Growthpoint completes major upgrade at Lakeside Mall and welcomes Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem

Lakeside Mall, Benoni, has introduced two new anchor tenants in the form of Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem to its 130-strong retailer mix and concluded the final phase of a three-year, R135-million upgrade programme.

Pick n Pay opened at Lakeside Mall in a 2,500sqm store and Dis-Chem in a 1,400sqm store at the end of July 2020, amid the COVID-19 national lockdown. Pick n Pay Liquor will open in a 130sqm premises when it is permitted to do so in terms of lockdown regulations.

Placing these popular national retail brands side-by-side has created a powerful anchor that balances and complements the weighty combined appeal of Lakeside Mall’s Woolworths, Shoprite and Clicks on the opposite side of the 67,000sqm regional shopping centre.

The reconfigured space represents 4,900sqm of gross lettable retail area. There is only one 790sqm high-profile position remaining in the new configuration, and it has a brand-new external-facing shopfront on the mall’s prominent west facade, overlooking Bunyan Street. The mall is being highly selective in handpicking a tenant for this area, to add to the strength of the new retail mix.

The redevelopment concludes Growthpoint’s three-year, multimillion-rand programme of investment and improvement at Lakeside Mall. In 2018, it began upgrading the mall’s interior to achieve a beautiful modernised aesthetic. This refurbishment created a clean, contemporary look with new entrances, ceilings, tiles, columns, handrails, upgraded ablution facilities and energy-efficient lighting. All these elements add to its quality experience and ease of shopping.

Rudolf Pienaar, Chief Development and Investment Officer at Growthpoint, comments, “Our experienced in-house development team and specialised retail property team worked hand-in-hand to find the best ways to optimise the value and appeal of Lakeside Mall. We are genuinely thrilled at the result of its refurbishment, reconfiguration and re-tenanting, and the phenomenally positive impact that this project is already having for the mall overall.”

The recent upgrades, alternations and additions refreshed and enhanced the unique features of Lakeside Mall including its 160-metre long steamboat that appears to be floating on Benoni’s Civic Lake and its town square surrounded by the facades of buildings within the mall’s building.

The addition of the latest leading retailer names to the mall has been a long-time in the making. In 2014, Lakeside Mall’s 5,000sqm 13-cinema complex closed and remained empty.

Mark Langley, Retail: Head of Development at Growthpoint Properties, reveals, “The reconfiguration and introduction of Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem to Lakeside Mall was made possible by Shoprite waiving the exclusivity clause in its lease for the benefit of the shopping centre and its customers, which is commendable indeed. We are incredibly proud of this redevelopment, which fundamentally improves Lakeside Mall as a whole.”

To restructure the former cinema space for retail purposes, Lakeside Mall’s owner, Growthpoint Properties, invested R75-million in its redevelopment. The major project proved to be quite a challenge, with demolition and construction work taking place within a busy, trading mall. The mall area in question was initially built for specialised cinemas, which are very different structurally from shops with large trading floors. Removing the internal structural pillars was a particularly challenging element of the project.

Liberty Two Degrees receives Covid-19 certification by SAFE Shopping Centers

Liberty Two Degrees partners with SAFE Shopping Centers, becoming the first shopping centre owner in South Africa to receive international COVID-19 certification for all shopping centres.

The independent Swedish certification body, SAFE Shopping Centers, has audited and certified the operational procedures and routines implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at all Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) shopping centers. L2D is a precinct focused retail-centred REIT with an iconic portfolio of retail assets in South Africa. The certification is proof that the L2D portfolio of shopping centres follows all recommendations from health authorities and is operating in accordance with the highest international safety standards. Through Safe Spaces, which underpins L2D’s building blocks purposed to help futureproof the malls and truly set them apart, L2D aims to drive a clearly defined mall strategy that ensures the highest level of safety and security in its mall environments for tenants, shoppers and all stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s great to see a responsible and forward-thinking owner like L2D becoming the first shopping center owner in South Africa to receive the COVID-19 Compliant certification. They show a duty of care and continue to set the standards for the shopping center industry in Africa”, says Mr. Kobus Weyers, VP Africa at SAFE Shopping Centers.

The SAFE Shopping Centers certification extends to L2D’s retail portfolio of assets which totals six shopping centres across South Africa. These assets are jointly owned by the Liberty Group and include super-regional shopping centres Sandton City, Africa’s leading leisure and retail destination and Eastgate Shopping Centre, which consists of a first in Africa Aquaponics Farm District, as well as regional shopping centres; Nelson Mandela Square, Liberty Midlands Mall and Liberty Promenade and community based Botshabelo Mall.

Jonathan Sinden, Chief Operations Officer at L2D adds “In collaboration with JHI Retail and SAFE Shopping Centers, we have increased the various safety measures already in place and have strengthened hygiene protocols. We are encouraged that the efforts that we continue to make to keep our environments safe during this time, meet global standards and remain in the best interests of all our stakeholders. This enables us to continue our operations in a safe and responsible way, prioritising the wellbeing of our tenants and visitors. We are very pleased with this achievement, and we look forward to further aligning our operations to best practice to remain in the forefront of retail innovation in the South African market”.
The SAFE Shopping Centers’ certification recognises shopping centres as audited and certified in accordance with The Shopping Center Risk, Resilience and Security Standard. It is imperative for customer-facing businesses such as shopping centres to implement clear and stringent measures to ensure safety and peace of mind of tenants and visitors during this critical time.

