Hijacked owner dumps property

Posted On Friday, 14 October 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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George Palmer, one of Johannesburg's first big investors in inner-city residential property, is about to sell most of his portfolio.

Taffy AdlerThis is after flat hijackers last month assassinated two of his property managers. 

Johannesburg Housing Co (JHC), a non-profit social housing organisation, is believed to be buying 1 400 flats owned by Palmer's company, Connaught, for R90m.

CEO Taffy Adler says: "We are currently negotiating." 

The purchase, if it goes through, will make JHC the largest residential property owner in the city - and probably the country - with 4 000 units, most of them newly built around the fringes of the central business district.

The next-biggest owner is Ithemba Trust, with about 2 500 flats.  At less than R65 000/flat, the purchase may seem a bargain.

But Palmer, who started buying properties in the mid-1990s, kept them in less than pristine condition.

Tenant unhappiness with the condition of their homes was one of the main reasons Palmer's properties were targeted by hijackers.

JHC will probably have to spend more than R10m upgrading the flats.

The assassinations have at last galvanised inner-city police into action.

They have formed a task team dedicated to dealing with property hijackings.

Park Mews, the Connaught block from which hijackers killed Palmer's property managers, has since been taken back by a combined force of police, metro police and inner-city task force ("Red Ants") - and the invaders have been ejected.  

Last modified on Saturday, 17 May 2014 12:09

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