Press Office


31 July 2008

Brisk trade at The Glen Shopping Centre (“The Glen”), an asset in the portfolio of leading listed retail property fund Hyprop Investments (“Hyprop”), is driving an expansion project valued at R370 million. Planned extensions to the centre will increase the current 55 000m² by an additional 19 000m² of retail space and 1 100 new parking bays. Incorporating the malls to the new shops, driveways and ramps to the parking, the new multi storey concrete structure will be approximately 68 000 m². The project will further include measures to improve traffic flows accessing the centre. The Glen is 75.15% owned by Hyprop with the balance owned by Ellerine Bros..

Hyprop CEO Pieter Prinsloo says the new developments at The Glen are in line with the group‟s strategy to focus on asset enhancing opportunities in its existing portfolio. “The Glen enjoys a growing and increasingly sophisticated market. By continually strengthening the tenant mix, Hyprop strives to improve the retail experience for The Glen‟s shoppers and so boost turnover at the centre and continue Hyprop‟s growth.”

The Glen‟s General Manager Roy Licht says: “Market research by a number of „brand‟ stores and national anchor tenants has indicated a need for retailers to be represented at The Glen, the upmarket shopping location in the south of Johannesburg.” He says new tenants will therefore include „brand‟ stores such as Guess, Hush Puppies, Esprit, Nine West, Exclusive Books and Coricraft which will cater to customer aspirations in the area.

The new extension will be anchored by a 4 000m² Game store, joined by „super lifestyle‟ retailers Dischem, Wetherlys and Incredible Connection which will each occupy 1 800m² of floor space. Current tenants Foschini@Home and Mr Price Home will be expanding to 1 800m² and 2 400m² respectively.

Located adjacent to the N12 freeway and in close proximity to the upmarket residential areas of Glenvista and Mulbarton, the centre caters to a growing and increasing affluent market. Licht says: “The primary catchment area for The Glen comprises over 50 000 surrounding households in „the new south‟. The area has seen significant growth in standard of living and population. Over the past few years alone, up to 4 000 new luxury homes have been built. From being an historically less affluent area, today at least 50% of local residents fall into the LSM 8-10 category”. He adds: “Significant development of good housing, quality government and private schools and 60 000m² of zoned office sites surrounding The Glen should prove a strong attraction away from the traffic-congested northern suburbs of Johannesburg.”

The current expansion project will cover more than just the shopping centre with immediate surrounding environs also set to benefit. Improved access points will include a double lane from the nearby Comaro Road offramp, with an added lay-by lane to facilitate east traffic flow into the centre. Further, an innovative electricity arrangement with the local council will see cables from underutilised substations being diverted to the centre, which will in turn release capacity back into the hard-pressed Mulbarton grid.

Licht says an economic down cycle is the ideal time for expansion - to prepare the platform for growth in the inevitable recovery and subsequent up cycle. He adds that current escalating 2 inflation and prevailing negative economic sentiment are causing shoppers to shop more selectively.

The latest expansion follows renovation projects that have seen a 2 200m² expansion of Edgars, extension of the banking area and upgrade of the centre‟s restaurants.

Licht says the centre records an average footcount of one million people a month, with the stores generating a monthly turnover of over R100 million. “This almost doubles over Christmas as the area has a different spend pattern to the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. Here, people take shorter holidays and spend the balance with their families at home.”

Similar expansion projects are also underway or nearing completion at a number of Hyprop‟s other shopping centres. At Southcoast Mall in KwaZulu-Natal extensions have just been completed which increased the mall from 28 173m2 to 29 357m2. Valued at R10,8 million, these include a new 1 337m2 Mr Price Home Store and follow last year‟s 1 000m² extension to Boardmans at a cost of R6 million.

Flagship centre Canal Walk has seen the recent development of new premises for a 3 500m2 Mr Price Home store and a 1 600 m2 Sportsmans Warehouse. Further developments in the pipeline include a 1 400m² expansion to Woolworths and 16 000m² additional retail space, while plans to enlarge the food court are ongoing.

The group also recently announced the development of an upmarket four-star hotel adjacent to Hyde Park Shopping Centre at a total cost of R180 million. The hotel will be developed together with Southern Sun who will manage it on opening, anticipated to be in June 2009.

Prinsloo concludes: “Hyprop will continue to pursue organic growth opportunities by retaining focus on prime retail developments in strategic locations with good demographics. We see strategic expansion projects as key to unlocking value in our existing centres and positioning the group for growth in challenging market conditions. Maintaining growth in the portfolio with consistent quality assets will be crucial to generating continued growth in distributions to unitholders.”