Just Property

26 February 2021 | Advice, Commercial

Partnership and Foresight in a Challenging Economy

In his Property Insights report dated 9 February 2021, Property Strategist John Loos identified the following key themes that emerge from the results of FNB’s Property Broker Survey - Market Balance Q4 2020. In this article, commercial property developer Jacques Bellingan and commercial property broker Mark Connett unpack how partnerships and foresight are essential to thriving in the challenging current economic climate. “We didn’t need COVID to guide us; we have always looked ahead and focussed on building a resilient business”, says Bellingan

The Industrial Property Market is still perceived as the strongest of the three major commercial property sectors, i.e. Industrial, Retail and Office.  

Bellingan has always taken a long-term view of the property game, believing that this is “critical to retaining clients”. His mixed-use, integrated commercial property developments, placed near residential developments and easy-to-access transport routes, ensure resilience in varied market conditions. However, he is not complacent. When asked what worries him, he answers, “managing the risk of tenant unknowns”. Commercial businesses may restructure or relocate and he has no control over this. This is where commercial broker and Just Property Port Elizabeth Commercial franchisee, Mark Connett, steps in saying that “we stay close to our commercial tenants and landlords alike, aligning with them closely to understand their changing needs and to be part of their decision making”. Bellingan takes this a step further, sometimes investing in property changes on risk to secure the prospect of long-term tenants. “Tenants buy into developments where the developer is invested and positive”, says Connett. This personal approach and inherent positivity is part of Bellingan’s formula for success.

The needs of commercial tenants have changed and Bellingan has been ahead of the curve. His modern properties in the Greenbushes Industrial Park offer limited, high-quality spaces that are highly secure, highly customisable and cost-effective. His focus has always been on bringing value to his tenants through out-of-the-box thinking and a partnership-first approach to business. Tenants are increasingly concerned about their staff’s welfare and being able to address factors like natural lighting, cubic storage (going up as well as out), sprinkler systems and security allows Bellingan a competitive edge in the industrial market. He geared for this years ago!

Bellingan first broke in Port Elizabeth’s Greenbushes area and Western Suburbs some 17 years ago, foreseeing the city’s growth in this direction and the realisation of a broader vision of integrated property uses. He took inspiration from what was happening in the Johannesburg warehouse space 20 years ago and other coastal developments like Montague Gardens in the Western Cape. Montague Gardens is a unique industrial area in that it is surrounded and serviced by numerous residential and commercial areas which are close to the industrial activity. Today, Port Elizabeth’s Western Suburbs are flourishing, with Baywest Mall, a brand new flagship Makro store coming soon, Wedgewood Golf Estate and multiple new residential property developments including Leah Terrace, River Oaks, Kragga Kamma Park Estate and Fairbrook Retirement Village.

Connett notes that the commercial property sector is moving in the direction that the Greenbushes Industrial Park can address; it was ahead of its time with Bellingan developing to “be part of the future and not just history”. Other developers are now leveraging that vision and the Greenbushes precinct is ever-growing, securing high-calibre, discerning tenants like Pickfords, Takealot.com, BAT and others. 

Bellingan is pleased to be able to accommodate the needs of companies that now need smaller or different spaces as they consolidate their operations. Komatsu is an example and Bellingan was able to pivot and meet their changing needs.

Contact Just Property Port Elizabeth Commercial for your commercial and industrial property needs:

041 581 6471 | portelizabethcommercial@just.property




Article drafted by Deirdre Moore for Mark Connett and Jacques Bellingan
February 2021

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