Business Partners backs revivals.

Posted On Wednesday, 05 February 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The fight against urban degeneration is receiving support from an unlikely source, the former Small Business Development Corporation, now called Business Partners.

Property-Housing-ResidentialIn the eyes of many, Business Partners is a small to medium-sized business financier, but a closer look shows a passionate interest in property investment in not so popular nodes.

The group manages a commercial property portfolio valued at more than R300m and owns more than half of this portfolio.

'While we are a small to medium-sized business financier, commercial property forms part of our core business,' says Business Partners MD Jo Schwenke.

He says the interest in property is in line with a commitment to the rejuvenation of the SA economy through entrepreneurial empowerment. Asked how he dealt with the double exposure to the small businessman as a borrower and a tenant, Schwenke says 'the double exposure means that we see our client twice as often'.

Business Partners invests in idling properties belonging mainly to privatised and restructured parastatals. The group is converting these buildings, which would have otherwise fuelled urban degeneration, into trading zones for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The group enters joint venture agreements with existing property owners for the redevelopment projects. The redevelopment sites are in major metropolitan areas across the country.

The examples include the redevelopment of Arcadia Park in East London. A previously disused workshop, Arcadia Park has been redeveloped into a 36000m² retail and industrial centre.

Arcadia Park's tenants include a large carpet retailer, a specialist embroidery business and a large waste paper recycling company.

Arcadia Park is a product of a joint venture between Business Partners and Transnet's property management division, Propnet. 'This is a shining example of property development and rejuvenation in SA,' says Colin Victor of Business Partners Properties in East London.

As Business Partners is both an investor in the project and responsible for its management, it provides tangible added value for its investment partners and tenants, says Victor.

'For example, we facilitate a networking forum that promotes business interaction and cross-pollination between tenants,' says Victor.

'We also publish a relevant and informative monthly newsletter that keeps the flow of information in the complex and between investors and tenants alive and active.'

Further examples of Business Partners' rejuvenation projects include the conversion of a former female jail premises, Lock Street Gaol, in East London's Fleet Street into a shopping complex and office arcade, and the rejuvenation of the Victoria Street Market in Durban.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 10:59

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