The Rosebank Towers owned by Redefine Properties. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Rosebank Towers owned by Redefine Properties. Picture: SUPPLIED

Redefine Properties is set to move its head office to the country's most valued office node, Sandton, after operating out of Rosebank for more than 20 years.

The CEO of one of SA’s largest listed real estate companies, Andrew Konig, said during a pre-close presentation on Monday that the group would leave Rosebank Towers for 155 West Street.

He said both Sandton and Rosebank were popular office nodes despite how the pandemic had forced many people to work from home.

“There has been a lot of demand for the space we will leave in Rosebank Towers. We hope to announce who will take up the space soon,” he said.

Redefine was formed in 1999 and listed in 2000. It first occupied an office on Arnold Road in Rosebank before moving to Rosebank Towers in 2017.

155 West is one of its premium assets in Sandton.

Meanwhile, COO Leon Kok said that while some office space would be lost to people working from home, he expected the majority of tenants to send staff back to their offices once the pandemic had worked its way through SA.

“We are facing the highest vacancies for offices ever in our history. But I believe when things normalise you will see most tenants have some of their staff working in offices again,” he said.

Redefine would convert some of its vacant office space into co-working spaces and potentially other uses.

Former Redefine director and former COO David Rice said there was a steady supply of residential properties in SA and suggestions that large portions of office properties countrywide would be converted to residential properties across the commercial real estate sector, were largely overblown.

Redefine, however, plans to repurpose some of Ster Kinekor's  cinema space to get more value out of its shopping centres.

The entertainment provider went into business rescue in January.

At the end of August 2020, Redefine’s local assets, which include Centurion Mall, premium office buildings Alice Lane and Rosebank Towers, were worth R65.4bn and its offshore assets, which include investments in Polish mall owner EPP and Polish logistics, were worth R15.6bn.  

“We are in the process of obtaining asset valuations for the half year, but it is evident that most of the pain was taken last year and the decline in value is expected to not be more than 3% and could be even less,” said Konig.

He said he was optimistic that finance minister Tito Mboweni would unveil measures that would improve confidence in SA's economy, when he delivered his annual budget speech this week.

andersona@businesslive.co.za 

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