More than R1.7 billion in funding for new commercial property ventures around South Africa has been approved in recent weeks by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.
This includes a R1.36bn finance agreement with Billion Property Developments for the construction of the new 73 588m2 Forest Hill Shopping Centre in Centurion and a R273 million loan to fund a new shopping centre in the booming KwaMnyandu growth node in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal.
It has also signed a R105m finance agreement with Amit Katz of Sunwood Capital for new 20 000m2 premises for fashion group House of Busby in Gosforth Industrial Park in Johannesburg, and provided financing for the first phase of Nooitgedacht Village, a fully integrated community lifestyle development in Stellenbosch.
The Forest Hill Shopping Centre in Centurion is the brainchild of property developer and Billion Group owner Sisa Ngebulana and will form part of a massive new multi-functional precinct known as Forest Hill City. It includes the development of a large regional shopping mall with 175 retail outlets, an eight-cinema complex and an ice rink.
Future phases include a 20 000m2 value centre, offices, motor showrooms, residential homes and two hotels.
Ken Reynolds, the regional executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance in Gauteng, said the lender had decided to provide the funding for the development based on its confidence in both the developer and the medium- to long-term future of the retail property sector in South Africa.
Nedbank’s R273m loan in Umlazi will enable the developers of the KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre to complete construction of the 34 000m2 development, with gross lettable area of 23 000m2.
The project is located on land leased from the Passenger Rail Agency of SA and adjoins the KwaMnyandu railway station in Umlazi, the second-busiest station in Kwazulu-Natal.
The location will ensure the new shopping centre enjoys maximum foot traffic because all rail commuters using the station will access it through the centre. It is being developed by Carlos Correia and his team, who have been involved in a number of successful retail centres in and around the country in recent years.
Anand Joseph, the regional executive for Nedbank Corporate Property Finance in KwaZulu-Natal, said the bank supported the opportunity to finance the shopping centre partly to play its role in enabling sustainable community upliftment through local job creation and infrastructure support.
He said the bank had since 2010 provided in excess of R1.3bn in funding to retail developments in the province in rural or in previously underserviced areas.
“Nedbank has long recognised the immense value that can be unlocked through forward looking commercial partnerships that have the inherent potential to deliver lasting social sustainability.”
Joseph said Umlazi, as the largest township in the country after Soweto, had been identified as a top priority area for the southern development planning region.
He said the local government had extensive development plans for the area, including a proposed mix of commercial and residential developments that should see significant economic growth in the coming decade. The eThekwini Municipality had approved development of more than 200 000 bulk square meters for the KwaMnyandu node.
“KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre’s position in the heart of a vital growth node identified by the eThekwini administration makes this a development with significant long-term community upliftment opportunities,” he said.
Construction of the centre commenced in October last year and is expected to open shortly before Easter next year.
The loan by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance for House of Busby’s new premises covers the proposed development of a large warehouse, double-storey office park and mezzanine area plus yard space and parking.
House of Busby, which owns or manages a variety of established international brands, including Nine West, Mango, Guess and Forever New, will be the sole tenant.
Located in an up-market industrial node with exposure to both the N12 and N3 freeway and Rand Airport, the new premises will also serve as a springboard from which House of Busby will roll out its latest retail undertaking in the form of a chain of stand-alone TopShop and TopMan stores, the well-known UK retail brands for which House of Busby and Edcon have acquired the local franchise rights.
Reynolds said the contribution this warehouse and office building would make to the further growth of the dynamic industrial area in and around Gosforth Park aligned perfectly with Nedbank’s stated commitment to support developments that had the potential to facilitate the country’s economic growth and development.
Richard Thomas, the Cape regional executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, said the loan for phase one of Nooitgedacht Village would fund the construction, infrastructure and marketing costs of this comprehensive mixed-use development in the heart of the winelands.
The property forms part of the hamlet of Koelenhof, where a total of 196 000m2 of new rezoning rights have been awarded including business, residential, industrial and open space.
The basket of rights awarded to the Koelpark project will allow for the development of an expansive, fully integrated lifestyle estate among the vineyards with boutique shops, offices, lifestyle facilities, an equestrian centre, a wine boutique, bakery and retirement village.
Phase one is almost sold out and phase two will be launched shortly.