Absa Bank is set to consolidate its 14 offices in the Western Cape to one centrally located regional  office at Century City.

One of the largest financial services groups in Africa, Absa has signed a 10-year lease for 14,000m2 of offices in the newly completed Bridge Park office development, in what is believed to be the largest letting deal seen in Cape Town for at least five years.

Comprising two four-storey, 5 Star Green Star rated buildings set over a shared parking basement and podium, Bridge Park is located on a high visibility site in Century City’s new conference precinct, which the company says is destined to become the new commercial and hospitality hub of Century City.

The buildings were developed in a joint venture between Rabie Property Group and Growthpoint Properties at a cost of R450m.

Fit-out of the buildings is due to start shortly with Absa personnel to be relocated to Bridge Park on a phased basis from mid-March next year.

Doug Walker, Managing Executive of Absa Bank in the Western Cape, says the decision to relocate to Century City had been made because of the need to consolidate its various offices into one central location and Century City provided the optimal solution.

“Absa’s new Century City offices are located in two 5 Star Green Star rated, energy-efficient buildings. We hope that this will provide both a creative and inspirational space for our staff to enjoy in one central location.”

Bridge Park is adjacent to the R1bn Century City Square project that includes the new Century City Conference Centre for 1,900 delegates over 20 venues, a  new 125 room hotel, 15.000m2 as well as basement and structured parking for 1,300 vehicles. This entire development is due for completion in February next year ahead of Absa’s relocation.

Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint’s Office Division Director, comments, “We are excited to welcome Absa to Bridge Park where they will benefit from a high-quality, energy-efficient building that will save them space, time and money and support their business goals. Growthpoint is also thrilled to partner with Rabie Property Group on yet another of Century City’s most distinctive and innovative buildings. Bridge Park strengthens Growthpoint’s office portfolio with a top quality asset.”

This is Growthpoint’s third major office property investment at the landmark Century City mixed-use development. Growthpoint first acquired the 11,000m2 Centennial Place building and then five prime office buildings offering some 11,400m2 of office space in The Estuaries Office Park.

Pienaar says that Century City is one of the best performing office nodes in South Africa and Growthpoint’s increased exposure to this fast-growing node furthers its investment strategy.

The entire conference precinct is being developed as part of “an all-green precinct” at Century City which is already home to among others, The Business Centre, Phillip Morris and Chevron – all of which have been accredited by the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Colin Anderson, a director of Rabie Property Group, said there had been strong interest in Bridge Park from a number of large corporates.

“We are now accelerating plans for a further two buildings – one of 8,000m2 and the other 7,000m2 –  in the precinct to accommodate those that missed out on Bridge Park,” he said.

Anderson said Bridge Park and The Square will both benefit from new infrastructure projects totalling more than R130m currently nearing completion. These include the construction of R45m of  roads and canals in the conference precinct,  an R18m upgrade of Sable Road, a further R2m upgrade of Bosmansdam Drive and the recently completed R35m MyCiTi trunk station – all measures aimed at significantly easing peak traffic congestion.