Its prime location close to the OR Tambo International airport within the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis and proximity to key major routes is fast making the Plumbago Business and Plumbago Logistics Parks destinations of choice for logistics, freight forwarding and light industrial businesses.

J.T. Ross Development Director Graeme Green, said that this latest greenfields development by the respected property development and investment company had already attracted high profile international companies such as John Deere, DB Schenker, DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Supply Chain, Würth and Jonsson Workwear.

He said that there was still space available both in the 37 hectare Plumbago Business Park and the 75 hectare Plumbago Logistics Park on which developments are being done to tenants’ specific requirements. .

In addition, plans are underway for the further development of a 9 000m² multipurpose facility that will accommodate smaller companies with premises ranging from 600m² upwards. Green said that J.T. Ross did not restrict itself to high profile blue chip tenants and was a firm believer in smaller companies’ growth being a key component of national economic development. In light of this, it looked forward to growing with its smaller tenants.

J.T. Ross’ Plumbago Business and Plumbago Logistics Parks, which straddle the R21 heading from the OR Tambo Airport towards Pretoria, will play a strategic part in the development of the wider Riverfields precinct. As a pioneering investor, the company is expected to set the tone for property demand in what is already a rapidly evolving node.

Riverfields measures approximately 1 600 hectares and is envisaged as a “new city” within the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s planned Aerotropolis. Riverfields has been planned as a mixed-use urban node that includes residential, retail, office, commercial and light industrial developments.

It is expected to create as many as 160 000 jobs within the construction sector and a similar number of permanent employment opportunities going forward.

Green pointed out that Plumbago is well located within the Albertina Sisulu Corridor and provided excellent access to the R21 highway. It is just 6,5km – or five minutes’ drive – away from OR Tambo International airport and approximately 20 minutes from Pretoria.

Key to the development of Riverfields as a whole and Plumbago in particular, is optimisation of existing and planned access, linkages and mobility in order to facilitate the efficient movements of goods both nationally and into the rest of Africa.

“The precinct will give both large and small distribution users the immense benefit of convenient access to all major freeway routes serving Gauteng and beyond. It’s not how you operate your business, but where,” he said.

That is why multinational heavy equipment manufacturer, John Deere, has chosen Plumbago for its Sub-Sahara distribution centre. The 20 000m² facility – an exact model of the company’s American facility – will support its extensive dealer network in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, an area from which many tenants at Plumbago anticipate future growth.

Würth, another international company which trades in assembly and fastening materials, is also relocating to Plumbago.
Its 5 000m² facility is under construction and will be ready for handover in December.

Jonsson Workwear is another to set up a 12 000m² automated national distribution centre at Plumbago. Fellow tenant Fast Freight is already operating from a 5 000m² parcel express handling facility which is perfectly situated for distribution to a host of different regions.

Green said that many of these large facilities included companies’ head offices which had ordinarily been located in upmarket commercial nodes. The architectural design theme and landscaping followed the trend away from the unattractive industrial areas of old, undoubtedly further enhancing the location’s value for tenants.

“Logistics warehouses and associated office buildings located within the precinct will all adopt a contemporary, industrial architectural feel and seek to improve end user operating environments through innovative building design, green building concepts and cutting edge construction technology,” he emphasised.

Green said the trend towards consolidating far flung operations in single, carefully chosen locations enabled large companies to save costs and improve operational efficiencies.
DHL Global Forwarding located its primary warehouse and corporate head office at Plumbago, whilst DHL Supply Chain will combine operations into a multi-user facility when its 25 000m² new property is ready for occupation in November.

Global logistics and transport giant, DB Schenker, also elected to locate four divisions under one roof and located both its warehouse and established their regional head quarters for Sub-Saharan Africa at the Plumbago Business Park.

Green said that, in investing in Riverfields, JT Ross had taken a long term view and was confident that the precinct offered the best growth opportunities in the mid to longer term. This was the result of extensive work by an experienced development team that had worked together for over 15 years.

This team had ensured state-of-the-art infrastructure was in place to meet tenants’ present and future needs. In addition to standard services such as water and electricity, provision was made for Telkom and private fibre optic lines.

Plumbago Business Park is a 24-hour monitored security estate with a modern gatehouse that has been designed to ensure ease of flow as well as convenient access for tenants as well as visitors.

The road network infrastructure has been specially designed for logistics and freight operators with wider roads and numerous lanes to accommodate heavier vehicles with wide turning circles and to reduce congestion.

He said that both the Plumbago Logistics Park and the Plumbago Business Park had been planned and designed with a view to extending them in the future. In addition, although JT Ross believes its new tenants will be long standing ones, it had nevertheless designed both developments with a lifespan that extended beyond the use of its initial clients.