As working from home has become the ‘norm’ since the COVID- 19 outbreak, the office is slowly but surely becoming obsolete.
A large majority of the workforce is no longer required to commute to work, as they can simply complete all their work from home, without the constraints of Eskom, of course.
However, the transition of traditionally working in the office to working on a couch or a coworking space has unfortunately left Commercial Office Blocks VACANT.
According to Delta Property Fund’s August 2021 Reviews Condensed Consolidated Interim Results Report, commercial property building, “vacancies have increased from 23.6% to 27.2%,” thus leaving the property group to dispose of some of their vacant office blocks.
IS THERE A WAY FORWARD?
Broll’s Group Managing Director of Broll East Africa and Indian Ocean suggests that property owners should consider, “hybrid, “shared workspace,” office space models in order to balance their financial books.”
However, one questions whether the above mentioned is a sustainable solution in the long term and perhaps commercial office block companies should think outside of the box and pivot towards converting vacant office blocks into residential apartments?
Property companies such as Risk Prop as well as Live Easy have already implemented this strategy.
A NEW DEVELOPMENT
Risk Prop, a privately owned property company in Edenvale has a portfolio of commercial and well as residential properties. Their residential apartment block, Trust Place, on Van Riebeeck Avenue, Edenvale was once an office block before it was converted into a two storey apartment square that provides fully furnished, secure and economical apartments that include flexible 6 months lease agreements suitable for young professionals who are seeking to live closer to work.
Live Easy, on the other hand, provides affordable nano,15m² apartments primarily in Randburg, Marshalltown, Rivonia, Pretoria and Germiston. Although these apartments are tiny, these newly refurbished lifestyle living apartments are optimised for young professionals who are looking for a hassle free one year lease agreement in a secure apartment building that houses amenities like Wifi, gyms, workspaces as well as sports courts.