Cape Quarter Solar Panels

Cape Quarter Rejuventated

The iconic Cape Quarter complex, which is situated in Green Point Cape Town, has undergone significant renovation and rejuvenation since it was purchased by the Tower Property Fund in 2013.

All of the renovations and green retrofitting undertaken at the Cape Quarter have been handled by the centre’s management company, Spire Property Management. Property Manager St John Gardner, highlights some of the initiatives which have given the Cape Quarter its new lease on life.

Cape Quarter goes green
As the flagship property within the Tower Fund, the Cape Quarter was the first property in the portfolio to undergo a lighting and solar retrofit, which is in keeping with Tower’s commitment to a greening and occupancy cost reduction strategy.

Gardner explains that the lighting retrofit at the Cape Quarter involved all the flourescent lighting in the basement parking being replaced with LED lighting. “The cove lighting in the common areas was also replaced with LED strip lighting – allowing for a visual upgrade as well as the obvious energy use reduction.”

“This lighting retrofit has resulted in an approximate 805 360 kWh reduction in consumption per year as well as an approximate 885 896kg reduction in annual CO2 output for the Cape Quarter and equates to an impressive R850 000 per annum saving in energy costs for the property.”

The Cape Quarter also received an extensive PV solar system installation where 702 solar panels were installed over a period of four weeks on the roof of the Cape Quarter Square by Sola Future Energy, who were selected to conduct the Cape Quarter PV solar installation after several months of research and due diligence.

“The Cape Quarter PV Solar installation is monitored through a roof top weather station that feeds results through to an online portal which allows us to see how the system is performing at any time,” says Gardner. Results show that the solar panels on the roof of the Cape Quarter allow for an electricity saving of approximately R400 000 per annum.

Creating additional space and maximising tenant exposure

Through a creative reshuffle of tenants at the Cape Quarter, Spire Property Management has also succeeded in creating an additional 813 square metres of space which now houses Deloitte’s new state-of-the-art Innovation Centre.

To create this extra space, smaller tenants that were occupying individual shops on the upper level were moved down onto the Square and what was previously common space has also been incorporated into the new Innovation Centre. In addition to this, ATM’s have been moved to a more convenient location closer to the entrance from the parking, and certain stairwells and access points have also been relocated.

“This tenant reshuffle ultimately improved the positioning and maximises the exposure of these smaller tenants, who now find themselves in a much more visible areas around the centre,” says Marc Edwards, CEO of Tower. “It also resulted in a far more effective overall flow within the Cape Quarter and triggered a neatening up of the centre, with brand new toilet facilities currently being developed in a more convenient location.”

One of the key tenants relocated within the Cape Quarter was the Palladium Hair Company who were successfully transferred to a more prominent position on the Square in the space of three days – starting on a Saturday afternoon after trade. This meant that by Wednesday morning this hugely busy hair and beauty salon was back up and running in their trendy new industrial look premises – a down time of only two working days.

Redevelopment of underutilised space
In a bid to unlock value within their portfolio by maximising the use of underutilised space, Tower, together with managing agents Spire, have started work on the 32 Napier Street development, which will form part of the Cape Quarter Precinct and when completed will be made up of 11 residential apartments as well as several retail tenants on the ground and first floors of the building.

“The current 773 square metre building, situated at 32 Napier Street in Cape Town’s CBD, is to be demolished so that the full value and bulk capacity of 2 092 square metres can be realised and utilised,” says Edwards. “In addition to this, three levels of underground parking below the building and stretching down Napier Street are being added. This will add approximately 120 new parking bays to an area that is sorely lacking in this valuable commodity.”

Edwards explains that as part of this redevelopment, which is being undertaken by FWJK projects and DHK architects, the existing tenant at 32 Napier Street, The Giggling Gourmet, is currently being relocated to a more suitable premises within the main Cape Quarter building. “This innovative new facility for food celebrity Jenny Morris, which is set to open its doors in December, will also include a film set for television shoots as well as a restaurant and coffee shop and brings an exciting new energy to the Cape Quarter.”

