THE Bridge City Business Estate project is officially open. Tongaat Hulett Property and NJR Steel are celebrating the opening of the estate’s first greenfields project – a purpose-built 4 000 m² warehouse and distribution facility.
“Bridge City is coming of age because of its strategic location and completion of the half-diamond interchange giving direct access to the M25. “This successful project demonstrates just what can be achieved at Bridge City,” said Brian Ive, a development executive at Tongaat Hulett Property, which is driving the development of this mixed-use precinct in partnership with eThekwiniMunicipality.
Situated on a 7 761 m² site within the 17 hectare business estate, the new NJR Steel facility is already fully operational.
It is home to a fully stocked shop that is open to the public and offers steel as well as hardware products, a distribution centre, which serves as a hub from which customers can collect, and the company can deliver product, and a reinforcing bar line that cuts and bends reinforcing bar as per engineering schedules for all sectors of the building industry.
According to Durban branch manager, Mike Smith, NJR Steel acquired the property two years ago. Construction commenced in earnest in May 2016 and the new Durban operation was completed in just under a year.
They officially took occupation on May 1.
The end result offers “a biggeyard, easier access and greater convenience”.
“We were previously located in New Germany, but had outgrown the facility about six years ago. The design of the building we have erected in Bridge City has taken into account our customers and suppliers and allows ease of access for both loading and offloading of materials.
“We are able to service up to four interlinks within the facility at any given time, as well as cater for customers collecting daily requirements,” he explains.
Ive and Smith believe that location is the key reason why businesses will choose Bridge City.
NJR Steel, which has a network of 16 branches in five provinces, serves customers all the way from Richards Bay to the Eastern Cape.
“We offer a large selection of mild steel products and steel hardware accessories and serve all facets of the market – from the largest fabrication business to construction businesses to the average DIY enthusiast who may require some steel or an allied product.
“With the location of the airport at La Mercy, many business have moved north. In particular, there is a lot of development in Umhlanga and the northern region. We believe our business is now centrally situated in order to provide fast and efficient service,” Smith explains.
Ive notes that the completion of the M25 diamond interchange and freeway leading to Bridge City at the beginning of the year has significantly improved access to both the town centre and the business estate for both road users and for the R20 billion GO!Durban bus rapid transport network (BRT).
In addition, he says, Bridge City businesses will also benefit from good visibility from the busy M25 and the convenience of being just three kilometres from the N2.
Bridge City Business Estate offers fully serviced and platformed sites, making them immediately available to buy, take transfer and start construction. This overcomes protracted delays experienced by many potential investors in other parts of the city.
However, according to Ive, currently there are only six sites left ranging in size from 2 500 m² to 2,9 hectares.
He adds the location of Phoenix Industrial Park directly across the M25 is another important consideration for businesses.
Since its launch in 1982, Phoenix Industrial Park has evolved into an important economic hub along the burgeoning northern corridor of Durban.
It is home to over 460 businesses, making it one of the largest industrial complexes in the country. As far back as 2013, one of the chief challenges to growth in the area has been the availability of affordable land for business expansion.
Bridge City is the second leg of the successful Effingham joint venture public private sector partnership between Tongaat Hulett Property and the eThekwini Municipality.
It is a mixed-use development that includes residential, retail (including the 48 000 m² Bridge City shopping centre), recreational, medical and commercial and light industrial facilities.