Emira recently concluded several significant renewal deals across its industrial and office properties – substantial in area and value -- supporting contractual income streams and enhancing the portfolio of the JSE-listed REIT (real estate investment trust).
Emira CEO Geoff Jennett reports the sizeable deals retained some key leases and were achieved notwithstanding the weak domestic economy, which is exerting considerable pressure on local businesses with knock-on impacts for their property decisions.
Commenting on the deals, Jennett says: "Although nationwide demand for space is soft in the current market, we've taken significant steps in the office and industrial sectors with proactive leasing. In many instances, this was a direct result of the strong client relationships we have built by providing solid levels of service, as well as the quality and locations of our properties."
Emira is a medium-cap diversified JSE-listed REIT invested in a quality balanced portfolio of office, retail and industrial properties. Its assets comprise 142 properties valued at R13.3 billion. Emira is also internationally diversified through its direct interest in ASX-listed GOZ valued at R940.4 million.
Among its stand-out deals in 2016, Emira signed an early renewal with RTT for its massive 46,400sqm South African Head Office at ACSA Park, a prime asset in its industrial property portfolio. RTT is headquartered in a specialised facility with a prime position near OR Tambo International Airport. Supporting its logistics business, its head office enjoys links to several major road routes.
In addition, Emira further renewed the lease for the 13,000sqm RTT Continental facility, also at ACSA Park.
Also extending its property partnership with Emira, Auction Operation renewed its lease over 13,662sqm of industrial space at the WGA Epping property.
"The property has been Auction Operation's base for over five years and is a good fit for its business model. It offers ideal, reasonably-priced storage of crash-damaged cars for its insurance company clients, supported by plenty of adjacent free parking for auction days," explains Jennett.
At its prominent Menlyn Corporate Park in Pretoria, Emira secured three large deals with leading organisations.
In its biggest deal at the property, Emira provided an effective solution to support the growth of innovative insurer King Price. An existing tenant at the park, King Price has seen tremendous growth in its business, driving its need for larger office space. Emira helped King Price grow from offices of 3,000sqm in 2012 to an impressive 10,400sqm in 2016. "This long-term lease was concluded and retained on the basis of a positive collaborative relationship between King Price and Emira," says Jennett.
Also at Menlyn Corporate Park, Emira extended its enduring relationship with Santam, which also renewed its lease for 4,500sqm of offices for a further period.
"In our negotiations with Santam, it acknowledged that the service, sound maintenance and on-site management provided by Emira was a deciding factor for its lease renewal. We look forward to continuing this high level of service for Santam and working with our clients to understand, and deliver, property solutions that truly support their businesses," says Jennett.
Additionally, Emira renewed the lease for the offices of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) at Menlyn Corporate Park.
"In signing the renewal for the 6,000sqm offices, SALGA acknowledged quality of service, including a service level agreement to ensure its internal maintenance is taken care of by an onsite team, as a major factor for staying in an Emira-owned building."
Emira's leasing initiatives have also attracted new tenants to its properties. Among its new deals, it signed a new long-term lease with The CAD Corporation, Africa's largest Computer Aided and Digital Design Training Centre, for 5,000sqm of offices at 500 Smuts, Midrand. Its new address gives The CAD Corporation prominent visibility onto the N1 highway, excellent layout, and ample parking. It also provides an ideal location midway between Pretoria and Johannesburg with quick access to the N1, R55 and R101.
"Proactive leasing remains a key priority for Emira in 2017. We are committed to building on our successes and unlocking value from our properties, across all sectors and regions," says Jennett.