Vacancies at an all-time low with some exciting new tenants
Sean Paul, Executive Director of Spire, says that all of the recent renovations and redevelopments at the Cape Quarter have attracted many queries for space to let by a variety of retailers, and vacancies are at an all-time low.

“Amongst the new tenants opening up at the Cape Quarter is a Vodacom corporate store with a repair centre and an award winning Spar, with a Village Home and Hardware extension – both set to open their doors on 01 December 2015. The first Sorbet Man retail and services store to be located in Cape Town is also opening up in the Cape Quarter as well as a Pernod Ricard training and client facility which will be opening in early 2016.”

This increasingly popular centre looks set to continue improving and developing in response to market demand and the owners and management concur that they have identified further opportunity for development within the precinct going forward. “The findings and successes from Cape Quarter will also be rolled out to other buildings within the Tower portfolio,” concludes Edwards.

Tower Property Fund rolling out green measure to its portfolio

The Tower Property Fund, which upon listing on the JSE in July 2013 set a clear strategy of occupancy cost reduction across the board, with a strong focus on “greening”, has continued to make good on its intentions and is currently rolling out green measures to several buildings within the fund’s portfolio.

Marc Edwards, CEO of the Tower Property Fund says that following the successful implementation of a lighting retrofit and solar installation at the Cape Quarter, the flagship property in Tower’s portfolio, the fund has begun to roll out solar and lighting retrofits to several other buildings within its portfolio.

“382 Jan Smuts Avenue in Randburg, and 6-8 Sturdee Avenue in Rosebank will be undergoing both solar and lighting retrofits.  73 Hertzog Boulevard is undergoing a lighting retrofit and the Deville Shopping Centre in Durbanville, which has already had a lighting retrofit, is currently in the process of having solar installed on its roof space – which will be the largest solar installation undertaken by Tower to date,” explains Edwards.

Edwards advises that since the start of the green retrofit at 382 Jan Smuts Avenue, the largest tenant has renewed their lease and the building has the lowest vacancy levels since Tower purchased the property, with ongoing enquiries for space to let.

Simon Penso, Head of Sustainability for Spire Sustainable Solutions, a division of Spire Property Management, who are handling the green retrofitting for Tower, explains that solar panels are being installed on the roof of 382 Jan Smuts as well as at 6 – 8 Sturdee Avenue and the DeVille Shopping Centre. Between them they are expected to supply approximately R1.2m worth of electricity in the first year of operation.

“The value of this power will increase in direct proportion to electricity price increases,” says Penso.  “This power is resold on to the tenants and so will no longer need to be purchased from Eskom.  1206 Solar panels were installed on the roof of the DeVille Centre and these will supply approximately 8% of the centre’s electricity requirement.”

Weave Energy recently put the finishing touches to the 319kW PV solar system at the DeVille Shopping Centre and they are expecting to complete 382 Jan Smuts and 6 – 8 Sturdee in mid-February 2016.

Penso goes on to explain that the lighting retrofits being undertaken at 382 Jan Smuts, 6 – 8 Sturdee Avenue, and Hertzog Boulevard will entail all outdated fluorescent and cove lighting being replaced with LED lighting.

“Not only will the lighting retrofit offer meaningfulsavings, but it will be a significant upgrade to the look and feel of the various buildings. Tower is starting to employ flat panel technology that sits flush with the ceiling and offers a uniform spread of light that looks very smart.”

According to Penso it has been calculated that the lighting retrofits at these three buildings will result in approximately 750 000 kWh reduction in consumption per year, equating to an estimated 742 500 kg reduction in annual CO2 output at current Eskom pollutant rates.  The buildings are expected to save R1.2 million in reduced electricity costs from the lighting retrofit in the first year alone.  Additional savings will be incurred from reduced maintenance costs because the LEDs are guaranteed for a minimum of three years so no replacements are necessary.

Tower’s portfolio is no stranger to “best of breed” green buildings, with Block F Upper Grayston Drive being the first small building to achieve a 6 Star – Green Star SA Office v1 – As Built Rating. The office block, situated just off Ann Crescent in the heart of Sandton, has been lauded as demonstrating ‘World Leadership’ in the South African sustainability sphere.

