Emira invests R250m in shopping centre upgrades acquisitions

Geoff Jennett, Emira CEO

Geoff Jennett, Emira CEO

The JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has invested over R250-million in acquiring new centres and upgrading its shopping centres to strengthen its retail assets, according to Emira CEO Geoff Jennett, who stated on Thursday that the company was investing strategically.

“Through key acquisitions and tactical upgrades, we have improved tenancies, shopper numbers and turnovers in our portfolio,” he said, attributing the success of these investments on the “solid foundation” of retailer and shopper demand.

“With the pro-active asset management of our retail portfolio, we have already achieved a low retail sector vacancy of 3%. This is significantly below the South African Property Owners Association national level of 5.3%,” he added.

Emira recently acquired a 50% undivided share in Shoprite Mall, in Mitchell’s Plain, Western Cape, for R75.3-million.

The mall, which comprised three neighbouring retail buildings in the town centre, spanned 16 665m2 of retail space. Its benefits included over 80% national retailers, high shopper numbers, a dominant position in a regenerating urban node, and massive upside potential for Emira and the mall’s community.

Emira also recently completed a R12.1-million upgrade to accommodate new and bigger stores at Market Square, just outside the Plettenberg Bay central business district, in the Eastern Cape.

Emira’s investment in Market Square was made on the back of its strong trading record and retailer demand.

The group also invested R5-million to upgrade Granada Square, a shopping centre located in the heart of Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.

The expansion almost doubled the retail offering in store and the 25-year-old-development, totalling 7 150M2,  now housed over 30 retail and office tenants.

The R13.1-million reconfiguration of the Springfield Retail Centre in KwaZulu-Natal also yielded positive results for Emira, including several new major tenants and a stronger market position.

Moreover, Emira acquired the remaining 40% share in Witbank’s Ben Fleur Boulevard for R63.7-million, making Emira the outright owner of the centre.

Jennett pointed out that these improvements were achieved through Emira’s strategic recycling of capital.

“We are focusing on recycling capital from disposals and investing this into improving the quality of our current assets,” he concluded.

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