Atterbury has just signed four major development deals with Old Mutual, for projects in Johannesburg as well as in Cape Town. We got all the background details from Old Mutual Chief Investment Officer, Hein Smit, Atterbury Property Fund CEO, Wouter de Vos and Atterbury Commercial and Industrial Director, Coenie Bezuidenhout.
Hein, Old Mutual has its own development division, so what made you decide to partner with Atterbury for these deals?
HS: We recognise Atterbury as one of the most successful developers in South Africa, and when the opportunity arose to partner with them to develop Old Mint Park, our land holding in Midrand, we did not hesitate. Not only do we trust their development expertise, Atterbury also brings a strong marketing ability to the table and the key to any development is finding the most suitable end user or tenant. From that initial agreement, it became obvious that we can work well together and a further three transactions were concluded.
WdV: We’ve always had high regard for Old Mutual Properties and their quality portfolio. They are a prominent player in the South African property landscape, with a very experienced management team. We initially recognized an opportunity to develop their “Old Mint” land and approached Hein Smit and Peter Levett to discuss our ideas. Immediately it became evident that not only is there chemistry, but also a great opportunity to add value, as we bring different sets of expertise and networks to the table. We have since formed a great relationship of trust and respect, and we are confident that we will see many joint ventures in time to come. As we say… it is a matter of association!
How will the partnership work?
HS: Atterbury will perform the development and project-management services, while the developments will be owned on a 50/50 basis. Old Mutual is party to the development process and each party will provide its own asset-management services.
What are you hoping that Atterbury will add to the partnership?
HS: We are hoping that Atterbury will find new development opportunities that the partnership can exploit to grow our respective property portfolios.
Tell us more about the four deals and why these in particular were chosen for the partnership.
CB: Three of the deals are large-scale industrial parks (Richmond Park and King David in Cape Town, and the Old Mint development in Gauteng) and the fourth one is the two motor dealerships that are under construction in Newtown in Johannesburg CBD. What these properties all have in common is that they are extremely well located with great exposure, and all offered development potential over the short term.
What are the timelines for these developments?
CB: The dealerships are scheduled for completion during the latter part of this year and King David Industrial Park in Cape Town will be rolled out over the next five to seven years. The first phase of Richmond Park is already under development.
Will there be more collaboration after these four projects are complete – can you share any details yet?
HS: We are very excited about our partnership and the prospects that will flow from it. There could well be further collaboration in the future, and together we are looking at the possible redevelopment of one of our existing properties at the moment.