Investec Property Group reports consistent national growth in the retail.

Posted On Tuesday, 14 January 2003 10:01 Published by
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Investec Property Group reports strong growth in the retail sector during
Investec Property Group reports strong growth in the retail sector during
2002.  Significant expansion around the country underpins recent
announcements of 3% economic growth in the third quarter of 2002 and the
highest confidence levels among retailers in recent times, said Ronnie
Sevitz of Investec Property Group.

'We have seen significant increases in select demand for retail space at
shopping centres throughout South Africa, which is quite remarkable
considering acceleration in CPIX inflation and four interest rate hikes
during the course of last year,' he said.

KwaZulu Natal

For instance, Sevitz pointed out that in addition to the R70 million revamp
of the La Lucia mall, in KwaZulu Natal, a further R6.5 million has been
committed to accommodate a Stuttafords store.

'When we realised that patrons visit the mall primarily to shop, rather than
merely for entertainment, we took the decision to replace the cinemas with a
new 1500 square metre Stuttafords store. Our strategy is to entrench La
Lucia as the region's premiere niche shopping experience,' he said.

La Lucia Mall is the single largest shopping centre in the Growthpoint
property loan stock portfolio, which is a combination of physical properties
and shares in other listed property vehicles managed by Investec Property

At Empangeni, the Shoprite Checkers in a Growthpoint shopping centre has
recently renewed their lease for another 10 years.

Western Cape

Retail growth in the Western Cape includes the most recent development for
Investec - Royal Ascot, a mixed use precinct incorporating a 10 000 square
metre lifestyle retail centre dubbed 'The Paddocks'.  The centre, valued at
R70 million, will serve as a convenience retail centre to the 1500
residential houses on the development and surrounding suburbs will offer
approximately 44 lifestyle, service and boutique shops such as banks, a
florist, a pharmacy, as well as a variety of restaurants and coffee shops
providing magnificent views of Table Mountain and Robben Island.  The
Paddocks will also boast a 3 500 square meter flagship Spar, the first of
its kind in the Western Cape.   Investec Property Group may allocate space
within Royal Ascot precinct for a large nursery which will accommodate
office space and smaller retail shops, like a tea garden and craft centre.

Eastern Cape

'Another property in the Growthpoint Fund stable, Beacon Bay shopping centre
in East London, is also doing extremely well,' said Sevitz, 'and plans for
expansion to include an Edgars store valued at R5 million are progressing.
Additional growth in the Eastern Cape was the acquisition of the management
of Pier 14 in Port Elizabeth, for which we plan to make necessary
modifications and improvements in the new year.'


He continued, 'In Gauteng, one of Investec Property Group's most recent
successes, Melrose Arch - managed on behalf of Sentinel Mine Pension Fund -
continues to establish itself as a 'place to be' in terms of an upmarket
mixed use complex.  In November, the Kilmanajaro supper club opened its
doors and has already proved to be a popular draw card.  Toward the end of
2002 the contract for the new executive Virgin Active gym was concluded and
will be the first of its kind in South Africa.  The hotel in Melrose Arch
will open by the end of February 2003 during the Cricket World Cup.'

Elsewhere in Gauteng, the R20 million refurbishment of Hatfield Plaza in
Pretoria, which includes plans for expanding Pick 'n Pay and Boardmans, is
expected to be completed this year.

Continuing looking ahead, Sevitz said, 'Lakeside Mall in Benoni, another
retail property managed by Investec Property Group, is also expected to have
a major take up of retail space, which will necessitate a reconfiguration of
some of the stores this year.

'The R7 million revamp of Riversquare Shopping Centre on the Vaal Dam, known
as Vereening's premier shopping centre, was completed at the end of 2002.
In addition to the array of existing stores in this retail centre, new
stores include Jet, Exact, Donna Claire as well as Tiger Wheels.'

Sevitz said that Investec Property Group were very encouraged by the
consistent positive growth in the retail sector throughout 2002.  'Investec
Property Group attributes its success largely to its focus. We offer
conveniently located, upmarket quality centres and pay careful attention to
appropriate size.  Economic factors such as indications that inflationary
pressures could start to abate, a stronger rand and expectations of a
decline in the interest rate next year, give us reason to believe that this
growth will continue in 2003.'


Prepared by:  Beachhead Media & Investor Relations (Lynette Lambert)
011 214 2406 / 084 580 2402 /
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
On behalf of: Investec Property Group
Further info:  Ronnie Sevitz
011 286 7693 / 082 882 1445

Publisher: Beachhead Media & Investor Relations
Source: Investec Property Group

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