Sustainable Proposition from Indigenous Developers
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Stuart Parker
Today’s industry giants in distribution and manufacturing require considerably larger facilities, higher clear heights, good turning circles, sizeable parking areas and bigger storage capacities than 10 years ago; while still maintaining a concerted focus on security and location. Situated in the Chloorkop Township in Gauteng, South Africa, Lords View Industrial Park has worked hard to provide its answer to these changes by bringing international standards to the South African market. “We are looking to bring the latest and greatest industrial township to South African industry, utilising European standards to draw in both multinational and indigenous companies seeking a modern, energy efficient industrial stand with state-of-the-art FTTB (fibre-to-the-business) and sustainability at its heart,” says Warwick Lord, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lord Trust Developers.
Lord Trust Developers (Pty) Ltd was established in 2007 to oversee and develop the environmentally friendly and eco-sensitive Lords View Industrial Park (Lords View) and to house the Lord Trust’s land developments division. The Trust owns operating assets in The Echo Group, a company that manufactures hollow-core flooring solutions and has diversified its offering to work with Lord Trust Developers and Enviroserv to build an on-site municipal waste-to-energy facility that will, once developed, provide for the whole industrial park.
“Before purchasing the land, three crucial factors had to be considered during a 12 month due diligence period: the availability of electricity, an assessment of sufficient road infrastructure and securing environmental approval. When we bought the land, the price was good. We bought considerably more than was required for the municipal waste facility as a result, and made the decision to answer the growing demand for industry, designing a model of what we hoped the Park to look like when completed, while aligning ourselves to South Africa’s Millennium Development Goal of Sustainability,” explains Lord.
Unilever was the first globally renowned industry player to locate itself in the Park, taking 105,000m2 of land in phase one for the development of a facility that will cater for the increased demand for its Magnum ice creams in Africa. Securing a company such as Unilever had a cascade effect that resulted in a splurge of interest from other potential investors and the park has grown from strength to strength as a consequence. “Often considered the gateway to Africa, there is a clear demand for new industrial buildings in the burgeoning South African manufacturing and distribution markets. Lords View is in prime location to answer this demand, also reducing transportation costs to key South African locations and streamlining the supply-chain process for clients,” says Lord.
“As more and more multinational companies set up a facility at Lords View, we will see must-have attitudes increase due to the many standout selling points of the development. Clients like Unilever act as the anchors that will encourage others to establish here,” the CEO adds.
Comprised of eight townships, phases one, two and three are now complete and currently phases four, five and eight are being serviced. Lord emphasised that the remaining phases of the development will be launched as and when demand dictates: “Given the positive interest so far, it is clear the Park will only continue to grow as we focus on providing the latest and greatest industrial park in South Africa from a sustainable perspective.”
Going forward, Lord has chosen to include leasing industrial buildings to potential tenants in order to maintain long-term interest in the park: “Emphasis will remain on keeping plot sales coming in at a steady rate, but as the Park grows, so does its value as a sustainable South African infrastructure project, therefore leasing will unlock its full profit potential for us.”
Across the world, there is a growing trend for companies to ‘go green’ and reduce their carbon footprint. In most cases, it has become an obligation which reflects a company’s respect for the environment, and in some cases it is reflected in the brand’s image through its products, services and even corporate logos. “More than half of South African consumers have a positive green attitude and this is sure to continue growing. Unilever’s presence on Lords View has exemplified sustainable operating targets as the Company strives to become carbon neutral by 2020,” Lord details.
In answering this call for sustainability, the Park is able to take advantage of methane gas generated from Enviroserv’s landfill site, located adjacent to the complex. “The methane gas that is harvested and converted is able to supply power to Lords View. This innovative response to ‘greener’ property developments is still niche and we pride ourselves on being one of the first-adopters, incorporating the latest technology to decrease the country’s carbon footprint. Unilever has since declared it wants all of Enviroserv’s output in order to fulfil company goals,” says Lord.
In light of this allocation to Unilever, Lord Trust Developers is now focused on the ambitious second phase of renewable power in the form of a municipal biogas energy project, touted to generate 23MVA once completed. “The development requires considerably higher capex however, it will provide a full backup of power to the park which, given South Africa’s reputation for power outages, will negate the need for our clients to have generators; therefore saving money on diesel fuel to power these generators. Once we have the right procedures in place to make this work, it will make our offering extremely attractive,” highlights Lord.
Given the long-term nature and phased-development of the Industrial Park, Lord Trust will look to continue to maintain steady sales levels and increase the number of leases at Lords View. “We have to allow huge timelines for environmental approvals, securing electricity supplies and so on; and these have to be in place before construction can begin,” says Lord.
Moreover, the Company will continue to work with those interested in moving to the site to encourage the employment of local people and companies surrounding the development. “We have a big focus on both employing and educating the community about the Lords View Industrial Park, and our Community Liaison Officer plays a crucial role here.
“Similarly, as a small development Company, relationships with suppliers and industry professionals are vital to our success. We are always careful to foster good relationships with those locally and encourage business growth in South Africa more broadly through our development,” he adds.
With the hopes to finish the latest phases of development by the end of 2016, Lord Trust Developers is creating a buzz in South Africa’s business scene, demonstrating the value that a lease or sale at the Park can create for companies seeking a sustainable and strategic locale to set up shop for the foreseeable future.
To view prices, availability and plot sizes at Lords View Industrial Park, visit www.lordsview.co.za