Countryside revival drives demand for commercial property, from coffee shops to small theatres
Category Hot Investments
Small town living is making a comeback and with that there has been a revival of small industries according to Richard Pratt from Seeff Struisbaai. The artisanal revival is inspiring people to set up shop along the tourist routes and it is not uncommon to find a young couple or an executive or professional in their forties or fifties to suddenly decide to move to the countryside to open a restaurant.
For some, it is the opportunity to finally open an art gallery or craft shop while others may look into organic farming or home-made produce and there are often plenty of opportunities to serve local farming and town communities, he says.
Look at an area such as Struisbaai for example. It is just two hours from Cape Town and a popular weekend and holiday destination with a bustling local community and a host of business opportunities. The town is growing and demand for commercial property and vacant land is high despite the economic challenges.
He says that there are several commercial property buyers looking to invest and start their own businesses and it is fairly easy to find tenants since demand is high. Rental income is affordable which is great for an entrepreneur setting up shop and most are looking for small business opportunities ranging from carpentry to steel works.
Belinda Willemse, also from Seeff Struisbaai says that she is beginning to see an influx of younger people looking to set up a business. Where the Struisbaai and Agulhas area was mainly known as a coastal town for retirement or holiday makers, the high crime rates and intensity of city living is driving younger couples with their children to relocate to smaller towns for a better quality life.
This in turn is driving demand for commercial property. Prices of commercial property ranges from R2.5m-R5m while rentals are generally in the R4,500-R8,000/sqm range depending on the location. She says further that good opportunities include a reputable food store (such as Woolworths), medical suites and an electronic store for computer equipment, cell phones and accessories.
Seeff's countryside agents give a few more suggestions.
Services to a busy farming community and bustling town such as vehicle repairs is always in demand. The vibrant town of Bredasdorp in the Overberg is one such area and here, you can for example find a well-equipped panel beating business for R2.845m according to John Albertyn and Elaine Beyers.
Beer gardens and outdoor restaurants are popular with tourists and locals. Head to Struisbaai where you will find the well-known Old Cape Last Trading Post, a popular tourist attraction with a restaurant/bar and beer garden with accommodation for R12.8m.
Even a town like Middelburg in the Karoo has great opportunities. Here, Barbara van Zyl is selling the fully equipped Spiros Family Bakery, both the business and property for R10m. Or, if the Orange River resort town of Gariepdam is to your liking, you could consider investing in a popular café and bakery ideally located for customers' daily fresh bread and milk requirements, says Mariaan Booysen. Priced at R870,000, it is ready to walk into and start operating.
If you want to run a guest house and Calvinia appeals to you then, says Flip Augustyn, you can consider the landmark Calvinian Hotel, a 1562sqm building on 2155sqm of land for R6.45m. The popular Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn also welcomes scores of visitors annually and guest houses are always in demand, says Bettie Nel. Expect to pay around R4.75m for a guest house with seven suites, a pool and a second house with two bedrooms.
Aside from coffee shops and restaurants, bric-a-brac and antique stores are also popular, says Nelia Retief from Seeff Tulbagh. A good choice is a renovated building in Main Road for R2.995m which houses a deli, coffee shop, restaurant and antique furniture/bric-a-brac shop. The price is for the building and land, but the businesses are also for sale.
Entertainment is another popular choice. Just think of what Pieter Dirk Uys' Evita's Peron has done for the small West Coast town of Darling. If you are into the performing arts, then you should definitely head to Riebeek Kasteel, about two hours from Cape Town where you will find a fabulous theatre, says Niel Brand. The price of R2.2m includes the land and buildings. The theatre has two separate performance chambers and can accommodate adults and children, dressing rooms and a large bar and kitchen and has hosted many local and international artists.
Visit www.seeff.com for more information.
Struisbaai - R12.8m for the Old Cape Last Trading Post restaurant, bar and beer garden with accommodation
Bredasdorp - R2.85m for a fully equipped panel beating business
Middelburg - R10m for the Spiros Family Bakery and Deli (property included)
Calvinia - R6.45m for the popular Calvinian Hotel
Oudtshoorn - R4.75m for a fabulous guest house with a second house on the property
Tulbagh - R2.995m for a renovated building in Main Road which currently houses a deli, coffee shop, restaurant and antique furniture/bric-a-brac shop (businesses are also available for negotiation)
Riebeek Kasteel - R2.2m for a popular theatre with two performance chambers, dressing rooms and a bar and kitchen which has hosted many local and international artists (property included)
Gariepdam - R870,000 for a popular café and bakery ideally located for customers' daily fresh bread and milk requirements
Author: Gina Meintjes