Nedbank Corporate Property Finance has successfully concluded a R1.36 billion finance agreement with Billion Property Developments that will see the construction of the new 73,588 m² Forest Hill Shopping Centre in Monavoni, Centurion.
The brainchild of well known property developer and owner of Billion Group, Sisa Ngebulana, Forest Hill Shopping Centre will be situated on the N14 highway on the western periphery of Tshwane. It will offer a large regional shopping mall with 175 retail outlets, an eight-cinema complex and an ice rink.
Future phases include a 20,000 m² value centre, offices, motor showrooms, residential homes and two hotels – all of which will form part of a massive new multi-functional precinct known as Forest Hill City.
According to Ken Reynolds, Regional Executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance in Gauteng, Nedbank made the decision to provide the required 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.
“Ngebulana boasts an enviable property development track record, which includes the successful Hemingway Shopping Centre in East London and vast property investment experience, including the 2011 listing of the Rebosis Property Fund. He shares Nedbank’s confidence in the long-term potential of the country’s retail property market which has stood up very well to the financial challenges that have had a negative impact on other commercial property sectors in recent months,” says Reynolds.
In a further demonstration of Nedbank’s confidence in the developer and commitment to the retail sector, the bank structured the finance deal by way of a senior debt facility and mezzanine loan provided by its investment arm.
“Forest Hill’s tenant mix and future development plans demonstrate an understanding by the developers of the growing trend amongst many South Africans where mall visits transcend mere shopping outings and have become family entertainment outings. By capitalising on this trend through its accessibility, appealing tenant mix and contemporary design, the centre will almost certainly secure its sustainable success and ensure its continued growth and profitability into the future,” concludes Reynolds.