Growthpoint Properties: Setting new property standards

One of the many secrets to success in a competitive corporate world is the ability to analyse market intelligence. Within South Africa’s property management sector, Growthpoint Properties has gained an outstanding reputation for its transparency and company reporting in recent years.

Such has been the level of meticulous attention to detail, that Growthpoint has, for the second consecutive year, been voted the leader in corporate reporting in the Financial – Financial Services Sector for the 2012 financial year, part of the Best Reporting and Communications Award, hosted by the Investment Analysts Society (IAS)

Commenting on the accolade, the company website shared some insight into its success:

We always seek to advance the quality of its stakeholder engagement and we introduced a more user-friendly navigation system throughout our 2012 Annual Review, making it easier to find information. We also highlighted our management, operations and treasury practices. This increased level of disclosure and transparency provides the market with new insight into Growthpoint’s business. 

Because Growthpoint places high priority on transparency, good investor relations and excellence in company reporting, we aim to provide accurate information of value and material interest to our investors and stakeholders. We believe that excellent levels of disclosure are essential for all listed entities.”

Growthpoint Properties is the largest South African listed property company with property assets valued over R50 billion. It owns and manages 412 properties in South Africa, 44 properties in Australia through its investment in Growthpoint Properties Australia or GOZ, in which it has a 65% stake. Growthpoint also has 50% interest in the properties of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

The Sandton-based business is split into 4 divisions: Growthpoint Management Services (Pty) Ltd is responsible for the property and asset management services within the group while Metboard Properties Ltd, Paramount Property Fund Ltd and Growthpoint Securisation Warehouse Trust are all property owning entities.

A further division: Growthpoint Building Managers (Pty) Ltd, provides building maintenance services on behalf of the group.

In addition to the Sandton headquarters, the company has offices in Umhlanga Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal and Claremont, Cape Town.

Growthpoint’s primary business objective is diversified property investment. Growthpoint incorporated and registered as a public company on 12 October 1987, and listed under the “Financial – Real Estate” sector of the JSE Limited (JSE).

The company’s property portfolio is vast – and whilst just over 50 per cent of the portfolio was based in the Greater Johannesburg region in December 2011, the business has a geographical presence across South Africa.

Growthpoint engages in activities that serve a wide range of sectors, including retail, office and industrial projects, while the company’s Australian business has a focus on office and industrial opportunities.

The company has continued to grow its premier office portfolio – worth in excess of R14 billion, by investing in prime office nodes, geographically spread across South Africa’s major metropolitan areas and substantially let to blue chip tenants at market-related rentals, with a low risk lease expiry profile.

Of course in recent years the green building movement has progressively influenced office buildings, a prime example being Growthpoint’s prime green offices at 44 on Grand Central, Midrand.

In June the company announced that the 7,000 square metre project, located opposite Gautrain Midrand station, has been completed on time and on budget, following 12 months of construction, with Gautrain taking up residency as a major tenant.

The project built upon Growthpoint’s burgeoning reputation in the green-office sphere, with the company providing green building and management consideration, as Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties Offices Divisional Director outlined:

This top quality property asset progresses our green building drive. Growthpoint strives to create quality office space which works best for our clients. Green building is essential to providing spaces in which businesses can thrive.

Thoughtful design was applied to 44 on Grand Central, creating a stimulating working environment that reduces building utility costs by using sustainable alternatives, to the benefit of occupants.”

The new building was designed to Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) 4-Star Green Star rating specifications. It used recyclable steel as well as a fly ash concrete mix in its construction. The building has been equipped with daylight harvesting and daylight sensors as well as energy-efficient lighting, inside and out and uses energy-efficient motors, pumps and fans.

The building also enjoys temperature controls that include external shading, roof insulation and air conditioning zoning. It also features drought-resistant landscaping with rainwater harvesting for irrigation, low volatile organic compound (VOC) paint and carpets, as well as a waste management plan.

In April 2013 the company announced its acquisition – rumoured to be in the region of R45 million, of the Midrand Central Business Park.

Commenting on the considerable investment, Engelbert Binedall, Growthpoint Properties industrial division head stated:

Industrial property is performing rather well in the present market. This quality, modern industrial development is conveniently situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria in a popular business area which is attractive to many companies, especially those running warehouse distribution and logistics facilities.”

The site encompasses 60,000 square metres and provides development potential for approximately 26,000 square metres of business space offering flexible design options for buildings, as Joanne Scott, of Growthpoint’s industrial division explained:

“This means we can custom-design buildings for clients, creating the ideal mix of office, warehouse, manufacturing and showroom spaces.”

At the beginning of July, the company also announced a strategic partnership with Dimension Data, with the express ambition of providing Growthpoint’s 353 commercial and industrial properties across South Africa with high speed Internet access.

Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties Offices Divisional Director, commented: “High-speed Internet is crucial for businesses today. Reliable, fast Internet is an attractive incentive for business in our ‘connected’ world and by providing it in our buildings, Growthpoint is giving South African businesses another tool to help them thrive.”

Through innovation, expertise and good corporate reporting practices, Growthpoint Properties continues to enjoy growth – and continues to set the standard for South African business.