After 22 years, Atterbury Properties is going strong, recognising opportunities to develop its portfolio in growth nodes across the continent.
A total of 22 years after Atterbury Properties was founded by the duo of Louis van der Watt and Francois van Niekerk, the company is continuing to pursue opportunities across borders and growing its building portfolio, which has passed two million square metres of prime retail, commercial and mixed-use buildings.
With a strategic focus in Europe, Atterbury Properties is active in Cyprus as well as Eastern Europe. In Africa, the company is targeting underdeveloped areas that show potential for expansion, such as Pemba, on the northern coast of Mozambique, where off-shore natural gas reserves were discovered. Having recognised the opportunity for retail development, construction is currently underway on the Pemba Retail Centre.
According to project manager, Gerhard van der Westhuizen, market research has shown that Pemba, like most other Mozambican towns, can’t sustain more than one shopping centre, so being first is important. “The cost, complex processes to obtain local authority approvals and language differences present real barriers of entry, so if we put down roots first, we’ll have an advantage over any competitors,” he states.
Atterbury already completed four retail developments in Africa. Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius was completed in 2011, followed by West Hills Mall in Accra, Ghana and The Grove, Mall of Namibia in 2014 and Achimota Retail Centre in Accra in 2015.
People make it happen
But this kind of growth and success doesn’t come easy. Celebrating the hard work and commitment of its employees, Atterbury Properties recently hosted its first long service awards ceremony, where four people received awards for 15 years of service, 11 employees for between 10 and 14 years at the company and another 21 for five to nine years.
In addition, the company is investing in skills development, having recently partnered with Richmond Park Treasury Trust to organise skills-development training for a group of about 120 people from the Richmond Park community. The group completed eight-week courses in bricklaying, plumbing, painting, carpentry or electrical work, facilitated by Tjeka.
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