“Block F, Upper Grayston Drive has also just received an award in the Green Star Leadership Awards at the 2015 Green Building Council of South Africa Convention – which took place from 2 – 6 November,” explains Edwards.  The annual Green Star Leadership Awards recognise the people and projects that are Inspiring Better Buildings and progressing the South African commercial property sector.

Recent global research has shown that green buildings outperform normal buildings significantly – on average achieving rental premiums of 6%, capital value improvement of 12%, while reducing operating costs by 30%.

“Greening initiatives remain high on Towers list of priorities with the view to reducing occupancy costs to enhance desirability and affordability. Tower hopes to reap the benefits of these initiatives in the next 12 to 18 months – benefits that will be shared by the fund and its tenants,” concludes Edwards.

For more information visit or contact (021) 685 4020.


Cape Quarter PV solar project up and running – exciting initial results

The Cape Quarter now features a bank of highly efficient solar panels on its roof.

This flagship property within the Tower Property Funds portfolio recently received an extensive PV solar system installation as part of the funds greening and occupancy cost reduction strategy.

702 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Cape Quarter Square and so far initial results show that the installation is outperforming its expected cost savings – by 20%.

The project, which was managed by Spire Property Management, took several months of research and due diligence before a contractor was selected who could effectively deliver on the required results. “Sola Future Energy were selected to conduct the Cape Quarter PV solar installation,” explains Simon Penso, Head of Sustainability for Spire. “Once the project was given the final green light it took only a month, from mid-November to mid-December, to complete the onsite installation of the panels.”

“Sola Future Energy used specially manufactured mounting structures and modular systems that allowed for this speedy installation time. Sola have also given us an energy production guarantee on the predetermined amount of energy promised.”

The Cape Quarter PV Solar installation is being monitored through a roof top weather station that feeds results through to an online portal that allows Spire Property Management to check how the system is performing at any time.

Initial results indicate that the solar panels on the roof of the Cape Quarter will allow for an electricity saving of approximately R400 000.00 per annum. “These figures mean that the solar installation will pay for itself within eight years,” says Penso. The lifespan of the system is 25 years.

Marc Edwards, CEO of the Tower Property Fund explains that the Cape Quarter has also undergone lighting and other retrofits which will save the centre an impressive R1 million per annum in energy costs for the property. According to Edwards, there are additional exciting plans on the cards for even greater future energy savings at the Cape Quarter.

“Recent global research has shown that green buildings outperform normal buildings significantly – on average achieving rental premiums of 6%, capital value improvement of 12%, while reducing operating costs by 30%. Tower has set a clear strategy of occupancy cost reduction across the board for all the buildings within the fund’s portfolio, with a strong focus on “greening”, and as the funds flagship building we rolled out this solar retrofit at Cape Quarter first, but this will soon be followed by similar initiatives in other properties within the portfolio.

For more information on the Cape Quarter or the Tower Property Fund please contact (021) 685 4020.


Shopping centres move to renewable energy solutions

Eskom’s woes push property companies over the sustainable edge.

This article has been taken from Moneyweb

As South Africa’s energy crisis worsens with no indication of abating, more JSE-listed property counters are starting to place renewable energy solutions on the agenda.

Eskom is not only battling to keep the lights on, the power utility’s cash flow issues are threatening an increase in electricity tariffs. Rolling power outages are now seemingly a part of daily life due, Eskom says, to the lack of maintenance of the country’s power system.

It is this precarious energy scenario which has prompted shopping centres to investigate the benefits of renewable energy solutions.

Emira Property Fund (Emira) announced on Thursday that it has installed a R6 million solar farm on the roof of its 6 961 square metre Epsom Downs Shopping Centre in Bryanston.

Emira said the photovoltaic solar project – which is a pilot at this stage – will produce 30% of the electricity required by the shopping centre. The solar project is expected to save 515 172 kWh of energy per annum.

 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) granted Eskom a 12.69% rise in electricity prices for this year. Development manager at Emira Justin Bowen said with the increase in electricity prices, the financial viability of solar initiatives is becoming achievable.

