Durban at a glance
Durban Area Profile
Durban is one of South Africa’s largest and richest cities and home to the busiest port in Sub-Saharan Africa. The sub-tropical climate provides warm, sunny weather throughout the year, making it one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country. Durban has also been officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan, Doha, La Paz, Havana, Beirut and Kuala Lumpur. Durban has a large and diversified economy with strong manufacturing, tourism, transportation, finance and government sectors.
The Berea area of Durban is set upon the hills overlooking the city and incorporates the suburbs of Musgrave and Morningside. Since many businesses started leaving the city centre, these areas have become popular office locations for businesses that need to be near the city centre and harbour, but without the hassles of an inner-city location. The convenience of this location makes it a popular residential and commercial area.
Morningside is a popular suburb for both business and pleasure. Along Windermere (Lilian Ngoyi) Road and Florida Road, one will find a diverse mix of retail, restaurant and office buildings, making it a convenient location for a wide range of businesses, from shipping agents and flower shops to curry houses and accountants. The area offers some excellent standalone options in the form of converted houses, offering tenants privacy and a sense of independence.
The Musgrave area is centred around the Musgrave Centre which offers a range of retail outlets, food and entertainment. Musgrave offers excellent convenience by way of the abundance of amenities and its proximity to the CBD and N3, which makes for easy commuting in and out of the city. Musgrave Road offers a range of options including but not limited to Strathmore Park, a low-density office park set in lush garden surrounds, and FNB House, a prominent commercial block near Musgrave Centre.
Stamford Hill and Umgeni Road
Towards the bottom of the Berea, one will find a convenient mix of retail, light industry and warehousing. Stamford Hill (Mathews Meyiwa) Road is famed for its array of factory shops. Keen shoppers flock to the area, looking for bargains on shoes, shirts, sunglasses and everything in between. Hungry shoppers will also find a good selection of food offerings in the area, including Afro’s Chicken Shop, Tandoori Hut and Spice Lounge. There is a range of affordable office and warehouse space in this area, so for businesses involved in textiles and retail, this could be just the place to be. There’s also easy access to the arterial routes in and out of town, allowing for efficient distribution of goods.
The Umgeni Road area is dominated by car dealerships and related services such as fitment shops and panel beaters. The Station Drive precinct has seen a redevelopment and revival in the last couple of years. The old warehousing and industrial spaces have been repurposed to create collaborative spaces for artists and other creatives to synergise and thrive. Some of the businesses in the area are The Foundry, Open Plan Studio and Savior Brand Co. On Sundays, one will also be able to enjoy the Morning Trade, a market showcasing some of the Durban’s finest fresh produce, food and artisanal goods. The Umgeni Road area offers plenty to businesses in terms of convenience and exposure to passing traffic.
The Durban CBD has been undergoing a process of transition and transformation over the past few years. The exodus of large corporates from the CBD, coupled with the challenges of crime and building invasions has left the inner city in need of regeneration, a process that is currently underway. The City is working on rejuvenating areas such as Victoria Embankment, Albert Park, Point and Warwick Junction through building reclamation of derelict and abandoned buildings.
An example of the redevelopment is the Rivertown Precinct between the Durban ICC and the Beachfront where plans are underway to create a mixed-use, mixed economy zone that takes advantage of the cultural dynamics, historic light industrial and storage buildings and street network.
The CBD is still a thriving retail zone, especially along Smith (Anton Lembede) Street and West (Dr Pixley Ka Seme) Street. There is also a buzzing informal trade sector that adds to the array of goods on offer.
The location of the iconic City Hall and the High Court still means that there is a demand for office space in the CBD, although the supply still quite heavily outweighs the demand. The area has a vast amount of reasonably-priced office space is available and is still popular with legal practices and businesses that require easy and regular access to the High Court, City Hall and related services and amenities.
The Point area has already undergone quite a transformation in recent years and the redevelopment is expected to continue in the years to come, leading up to the Commonwealth Games in 2022. A total of 750,000 square metres will be developed, including high rise skyscrapers in excess of 55 storeys. Other infrastructure upgrades include the extension of the promenade and all surroundings roads, public transport networks and water and electricity channels.
Find Out More
To find out more about what Durban has to offer you and your business, get in touch with the Durban Branch of Vertical Spaces Properties. We have a range of office, retail and industrial space available to suit your business.