Situated at the heart of Johannesburg’s prestigious north – an area renowned for its exclusivity and highly regarded as a commercial, industrial and retail hub, Northlands Business Park Ltd is a company that has carved out a reputation for excellence. Operating strictly out of Northriding and Muldersdrift, the company has become a leading player in the city’s highly competitive construction sector, and oversees of one of the most desirable business parks in the region – a park that was built brick-by-brick by Northlands itself.
Darin D’Oliveira, Northland Business Park’s Managing Director and Founder, is a man with construction in his blood. From humble beginnings, D’Oliveira has worked tirelessly to develop a once near-barren patch of land into what it is today – a bustling hub of industry that has grown to become one of Johannesburg’s most affluent business parks.
“I entered into the construction sector in 1987 after completing my national service, first with LTA, and started Dolveira Developments with my brother, who was also a civil engineer. I joined my dad in his consulting business prior to this, but it lacked the excitement of a big concrete power.
My brother and I did a lot of residential developments and contracts for Group Five, and it was later in 1999 that I was approached by Guerrino Cellini to join him in developing Northlands Business Park. We opened Northlands Business Park Ltd in 1999 and proceeded to develop the entire Northlands Precinct, consisting of Northlands Business Park, Deco Park, Production Park, Industrial Park and Commercial Park. In 2013, Cellini and I dissolved our partnership and I took over 100% of Northlands Business Park Ltd.”
Over the course of his 18-years leading Northlands Business Park Ltd, Darin has overseen the design, development, and construction of 700,000m2 of premium business property, comprised of buildings ranging from steel framed warehouses and factories to smaller external-face brick and glass buildings. Every inch of our developments, has been built with a discerning clientele in mind, and a conscious effort has been made to create a lush and visually striking business park which is environmentally sustainable, fit for a Johannesburg on the rise:
“Northlands prides itself by building with as much energy efficiency as possible. We encourage the use of double glazing polystyrene under floors and between brick walls, and the use of solar power. Attention to detail is our main focus and to produce a quality product at the best price.”
Magnificent sweeping tree-lined roads and paved walkways, framed by well-tended gardens, run adjacent to the cutting-edge architecture of vast warehouses and factories, retail outlets and showrooms. Truly, Northlands has succeeded in combining chic design with nature to create a tranquil environment in which anyone would want to conduct business.
More than beauty and clean energy, Northlands makes another promise in its business park; safety. The development is highly securitised, boasting 24-hour onsite security, electric booms offering controlled access, and extensive CCTV camera coverage which monitors both the perimeter and interior of the park. If this weren’t enough to attract the crowds, there’s the powerful draw of Northlands Business Park’s excellent positioning, which makes the precinct easily accessible by both the N1 and N4 Highways, and is within striking distance of O.R. Tambo International Airport. This convenient location and the business park’s wide array of onsite amenities easily positions Northlands Business Park as the equal to impressive business hubs in any global city.
With these great attributes in mind, it is easy to see why competition for a spot in Northlands is so fierce, particularly in the Deco Park area of the precinct, which stands within touching distance of Johannesburg’s affluent northern suburbs. Darin elaborated: “From Northlands Deco Park, the precinct’s dedicated retail park, clients have access to an exclusive customer base. From here, many furniture and furnishings businesses operate, as well as interior renovation and building supplies outlets – a lot of people come here seeking quality materials for this reason. This, combined with Northlands’ competitive pricing of R70 per m2, has seen our retail clients flourish.
Business is booming at Northlands, but Darin doesn’t only credit this success to his park and its facilities; his highly skilled and professional team are essential for ensuring that the site keeps ticking along smoothly and providing the high standards promised by its impressive design. They are also paramount in helping to ensure the successful completion of further construction projects the company is committed to. Darin told us:
“What sets Northlands apart from the rivals is that it is a small highly-driven team that are young and energetic working under my leadership with 30 years of experience. Northlands Business Park has 14 employees. Staff are encouraged to enrol in courses that develop their skills. Staff grow within the company however the number of positions are limited. Key staff in managerial positions are incentivised with profit share.”
In terms of what lays ahead for Northlands, the future appears as bright as the present. It is no secret that the South African economy has been struggling in recent years, and this has certainly had a dampening effect on business, and yet Darin is happy to report that, going into the second half of the year, his business diary is filled.
“Currently Northlands Business Park has a contract to develop 40 000 m² of industrial space for Northlands Group Holdings, namely Northlands Retail Park. We have also won the tenders of a few residential homes at the Avianto Estate. Considering the state of the nation currently, we are very lucky to have as much work as we do. There is always plenty of competition so one is driven to keep providing a better service, and at a more competitive price than anyone else. The biggest obstacle at present is the time it takes to get plan approvals and township establishments through the council.”
Through hard work and self-belief, the story of Darin and his company is testimony to what can be achieved if you pursue your goals with determination and commitment. Beauty, efficiency, and quality; suffice to say, Northlands is a company we’ll be watching closely over the years to come.