Some counters are beefing up their green initiatives, such as Tower Property Fund (Tower). The company recently announced that it is now replicating the energy efficient light retrofitting programme at its 13 500 square metre De Ville Shopping Centre situated in Durbanville. The retrofitting initiative was originally launched at its 26 000 square metre Cape Quarter mixed-used precinct in Green Point, Cape Town.

CEO of Tower Mark Edwards said the retrofit programme at Cape Quarter is saving the company “R850 000 per annum” – which is more than what the company expected. The precinct has seen operating costs reduce by 13.5%. 

Tower has also jumped on the solar energy bandwagon.

The company installed a R3 million solar project at Cape Quarter in December. With the roof space of the precinct being utilised to generate energy, Tower estimates that the solar initiative will save over R350 000 per annum and 348 000 kWh of electricity per year.

The payback period – the time when an energy efficient initiative is installed and when savings materialises – for light retrofits is one year, according to Edwards. The payback period for the solar initiative is six years.

Tower’s green initiatives have piqued the interest of investors.

“It’s proactive approach to ‘greening’ their portfolio since listing [in 2013] should be even more beneficial going forward given the current electricity crisis,” said Stanlib’s head of listed property funds Keillen Ndlovu.

Hyprop Investments (Hyprop) has also followed the solar energy route. Hyprop installed a solar photovoltaic plant at Clearwater Mall, west of Johannesburg. The R8 million plant installed on the centre’s roof is expected to conserve about 900 000 kWh of electricity per year. It supplies approximately 3% of Clearwater Mall’s annual electricity.

Hyprop CEO Pieter Prinsloo said similar green solutions will be rolled out at other centres in the portfolio.

Emira Property Fund’s R6 million solar farm on the roof of Epsom Downs Shopping Centre in Bryanston. Photo: Emria Property Fund.

Tower Property Fund’s R3 million solar project at Cape Quarter in Cape Town. Photo: Sola Future Energy.

Tower Property’s energy savings help boost profit

Article taken from IOL Buisness Report

A REDUCTION in costs resulting from energy savings by listed Tower Property Fund was largely responsible for significant increases in the fund’s operating profit in the six months to November.

Revenue increased by 38 percent to R118 million and operating profit by 37 percent to R96m compared to the previous corresponding period.

Distributable earnings grew by 59 percent to R63m and the interim dividend increased by 27 percent to 42c a share.

Tower chief executive Marc Edwards said on Friday that the fund’s operating costs were down 13 percent net of recoveries following good results from its lighting retrofit programmes and the solar energy project at its flagship Cape Quarter property.

Edwards said the savings from the greening programme had exceeded expectations, with R850 000 being saved annually at Cape Quarter through the lighting changes while electricity demand had been reduced by 13 percent.

“We expected annual savings of R750 000 at the Cape Quarter from the lighting retrofit programme. We have achieved total savings of R1 million at Cape Quarter. The solar initiative will save more than R350 000 a year and accounts for 5 percent of the building’s demand,” he said.

Edwards added that savings at the De Ville Shopping Centre were also on track to beat their expectation and total about R300 000 a year. He said they were looking at extending the greening programme to other major properties.

Vacancies increased to 10 percent in the reporting period largely because of two large tenants in the Clearview Motor Village in Roodepoort absconding from their lease obligations. Edwards said both these tenants were motor dealerships but declined to identify them because legal action was currently being taken to recover the debt.

He said vacancies had subsequently been reduced to 7 percent because of new letting deals finalised and new acquisitions.

Tower has identified a significant development opportunity through the group’s development arm at Cape Quarter.

Tower acquired two properties, the final phase of the Constantia View Office Park in Randburg and the Medscheme building in Florida North, in the past six months for a total of R122m.

It now has a portfolio of 32 commercial, industrial and retail properties valued at R2.2bn.

Edwards said they expected the value of the fund’s portfolio to be at R3.5 billion by end of May and at R5bn by end of May next year. He expressed confidence Tower would meet its distribution forecast of 86.6c for its financial year to May.

Shares in Tower declined 3 percent on Friday to close at R9.40.