Tower Property Fund strategy leads to reduced vacancies and pleasing results

When the Tower Property Fund assembled its portfolio and listed on the JSE in July 2013, it announced a clear strategy of generating competitive investment performance by adding value through property asset management and the cost effective greening of theportfolio, resulting in lower operational expenditure, increased tenant retention and lower vacancies.

Just over six months later, the funds strategy has paid off and, working hand in hand with property management company, Spire Property Management, Tower has leased over 11 000sqm of space within its portfolio.

“We are particularly pleased with the fact that the newly completed Upper Grayston Drive office block is fully under offer, as is the office space within the iconic Cape Quarter,” says Bruce Rogerson, Executive Director of Tower Asset Managers. “Cape Quarter’s total vacancy is now below 2%. Other pleasing take ups have been at 8Sturdee Avenue in Rosebank as well as Viscount Road in Bedfordview – both of which are also fully let.”

Notable lease renewals have been at Upper Grayston Drive office park in Sandton, Musgrave Centre in Durban and 6 and 8 Sturdee Avenue in Rosebank where Sasol has renewed its lease until 2016.

Rogerson advises that the office market remains extremely competitive as landlords attempt to mop up vacancies. “As a result, Tower and its managers continue to innovate in order to remain competitive. We are currently busy with maintenance programs on nine of the portfolio’s properties and will continue to do so with the balance of the portfolio on a rolling basis to ensure that the properties remain desirable.”

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

Since listing in July 2013 the fund has exceeded its pre-listing predictions and has recently paid a maiden distribution of 33c per share.

Management’s continued focus will be on working with its tenants to reduce operating costs within the managed portfolio through greening initiatives, increasing desirability of the properties and consequently, the all-important, tenant retention.