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Atterbury’s R6bn mega property project breaks ground in Pretoria

Atterbury Property Fund, the unlisted venture of Pretoria-based property investment and development heavyweight Atterbury, has commenced construction on a R6-billion mega project in the capital city.

The 200 000m2 Castle Gate mixed-use precinct is being co-developed with original landowner The Carl Erasmus Trust and was launched by Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa on Thursday.

Located on Solomon Mahlangu Drive, east of the Pretoria CBD, the first phase of the precinct will include a 23 000m2 convenience retail centre. Other developments over its five- to ten-year development roll-out include 100 000m2 of office space, 40 000m2 of specialist medical facilities, a hotel and around 1 100 residential units.

Atterbury development manager on the project, Raoul de Villiers, says Atterbury Property Fund is excited to be launching its biggest mixed-use development yet in Pretoria. Atterbury Property Fund is co-owned by Atterbury’s management and founders, together with empowerment partners Talis Investment Partners.

“This is a major development for us and highlights our commitment to South Africa and Pretoria, where the Atterbury growth story began 25 years ago,” he says. “In fact, our very first development as Atterbury was just a few offramps from here.”

De Villiers says Atterbury co-founder and noted property dealmaker Louis van der Watt secured the land from The Carl Erasmus Trust back in 2016. “He saw the potential in this prime 64-hectare property and we have been working on plans since then. We are thrilled to be launching a modern large-scale development that has the support of the City of Tshwane and the local community.”

He adds: “Property is a long-term investment. For successful property development and investment, it is necessary to look through the short-term cycles and take a long-term view. We are confident in the future of South Africa and the capital city.”

Mayor Mokgalapa says he and the city endorse the massive development.

“With R6 billion being invested into Castle Gate over the next few years, it is certain to bring significant socio-economic benefits for the City of Tshwane. We want to create an environment conducive to attracting private sector investment such as this, which is also in line with the metro’s special development framework.”

Mokgalapa says that following the city’s recent economic summit, a pipeline of some R10 billion in property development is anticipated to come on line over the next two years. “The city has set up a committee to help fast-track developments such as this,” he adds.

“We want to move from a situation of red tape to rolling out the red carpet to attract more private sector investment into the city.”

Talis, which was founded by property entrepreneur Tebogo Mogashoa, became a 30% shareholder of Atterbury Property Fund late last year, following a black empowerment deal for an undisclosed amount. Mogashoa now chairs the fund, which is also the key driver behind the R2-billion Jewel City urban renewal development in the Joburg CBD.

“I don’t believe the downward economic trend [in SA] will persist,” Mogashoa told guests at the Castle Gate launch.

Moving forward

“It is up to us to create positive momentum. This development is a testament to us building a future for all South Africans,” he says.

“We need to stop complaining and become part of the solution to take South Africa forward. It is great to be working with Atterbury, which shares a common commitment to growing the economy as well as to meaningful transformation.”

Construction on the first phase of the development is already underway, with the 23 000m2 Castle Gate Lifestyle Centre set to open next year.

The convenience shopping centre will include retail space, medical consulting rooms, offices and a Planet Fitness Gym.

Major retail and restaurant brands already signed on as tenants include Woolworths, Checkers, Dis-Chem, Builders Warehouse, RocoMamas, Doppio Zero, Spur, Ocean Basket, Nando’s and Burger King.

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