New living trend emerging in South Africa

 ·5 Mar 2023

Centralised living has become an increasingly attractive option for South Africans as cities become more crowded, says Astrino Nicoloudakis, Chief Investment Officer of property development firm Acsion Limited.

Centralised living refers to the concentration of people, resources, and services in a particular location or area, typically in a city or urban setting.

This trend allows for an uninterrupted lifestyle with access to amenities, services and technology – making it appealing for those who wish to make their lives easier, said Nicoloudakis.

A centralised location offers access to important services such as utilities and transportation – instead of having to do a long commute, services and people are quickly accessible.

According to the CIO, this saves time as well as money because of reduced travel costs.

Mixed-use developments are a great way to experience centralised living in luxury, said Nicoloudakis.

With amenities, such as gyms and spas, and shops and restaurants, mixed-use buildings offer a one-stop shop for all of the services and amenities that might be required, he added.

“One of the biggest advantages of centralised living is cost savings. With lower transport costs – due to the reduction in diesel and petrol usage – residents can save money while obtaining services and conducting meetings within the building.”

“The cost savings are further boosted by the different types of meeting spaces available, such as hotel-standard conference rooms for professional and corporate clients, co-working pods and hot desks for venture capitalists, reception lounges and office pause areas for informal dealmaking, and neutral meeting areas,” he said.

Nicoloudakis pointed to Sandton as an example of an area primed for centralised living due to its strong public transport infrastructure, such as the Gautrain and its quick access to the airport.

He said that mixed-use buildings pare prioritising safety, making it easier for residents to lock up and go.

Regarding safety, estate living is not suitable for most of the population due to the increasing levies required to maintain the standard of living and 24-hour security.

In a high-rise mixed-use building, costs are contained as there is a reliance on technology, and fewer security officers are required.

Although the initial cost of building a high-rise mixed-use building may be higher, the savings and efficiencies across the uses and services are passed on to the tenant once critical occupancy levels are achieved.

Mixed-use buildings also offer an ideal base for digital nomads who work from home or travel.

Load shedding and impending ‘water shedding’ have also highlighted the need for centralised living, said the CIO.

To combat failing municipal service delivery, landlords and developers are designing buildings that take these services off the grid and provide uninterrupted delivery to tenants and guests.

“However, it can be difficult to achieve a cost-effective solution for both the property developer and tenants, as some services like climate-controlled air-conditioning are energy-intensive and difficult to provide during load shedding,” said Nicoloudakis.

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