Press Office

HYPROP MAKES MULTI MILLION RAND INVESTMENT IN ROSEBANK TO COMPLEMENT MALL

13 July 2009

Leading JSE retail property fund Hyprop Investments (“Hyprop”) has recently invested approximately R150 million in the growth node of Rosebank to boost its existing retail asset in the area – the Mall of Rosebank (“the Mall”) - bringing its total investment in Rosebank to date to over R1.3 billion. The company recently acquired two commercial properties in close proximity to the Mall on Bath and Cradock Avenues. Completion of Rosebank’s Gautrain and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations is expected to rejuvenate the node and revive the bustling commercial district.

Hyprop has purchased a 70% undivided share in the office park Nedbank Gardens on Bath Avenue directly opposite the Mall. Intaprop (Pty) Limited holds the remaining 30% share. The property comprises three office buildings together totalling 15 700m² of gross lettable area (GLA) on a 14 000m2 site. On the corner of Cradock and Tyrwhitt Avenues Hyprop has purchased Cradock Heights, a commercial property with a GLA of 4 745m².

Financial Director Laurence Cohen says the acquisitions are in line with Hyprop’s strategy to invest in nodes with strong growth potential. “As the area develops, Rosebank will most likely attract substantially more office tenants who would form a captive shopper base for the Mall.” He adds: “Through the two acquisitions Hyprop is consolidating its presence around the Mall to maximise densities and improve connectivity to the office precinct and Gautrain station.”

Hyprop is adding to its mixed-use presence in Rosebank which has existed for some time through the Mall (retail), the Mall offices (commercial) and The Grace Hotel (leisure). Of future plans for the acquisitions Cohen says: “The redevelopment programme for the Nedbank Gardens’ site is intended to complement and enhance our existing shopping centre in the area. A rezoning application has been submitted to the council to increase the available bulk to approximately 35 000m2.” He continues: “We now have the opportunity to unlock value in the Mall, the surrounding area and the precinct generally. Further, we are eager to improve the pedestrian links between the lower Rosebank office component and the Mall through the Nedbank Gardens site.”

He is excited about prospects for the node. “Rosebank is fast becoming Johannesburg’s second business hub in the North after Sandton. By investing in strategic properties with development potential Hyprop aims to be part of the regeneration that will entice further footfall to the area.” All major landlords in the node including Investec, Old Mutual, Standard Bank, Tiber and Sasol have committed significant investment for various developments that over time are set to change the landscape of Rosebank.” In addition, the completion of the Gautrain and BRT stations, as well as the re-opening of Oxford Road and other routes now closed for construction, will dramatically increase commuter and pedestrian flow to the area and boost commercial tenants who would in turn become patrons of the Mall.

He adds that Hyprop is also planning an overhaul of the Mall itself. The project will include a substantial cosmetic facelift of the centre as well as a new Planet Fitness gym 2 on the rooftop due to open in October 2009. Cohen points out that the Mall’s retailers are eager to participate in the centre’s upgrade - Pick ‘n Pay has already begun a multimillion Rand revamp of its store.

The development plans for the Mall are in addition to the R663 million expansion programme currently underway at Hyprop’s other centres including Hyde Park, The Glen and Canal Walk. These developments are well on schedule for completion later this year. “The current developments and our plans for the Mall are set to continually strengthen our portfolio of quality shopping centres with enhanced facilities, additional retail space, an improved tenant mix and increased parking,” concludes Cohen.

Hyprop recently announced Mike Rodel, a former Liberty Life and Old Mutual property executive, as the new CEO with effect from 1 August 2009.

The combined units closed Friday at R37,75.