Redefine Properties appoints Diane Radley to board of directors

Rosebank, South Africa, 20 July 2020: JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has appointed Diane Radley to its board of directors as an independent, non-executive director with effect from today. The appointment of Ms. Radley is in line with Redefine’s stated intention of strengthening governance and board independence, broadening diversity and bolstering skills on its board.

A qualified Chartered Accountant (SA), Ms. Radley is an alumnus of Rhodes University and holds an MBA from the Wits Business School as well as an AMP from Harvard.

Ms. Radley has international experience both in her executive capacity and as a non-executive director. Her extensive board experience includes her roles as chairperson of the Marriot Unit Trust Company (Pty) Ltd, non-executive director at Transaction Capital Ltd, Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd and Base Resources Ltd in Australia. She was previously a non-executive director at Old Mutual Real Estate Holding Company Ltd.

She led the Transaction Services Group at PwC which focused on due diligence and valuations on transactions for private equity funds, investment banks, strategic buyers, corporate acquirers and other equity providers prior to joining Altron as their CFO in 2001.

In 2010 after a three-year term as group finance director of Old Mutual (Emerging Markets) she was appointed CEO of Old Mutual Investment Group until the end of 2016. In this role she was responsible for the property business and continued as a non-executive director on the board of Old Mutual Real Estate Holding Company after leaving Old Mutual.

“We are delighted to welcome Diane to the board and look forward to working with her. Given her broad investment, real estate and board experience, she will be an invaluable resource as we continue to execute our strategy in a particularly challenging environment,” says Sipho Pityana, Chairperson, Redefine Properties.

Redefine’s gender diversity policy promotes a voluntary target of 40% female representation on the board over a three-year period, while the racial diversity policy promotes a voluntary target of 50% black representation on the board over the same period.

Ms. Radley’s appointment takes Redefine’s female representation on the board to 60%.

“Diane’s appointment furthers our efforts to benefit from fresh and diverse perspectives from our independent directors,” concludes Sipho.

Fairvest disposes of Tokai Junction for R180 Million

Cape Town, 14 June 2020. Fairvest Property Holdings Limited (“Fairvest”) today announced the finalisation of the due diligence for its disposal of Tokai Junction, a 7 618m2 retail centre in Constantia, Western Cape to FPG Holdings Proprietary Limited for R180 million. Chief Executive Officer, Darren Wilder said: “the disposal value of R180 million represents good value for Fairvest. The disposal price represents a 2.1% premium to book value at 31 December 2019 of R176 million, which in a market where valuations are predicted to fall by as much as 20%, confirms that Fairvest’s property valuations are not over-valued.”

The proceeds will be used to pay down debt, in line with Fairvest’s strategic objective of ensuring that its balance sheet remains robust in a tough economic environment. To complete a transaction of this nature in the current environment demonstrates the attractiveness of Fairvest’s assets, as well as its ability to recycle capital when equity becomes expensive.

The only remaining condition outstanding is that of competition commission approval.

Growthpoint wins top award for excellence in financial reporting and communication from Investment Analysts Society

Growthpoint Properties is the Overall Winner of the Investment Analysts Society of South Africa (IAS) Excellence in Financial Reporting and Communications Awards 2019 and was also voted as the leader in communication and financial reporting in the property sector category.

These awards are earned by companies displaying excellence in transparency, financial disclosure and communication with members of the IAS and the investment community. The rigorously selected award winners were announced by the IAS this week.

The IAS represents investment professionals throughout South Africa who play a key role in investor communication and investment decision-making. The society regularly canvasses their opinions on which public companies they believe have excelled in displaying outstanding expertise and transparency in financial disclosure and communications.

Growthpoint has been acknowledged for its excellent disclosure and quality market intelligence by the IAS every year since 2011. It has also been named Overall Winner of these awards three times, demonstrating its consistency in best practice reporting and setting a commendable benchmark.

Norbert Sasse, Group CEO of Growthpoint Properties, comments, “These awards underscore Growthpoint’s commitment to providing accurate, meaningful and timely information to the market. We are thrilled to receive the overall prize for the third time and honoured to accept the property sector award. While this is not the first year we have won both awards, it is one of the most memorable and rewarding as every year the competition gets tougher and the bar gets set higher. Growthpoint has an incredibly talented team who drive the success of our financial reporting and communication, and who can be incredibly proud of their achievements.”

He adds, “We are especially pleased that the quality of our governance, communication and reporting has been acknowledged by the analysts of the IAS, which is a valued endorsement from the investor community indeed. These awards are assurance of the high quality of information provided to analyse our company.”

As a leading international property company, Growthpoint aims to create a rich understanding of its investment story and long-term sustainability, and takes great care to ensure high levels of corporate governance. It is fixated on clarity, reliability and relevance when showing how it provides value to stakeholders and how it contributes to South Africa’s society and economy.

Sasse notes, “We know that providing information swiftly is essential for the key stakeholders in our business, and we make it a priority to share excellent insight into all aspects of our business. This discipline stands us in good stead at this unprecedented time. We believe, no matter what the operating conditions, it is important to communicate our investment strategies and objectives with the market. Growthpoint remains dedicated to excellent standards in our financial reporting and to communication that gives a full and accurate picture of our business. We will carry on engaging with our stakeholders actively and openly.”

Growthpoint creates space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is South Africa’s largest primary JSE-listed REIT and is invested in real estate and communities across Africa, Europe, UK and Australia.