Apexhi Beefs Up Retail Portfolio

Posted On Wednesday, 07 March 2007 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Specialist consultants, refurbishments and tenant training aim to increase yields.

David RiceApexHi Properties Limited is investing in its growing retail portfolio with the appointment of specialist retail consultant, Mark Ruffley, the refurbishment of tired centres and the introduction of tenant training to increase turnovers.

The ApexHi retail portfolio has grown substantially in the last five years, from only 300,000m2 in 2002 to more than one million square meters today. ApexHi MD David Rice says the portfolio has reached a critical mass, where specialist skills can be brought on board to augment the existing property management services.

Nine of the larger retail developments in the portfolio, comprising a GLA of 202,000m2, will be assessed, analysed and fine tuned by Ruffley. The centres, which are located nationwide, comprise Shoprite Park Parow and Maynard Mall in the Western Cape, Cleary Park in the Eastern Cape, Middestad Centre in the Free State, Ermelo Forum in Mpumalanga, Berea Centre in KwaZulu Natal, and Golden Walk, Rivonia Square and Kempton Square in Gauteng.

Ruffley will provide the leasing strategy and direction for these properties, and will work closely with Broll who will continue to run the day to day operations of the retail portfolio as per the management contract.

Ruffley says ApexHi’s retail portfolio already has a low vacancy, but the aim is to fill the space with the right profile of tenant for the community. His task involves identifying retail trends within each centre by analysing foot falls, turnovers and the demographics in the area. “This information allows us to construct an ideal tenant mix that will appeal to the target market, which will build customer loyalty, increase foot falls, boost dwell time, and ultimately improve turnovers to enhance the yields on the buildings.

Ruffley will also identify properties that require an upgrade and refurbishment. Refurbishments worth R56-million have already been completed at Cleary Park and the R36-million upgrade at Berea Centre as well as the phase one extension to Kempton Square are underway. A major extension to Golden Walk is also in the final stages of planning.

In addition, ApexHi has provided retail training at Cleary Park, Middestad, Maynard Mall and Rivonia Square for struggling tenants and independent retailers who do not have access to corporate training progammes. “Once again, the cost of the training, which is borne by ApexHi, is self financing. Some 96% of tenants who attend training sessions show an increase in turnover, with the average increase in turnover at 34%,” says Ruffley.

Rice says the retail sector continues to be worth investing in. Retail has performed well in the last few years, with record spends recorded in December. “In addition, our properties are located in secondary areas, where ApexHi sees upside. While central areas continue to perform well, the outlying areas have greater potential due to the captive market, less competition, and the major retailers are also seeing opportunities for expansion into these markets,” he says.

Last modified on Friday, 25 April 2014 18:49

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