Cape Town refurbs boost Emira’s Western Cape property portfolio occupancies

JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has completed upgrades at several key performing properties in Cape Town.

“We’re strengthening our portfolio by assessing each asset for opportunities to unlock and grow value,” says CEO Geoff Jennett.

As a result of the upgrades, Emira’s office vacancies in the region have improved from 7.4% in November 2015 to 5.2% in November this year.

Among the assets that Emira has recently upgraded in Cape Town is Boundary Terraces, its premier Cape Town office building.

Located in Newlands, Boundary Terraces is an office park with 8 000 m2 of quality offices. Its refurbishment ensures it retains its status as an A-grade business address and is appealing to its corporate tenants.

Externally, entrances to its office blocks were emphasised and modernised with new canopies and stairs. Internally, all common areas were stripped and remodelled with a welcoming contemporary professional look.

In addition, green technologies were introduced with light-emitting-diode lighting throughout and sensor-driven toilets that keep utility charges to a minimum. Lifts are also being replaced in all of the office blocks.

“Emira’s upgrade of Boundary Terraces is strategic in that it enhances the value of the property and ensures it’s a competitive A-grade player in the Newlands and Claremont office node,” Jennett says.

Another recent refurbishment by Emira was of the 5 000 m2Waterside Place Tygervalley Waterfront. With high-profile blue-chip tenants the property was originally built in 2001 and acquired by Emira in mid-2014.

In line with Emira’s environmental policies, the project also improved the office’s resource efficiency by adding energy efficient lighting with motion sensors to common areas, as well as automated taps and dual-flush toilets that help conserve water.

“Our investment in this project has created a better workspace for its occupants, one that is also more cost-efficient to occupy, while furthering Emira’s goal of a better quality portfolio.”

In the Cape Town central business district, Emira recently modernised its landmark building at 9 Long street. Formerly known as Wesbank House, on the corner of Long and Riebeek streets, its old 1980s concrete façade was repainted and modernised with stunning glass and louvre finishes.

The building is now fully-let and occupied by two tenants. The building also extends along Long street to the corner of Waterkant or ‘fan mile’ corner where it is home to the City Bowl’s first Dunkin Donuts.

In support of inner-city regeneration and community upliftment, Emira has collaborated with Cape Town-based charity U-Turn to open its first inner-city shop at 9 Long street.

Emira’s latest Cape Town project is about to begin at 80 Strand street. The B-Grade office tower will be renewed back to its former A-Grade glory with a complete overhaul.

The company’s assets include 144 properties valued at R12.9-billion. Emira is also internationally diversified through its direct interest in ASX-listed GOZ valued at R940.4-million.

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