Ray Mahlaka
1 minute read
24 Jul 2014
10:00 am

Discovery’s new head office to change Sandton landscape

Ray Mahlaka

In four years' time, Sandton will see the opening of Discovery's new 87 000 square metre head office in, despite congestion concerns, "Africa's richest square mile".

Picture: Thinkstock

The Growthpoint Properties and Zenprop joint venture will develop the insurer’s head office, which has been described as “the largest single commercial office development in Africa”.

Growthpoint will own 55% of the building, on the prime corner of Katherine Street and Rivonia Road, while Zenprop will own the remaining 45%.

Growthpoint CEO Norbert Sasse says, “This is not something we have been innovating for a year or two; this has been a long time in the making in terms of acquiring the site. It is systematically four or five years of acquiring properties.”

Discovery is expected to occupy the new building with a 15-year lease – a consolidation exercise housing 5 000 employees from the company’s four buildings in Sandton. Discovery’s office division director, Rudolf Pienaar, says the location of the development is in prime property, as it is in close proximity to Sandton City and the Gautrain station.

It’s not only about the development becoming “a landmark on the Sandton skyline” explains Pienaar, but also infusing green and sustainable elements.

Bob van Bebber of architectural company Boogertman & Partners says the building is targeting a five-star green rating, as it is close to public transport including a proposed Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System. Acquired properties for the location were demolished in a sustainable manner, natural lighting will be used and the building contains recycling features.

CEO of Zenprop James Tannenberger, says: “From our point of view, we are constantly pushing the boundaries in terms of designing buildings. Discovery’s technical team understands what goes into a building from a technical and land point of view.”