Tower Property Fund making steady progress

Posted On Thursday, 14 November 2013 13:30 Published by
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The Tower Property Fund, which was the first new fund in South Africa to list on the main board of the JSE under the Diversified REITs sector in July, has experienced steady progress during the first quarter following listing.

Marc EdwardsSince listing, Tower has made good strides into letting vacant space and renewing a large number of current tenancies.

"Towers hands on approach to tenant and property management has ensured that the portfolio is as well let as possible," explains Marc Edwards, CEO of the Tower Property Fund. "Senior Tower staff are meeting with major tenants to make certain that their needs are met and that they are getting the most from the property they occupy. Branding initiatives have also been rolled out to some of the major tenants which have been enthusiastically received."

With recent global research having shown that green buildings outperform normal buildings significantly. On average achieving rental premiums of 6%, capital value improvement of 12%, while reducing operating costs by 30%. Tower made it known from the beginning that the theme of greening will strongly underpin the fund, and they are walking the talk when it comes to its undertaking to shareholders to reduce occupancy costs through low and no cost greening initiatives.

Cape Quarter in Cape Town, the flag ship asset within the portfolio, is certainly in the spot light from a greening perspective and a number of initiatives, including solar, lighting and waste are underway.

"All of these initiatives reduce occupancy costs to tenants and increase property value with no upfront capital costs," says Edwards. "Using Cape Quarter as a bench mark will assist us in gauging the effectiveness of technologies prior to rolling them out to the rest of the portfolio."

Cape Quarter has a number of exciting initiatives coming up over the holiday season and promises to be a festive place to be – especially given the tourists the property is likely to attract.

"The entire precinct is doing extremely well with the Waterfront experiencing ongoing success under the management of Growthpoint, and with the new developments in Buitengracht street, both the Cape Quarter and the Waterfront are likely to benefit from increased office trade," says Edwards.

The funds asset base is growing as Management's network of contacts within the industry begins to bear fruit and Tower has had some of its offers on properties accepted recently. "The offers are for small, strategic properties. Management have identified a number of other properties which they are pursuing to bulk up the portfolio," advises Edwards. "The main purpose of increasing the portfolio size is to diversify and mitigate against normal risks within a property portfolio."

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