138 Rivonia Road, Sandton.

For starters, there’s the government-tenanted commercial property on Daan De Wet Nel Road in Clarina, Pretoria North. A secure investment prospect, the property extends over an approximate GLA of 21 331m². It offers retail and office space, plus a Sasol service station with car-wash facility, right next to the Winternest Railway Station. That means it’s within easy access of main arterial routes like the R80 that lead to the central business district.

Tenants include the Department of Public Works, Sasol, Shoprite Usave and Metro Police. The property produces a gross annual income of R11 219 087,38. It accommodates plenty of parking space, which is a big plus, and incorporates retail shops, a motor vehicle workshop and offices. The loading areas are strategically situated at the eastern and western ends of the two-storey, U-shaped building.

Another income-generating commercial property in Pretoria going on auction the same day is anchored by the National Treasury until 2014. Located at 215 Vermeulen Street, it occupies 1 260m² GLA and generates a gross income of R1 343 856. The property also has reasonable access to the main arterial routes. Because it has 74 basement parking bays, it presents a lucrative option for a parking garage – plans for a four-storey facility have been drawn up.

In addition, there is an existing 104-room hotel on the corner of Visagie and Van der Walt on auction that day. To date for 2011, it has generated a gross income of R2 352 460. The location of this business property also puts it within easy access of the major highways.

As South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria has a reputation for operating at a slightly more measured pace than Johannesburg does just half an hour’s drive away (or less by Gautrain). It is famous for its jacaranda tree-lined avenues as well as its historic monuments.