Parts of Cell C’s head office in Midrand, which boasts a customer walk-in centre, an IT centre, warehouse facilities and office space, is for rent.
The Cell C campus was developed by Atterbury, with construction starting in July 2012 after an official sod-turning ceremony with former Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig.
It formed part of Atterbury’s commercial development rights for 330 hectares of land north of Sandton, which included the Waterfall Business Estate.
After its completion in 2013, Cell C’s head office soon became a landmark in Gauteng thanks to its excellent visibility from the Buccleuch Interchange.
Atterbury later sold the Cell C campus to the Attacq Property Fund, which has recently put the property, or at least part of the property, up for rent.
The Cell C head office boasts a gross leasable area of 43,890m² and features rehabilitated wetlands and a 1.8km walking trail aimed at encouraging a healthy workforce.
According to two people linked to the lease of the property, potential tenants have the option of renting the full property or only part of it.
There is speculation that Varsity College, which is rapidly expanding, is (or was) one of the parties interested. This could, however, not be confirmed.
Louise Wiseman, MD of Varsity College and IIE MSA, told MyBroadband their campus footprint has grown for a number of years to accommodate their increasing number of students.
Most recently, IIE Varsity College constructed a new state-of-the-art campus at the Newlands Cricket Ground development.
Varsity College is planning to expand the Pretoria campus this year and is considering various options for the envisioned campus expansions in other areas.
Cell C explains its decision
Cell C took occupation of its new campus at the end of 2013 on a 15-year lease, which means the initial agreement is set to expire in 2028.
Should the property be rented to a different company, it means the initial agreement will be terminated well before it was supposed to end.
There is, however, also the potential of sub-leasing part of the campus while Cell C maintains some of the office space.
Cell C told MyBroadband that in response to COVID-19 and the reduction in staff numbers subsequent to the conclusion of the Section 189 process, it is looking at ways to optimise cost and use its resources more efficiently.
The company has also adopted a hybrid remote working model, which has seen a further reduction in the number of staff coming into the office.
It is therefore looking at ways to sublease areas of the campus no longer required or those the company does not foresee being occupied in the short to medium term period going forward.
“All staff will continue to be working on a rotational basis from the campus aligned to the Cell C work from home policy as well as to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols,” the company said.
Cell C added that the store and support centre situated on the campus were closed during the end of 2020.
Cell C customers who still visit the head office are assisted at the main campus by on-site internal customer care consultants.
The intention is, however, for customers to use other Cell C retail outlets, like the one at Mall of Africa.