PROPERTY owner and developer, Ingenuity, which concentrates exclusively on the Western Cape real estate segment, has snatched another two key property sites. Last month, Ingenuity announced it
had acquired 64 White Road in Retreat – better know for housing the operations of technology giant Tellumat. Ingenuity will pay R124,5m for the property, which spans some 28,543m2.
Ingenuity said the property was earnings enhancing, underpinned by quality leases with expiries beyond five years. The company said the property was a significant site in a strategic area in Retreat (which may hint at redevelopment purposes at a later stage, CBN suspects.)
Ingenuity also announced the acquisition Chamber House on the Cape Town Foreshore. While this is a relatively small acquisition, the Chamber House acquisition is of strategic importance to Ingenuity. The company will now own the entire city block comprising of the Reeds House, Atlantic Centre, 31 Martin Hammerschlag Way and 33 Martin Hammerschlag Way buildings. These buildings are situated between Martin Hammerschlag Way, Jack Craig Street, Louis Gradner Street and Christiaan Barnard Street, Foreshore, Cape Town. In other words Ingenuity has literally ‘cornered’ a lucrative block of the Foreshore.
Ingenuity – which recently also clinched a potentially lucrative deal around Century City – is not the only property company aggressively targeting development opportunities in the Western Cape. Last month SA’s biggest property company Growthpoint and local players Rabie joined forces to launch a new Century City precinct on the N1/Ratanga Corridor. The companies will jointly develop the first premium office building in a new precinct at Century City in Cape Town with the potential for 150,000m2 of development. Initially the joint venture will develop a new 17,262m2 office building for a total investment of R423m.
The companies said the prime commercial property would be developed in two phases. The first phase – of roughly 9,300m2 would be completed by early 2015. This is Growthpoint’s third major office property investment at Century City, having first acquired the 11,000m2 BCX building and then five prime office buildings in The Estuaries Office Park.
Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties office divisional director, said Century City was one of the best performing office nodes in South Africa. “Vacancies at Century City are substantially lower than the national average for office vacancies. Thanks to good demand levels, it has shown some consistent rental growth in a tough market.” Growthpoint is probably best known in the Western Cape for its 50% stake in the properties at V&A Waterfront.
Another property developer to keep close tabs on is investment giant Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI.) HCI is moving apace with its Sea Point development - a 21,000m2 development that is split 12,500m2 and 8,500m2 across retail and offices respectively. The retail phase (anchored by Shoprite Checkers) is scheduled to next month (December) while the office component is set to be completed by April next year.
HCI already owns the well-known Protea Place in Claremont Cape Town, and has substantial properties that can be re-developed in its Cape Town-based subsidiary Seardel.
There was also an encouraging update from Fountainhead Property around its extensively re-developed Blue Route Mall. The company noted that since opening the new Blue Route Mall in December 2012 foot count has risen by an average 6% in 2013 and, more importantly, vacancies stood at just 0,2% of the gross lettable area at the end of August.
By Jenni McCann