Emira invests R135 million to strengthen its portfolio and boost its retail exposure

Artist-Impression---Kramerville-Corner

The redeveloped Sandgate Park and CRB House, in Kramerville, Sandton will now be collectively known as Kramerville Corner.

Emira Property Fund is enhancing its portfolio of assets by investing in strategic acquisitions, redevelopments and expansions to its properties, which increase the quality of its portfolio and its exposure to the retail sector.

In October 2014 Emira acquired a 60 percent undivided share in Ben Fleur Boulevard, a neighbourhood shopping centre in Witbank (Emalahleni), Mpumalanga, which serves a rapidly growing suburb. It is anchored by Checkers and Woolworths, with strong lease covenants from its 79 percent national retailer base.

The R93.35 million acquisition includes the existing 8 573m2 centre, as well as a 60 percent share in two potential future phases, which could eventually see the centre fully developed to over 15 000m2.

In November 2014, the newly constructed Woolworths began trading so successfully that it exercised its option to expand its store as early as May 2015. The second phase includes the expansion of Woolworths at the centre, as well as more fashion retailers being introduced.

Emira chief executive, James Templeton, says: “This earnings enhancing transaction, which has a projected blended yield of 9.1 percent, supports Emira’s objective to increase its exposure to quality retail property with higher values. Its strong retailers also improve Emira’s tenant profile. Ben Fleur Boulevard is in an exciting growth area, which supports above average income growth in the medium term.”

Emira is also investing a combined R41.4m in the redevelopment, refurbishment and conversion of two of its existing B-grade office buildings into retail showroom premises. The redeveloped Sandgate Park and CRB House, in Kramerville, Sandton – which will now be

collectively known as Kramerville Corner – have already started attracting prominent names in the design and décor industry that are not yet represented in the node.

This investment enhances a long-term asset for Emira in a prime location in a sought-after node, at the same time improving the quality of its asset base and boosting its retail exposure. An incremental 991m2 of available bulk will be utilised for a brand new two-level showroom for Bakos Brothers who have committed to a five year lease.

Together these two buildings will grow to around 18 500m2. Both buildings will receive new shopfronts, walkways and entrance features in line with the rejuvenation that has become a feature of Kramerville.

The upgrades will significantly increase the buildings’ retail and showroom space and reduce office space to 14 percent of gross lettable area. The Kramerville Corner redevelopment is expected to be complete in February 2016.

Templeton says the improvements and changes to Kramerville Corner will support its strong market position and ensure it remains competitive and attractive to businesses.

Emira is a JSE-listed SA REIT (real estate investment trust) invested in a quality diversified portfolio of office, retail and industrial properties. Its assets comprise 148 properties valued at R12.5 billion. Emira is also internationally diversified through its direct interest in ASX- listed Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ), valued over R700m, with Emira’s total assets now at R13.5bn.

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