Investec Property Fund expands Dihlabeng Mall in Bethlehem

When the Investec Property Fund (IPF) listed on the JSE in April 2011 the portfolio included only four retail properties worth R174 million. Today the Fund boasts 29 quality retail assets, including big box retail and motor dealerships, valued at R2,7 billion out of the total portfolio valued at R6,6 billion.

The Fund acquired the newly developed and dominant 27,000 m2 Dihlabeng Mall in Bethlehem, Freestate, for a cash consideration of R358 million in June this year, with Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Game and Edgars as anchor tenants. Construction has already commenced on a 5,000m2 extension to Dihlabeng Mall to be anchored by a full-line Woolworth’s store of over 3,000m2.

“The addition of Woolworths as a fifth anchor tenant cements the Mall’s positioning as the dominant regional retail hub in the Greater Bethlehem area, and the only mall of its size in a 300km radius,” says IPF CEO Sam Leon.

The Mall also boasts a full range of national tenants including the Foschini Group, Mr Price, Truworths and the Pepcor Group, as well as major banks, with 95% of its income derived from national brand names. There is high demand for the remaining space in the expansion not occupied by Woolworths which will further enhance the tenant mix. The centre has a range of dining options including a Spur, Panzarotti’s and a Mugg & Bean, thus giving customers and the community a comprehensive offering.

“The acquisition and expansion reflect our strategy of investing in retail property which is either dominant or niche in its sub market, making it not only sustainable but defensive against risk and competition,” added Leon.

The expansion is scheduled to open for trading in August 2015.