@Fourteenth brings colourful affordable accommodation to Boksburg CBD
February 2020 – A project funded by TUHF, @Fourteenth is a bright new residential complex that offers affordable accommodation within the Boksburg CBD.
Situated opposite the Boksburg Municipality Customer Care Centre on Trichardts Road, the building was originally a mixed-use structure containing retail facilities on the ground floor and residential units on the first and second floors. However, the building had not seen successful retail undertakings for some time and was rundown. When the building was put on the market for sale, local resident and property entrepreneur, Leroy Slava, recognised an opportunity and set upon a project to not only give the building a facelift, but a new purpose.
“I own property not far from @Fourteenth that I rent out and for years, when I had been near that part of town to oversee my other property, I had driven past the original building and noticed the rapid turnover of retail tenants. I often wondered if the building would have been better suited to a different use,” says Slava. “So, when the building came up for sale in 2018 I saw this as an investment opportunity; to buy the building and convert it to a full residential rental building. I contacted TUHF for property finance as I knew this was exactly the kind of inner-city property project that TUHF has the appetite to invest in.”
“We had spoken to Leroy before about similar opportunities and were thrilled when this project met our criteria so that we could move forward,” says Khumbulani Chikomo from TUHF. “Leroy knows the Boksburg inner city, has demonstrated his property management skills and has a good track record of providing good customer service and maintaining his properties well.”
TUHF provided financing to the value of R 8.3 million for purchase of the property as well as construction, refurbishment and professional fees to complete the conversion in full. The retail floor had to be converted to create residential units, and the original residential units had to be reconfigured from large 100 m2 units to smaller units of various sizes in order to increase capacity and ensure maximum impact.
“The experience of working with TUHF has been great,” says Slava. “I rent out and manage a few smaller properties, but this was my first conversion development project and property of this scale, so it was a real learning opportunity for me too, and the team from TUHF was very supportive and helpful.”
“They went above and beyond, not just in terms of helping to establish financial feasibility but also in terms of advising on risk management. In particular, the service providers that TUHF recommended –– were a pleasure to work with.”
The building not only showed promise to be economically sustainable but fully meets TUHF’s vision of achieving ‘impact through scale’. Besides the Municipality’s Customer Care Centre, the building is situated close to the Boksburg Public Library, two schools, retail facilities, several local businesses and one of Colgate Palmolive’s satellite offices. This makes it ideally located to have a positive impact on the area and provide good quality residential space with access to all the necessary amenities.
The newly renovated @Fourteenth consists of 31 residential units, ranging from bachelor studios to 2-bedroom apartments. The refurbishment was completed recently and opened for tenanting in the first week of February 2020 – and Slava as the owner and landlord is confident that the new @Fourteenth will offer a good return on investment.
“I’m especially proud of the fact that I received an invitation to enter the 2019 Investor of the Year Awards from the SA Property Investors Network for this project – and had made it to being named a finalist for the Award. And the support and guidance I received from the team at TUHF went a long way to making that possible too. I expect @Fourteenth to be fully tenanted in the coming months – and I’m already looking forward to my next project with TUHF,” concludes Slava.