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.

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