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R220m hospital underway in Richards Bay

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26 Mar 2015

The Liberty Property Portfolio has, for the first time, added healthcare to its range of assets with the conclusion of a 20 year lease agreement with wholly black owned private hospital group, Melomed Richards Bay Proprietary Limited.

An artist's impression of the R220 million healthcare facility under construction at Richards Bay's John Ross Eco Junction. The construction is estimated to be completed by the end of 2016.

This is according to Amelia Beattie, Head of the STANLIB Direct Property Investment franchise, who says the new state-of-the-art healthcare facility will consist of a 100 bed, 10 000sqm hospital at the John Ross Eco Junction in Richards Bay.

Development will commence in the third quarter of 2015, with completion expected at the end of 2016.

The development is a joint partnership between Liberty Group and Tuscaloosa, who will co-own the property and operate as landlords of the R220 million healthcare establishment.

Speaking of the deal, Beattie says Melomed is a significant player in the rapidly developing healthcare industry in South Africa, and it will be a prime, value-adding tenant within the Junction and provide a vital service to the wider community.

“The Liberty Property Portfolio is always finding new ways to strengthen its composition to benefit our investors, and I believe Melomed will be a strong tenant that will enhance the Portfolio’s returns,” she says.

The portfolio has traditionally been weighted towards retail, with assets including some of South Africa’s prime super-regional shopping centres. Among these are Sandton City and Eastgate inGautengMidlands Mall in KwaZulu-Natal and Promenade Shopping Centre in the Western Cape.

Their investment team is now focused on diversifying into light industrial and office property to add further value to shareholders, and the signing of Melomed as an anchor tenant is in line with this strategy, she says.

Ismail Bhorat, Executive Director of Melomed, says Melomed will play an important role in delivering quality, affordable healthcare to the community.

STANLIB Fund Manager, Alex Phakathi, who manages the overall portfolio, says as fund managers, their role is to find innovative, fresh ways to channel their clients’ investments into areas that will deliver solid returns over the long term.

“Not only do we seek growth, but opportunities that will benefit the communities we operate in,” he says.

The John Ross Eco Junction is a diversified commercial and industrial development across 30 sites on the property. The hospital will primarily serve areas around the greater uMhlathuze municipality, which includes Richards Bay,Empangeni, KwaMbonambi and Mtunzini.

Ismail Bhorat, Executive Director of Melomed, says Melomed will play an important role in delivering quality, affordable healthcare to the community.

“This will be our first foray out of the Western Cape Province. Our aim has always been to ensure that healthcare is accessible to all developing and emerging communities.”

He says this is in line with their vision to provide sustainable, affordable and state-of-the-art healthcare.

Dr Lungile Masuku from Tuscaloosa, the company that has been awarded the hospital licence, says they are pleased to be involved in this investment and development.

“This development will bring healthcare services to the local community, while boosting economic growth in Richards Bay and the wider economy,” he says.

Author: Amelia Beattie, Head of the STANLIB Direct Property Investment

Submitted 27 Mar 15 / Views 2493