Rosebank, South Africa - 10 April 2019 – In the face of tough economic conditions and ongoing uncertainty in the lead up to the May 8 elections, Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) is being buoyed by its strong focus on tenant retention. Redefine remains at the leading edge of key trends shaping the sector through deepening tenant and broker relationships, ensuring consistency in customer experiences, and improving operational sustainability.
“Tenant retention is our number one priority and we are therefore focusing on improving occupancy by rejuvenating premises to ensure that they remain relevant to the user’s needs. We are also boosting operational sustainability through facilities and utilities management interventions,” says says Pieter Strydom, Commercial Asset Manager, Redefine Properties.
Redefine is aware flexible workspaces are quickly becoming the “new normal” in the modern working world, for instance. It already has exposure to four of the larger co-working businesses: Flexible Workspace, The Business Exchange, Regus and more recently WeWork.
Strydom says the 15-story multi-faceted architectural icon, Rosebank Link – measuring 20,000 square metres – is now fully let, with We Work as the primary tenant.
Increasing the number of Green Star-rated buildings also ranks high on the agenda and Rosebank Link boasts a 4 Star Green Star rating.
Investors were told during a site visit today that while Sandton has an over-supply of office space, well located P-grade green buildings remain in demand, keeping vacancy in that market segment low. “While traffic remains the key detractor in the Sandton node, new builds offer amenities, accessibility to transport and efficient green-building designs,” says Strydom.
Strydom says nodal demand in Sandton is being driven by proximity to the Gautrain and consolidation and densification, while Redefine has also noticed an increase in residential development in Sandton, with mid-tier accommodation being planned.
He told investors that Rosebank remains a high-demand area with a shortage of available P-grade offices.
Investors were updated on Pybus, the bespoke chambers for advocates, who are known to be long-term, secure tenants. Showcasing a barista café and boardroom facilities free of use to all, 11 500 square meters are 74% let, with the first tenants moving in earlier this month.
Redefine also showed investors how 155 West has been refurbished to an A-grade specification. Although lower Sandton is not showing strong demand, 155 West is bucking the trend with its great value for money proposition translating into good demand for the building. The development, which was completed on April 1, is 60% let.
Meanwhile Park Central, the residential development catering to a shift in lifestyle trends, is due for completion on May 31, 2019.
“At 20 storeys, this will be one of the tallest residential buildings in Rosebank, and we are making steady progress on bringing these 159 luxury apartments to market. Any unsold units will be rented out and we are excited to be venturing into the residential space in this growth node,” says Redefine CEO Andrew Konig.
He cautions however that in Rosebank cognisance must be taken of the future impact on municipal infrastructure and roads that are not being upgraded by council. Notwithstanding the challenges, astute investments based on a deep understanding of the trends shaping the market and the needs of tenants continues to give Redefine a decided edge.
“We continue to thrive in a subdued environment marked by low confidence thanks to our strategy of investing where we believe the best market opportunities lie and catering to the evolving demands of tenants,” concludes Konig.