Boxwood Property Fund acquired Picbel Parkade in 2020 with the view of refurbishing one of the most well-known buildings in the Cape Town CBD. The brief to the architects was to create an office product that cannot be found, and something that would disrupt the commercial office market like what the Radisson Red did to the hospitality real estate Industry. Architecture firm Ampersand Architects led by Anthony McBride did exactly this!
“We feel that this couldn’t have come at a better time, given the changes in office requirements, efficiencies and what people prioritize in terms of office space” say Lyle van der Merwe. As businesses rethink office hours and more employees opt for hybrid work models of staggered shifts or alternative days in the office, the demand for small office rentals has increased. Enter the FELIX, a R40-million renovated multi-use building transformed from a 1960’s stalwart to a 2021 phenomenon.
The FELIX comprises 10 000m2 of commercial office space, 5 000m2 of retail space and 882 parking bays and is named after the children’s cartoon character, Felix the Cat. This only adds to its charm – trendy and fun with a mischievous streak – and, according to Boxwood Asset Manager Catherine Bosman, is meant to change the perception of both the building and how people view the workplace.
Boxwood CEO Rob Kane says the FELIX has been designed with workers’ needs in mind and the reimagined building ticks all the boxes that post-pandemic employees are looking for. The building will soon be 4-star Green-rated, offices are flexible and range from 200m2 to 680m2 (ideal for small, collaborative teams!), and it sports a boxing gym and is close to major stores and businesses.
The crowning jewel of what is an already bold, creative space are two external atriums that each span five floors. The all-weather spaces are light-filled and ideal for coffee breaks, after-work drinks or simply a space to rejuvenate. While one atrium has been leased for exclusive use, the other will be available to all tenants and is kitted with wooden seating and cushions, workstations and a braai facility.
As Kane would say, the FELIX is a creative, engaging space where people can “perform at their best”.