The ever expanding Tower Property Fund has announced the pending transfer of R480 million worth of properties into the fund’s portfolio, with transfer expected to be finalised by the end of April.
The purchase consists of three retail properties and two office buildings.
The first office building is Unit 4 of the Whitby Manor Office Estate, which is situated just off the M1 Motorway in Gauteng and which was purchased for R51 million.
The second office building, purchased at a cost of R192 million, consists of the majority of sections of the Sunclare Office block which is located on the corner of Protea Road and Dreyer Street in Claremont – just across the road from Cavendish Square.
“Tower has purchased the majority of this terrifically located building which is perfectly poised to capitalise on its location and offers competitive rentals to smaller and larger businesses wanting an entry to Claremont,” says Edwards.
The three retail properties purchased by Tower are non-metropolitan shopping and community centres servicing the lower LSM markets in high growth nodes, close to commuter networks.
The Shoprite Centre in Brits is situated at 50 Pienaar Street – in the heart of the Brits CBD – and is anchored by Shoprite. “The centre has a very good mix of national tenants providing Tower with strong cash flows into the future,” explains Edwards.
The Shoprite Centre in Modimolle (Nylstroom), situated in Nelson Mandela Drive, was built approximately 5 years ago and is anchored by Shoprite until November 2018. “Located on the main arterial route into Modimolle and approximately 5km’s away from the Modi Mall, this centre also enjoys a strong national tenant presence of over 75%.”
The Shoprite Centre in Ennerdale is situated in Marais Close in a middle to lower income area. “The centre is anchored by Shoprite until May 2021 and has approximately 2 000sqm of additional bulk available for future development, says Edwards. “The centre is in good condition but a minor face lift and enthusiastic management will add enormous value. A new drive through KFC was recently completed and plans have been drawn to develop a new wing which Tower could consider at a later stage.”
Edwards explains that Tower plans to roll out an occupancy cost reduction strategy to these new buildings within the portfolio. “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” underpinning the fund.”
Tower is in negotiation on a pipeline of R900m of commercial property. R500m worth is present under due diligence.
“This pipeline of properties is coming from the private sector where landlords are prepared to take a percentage of Tower shares as currency for the transaction. As Tower is a REIT, holding the shares provides vendors with capital gains tax relief as well as diversification from single property risks,” concludes Edwards.
Tower expect their total portfolio to increase to R3.5bn by June 2015