Awards honour innovative property development that enriches SA urban living

A benchmark of growth in free-market-driven economies, property development will be honoured by SAPOA’s (South African Property Owners Association) Awards for Innovative Excellence in Property Development, sponsored by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.


“Our skyline is a legacy. Through these awards we seek to honour those who contribute to our future, our cities and our sector with innovation and excellence,” says SAPOA CEO Neil Gopal. “Property development represents a major economic sector in South Africa. It affects every South African. It’s important that property development has a sustainable, positive impact.”


The awards encourage a built environment that works on all levels. It considers more than architectural appeal. It evaluates a development’s economic viability, how it satisfies the needs of its investor and its user, aesthetics, and general positive impact on its surrounds.


Entries for the 2012 awards have increased to 29 – from 27 in 2011 – across 10 different categories. While this may be surprising in the prevailing tough economy, showing fitting caution in challenging markets, nearly a third of the entries are for refurbishment projects.


“This contrasts to the cycle from a few years back, where international development, retail and mixed-use developments dominated the entries,” explains John Truter, Chairman of the SAPOA Excellence Awards. “Refurbishments are less risky than new developments as they represent limited spend and drive sustainable growth by extending existing, income-producing properties.”


But, green shoots are coming through in the international development category after the Dubai crisis brought it to a virtual standstill for a few years. Entries received for local expertise applied to international developments include projects in Italy, Dubai and Mauritius.


Truter believes that the awards will soon see more entries for developments throughout Africa, as opportunities grow for property development across the continent.


Frank Berkeley, Managing Executive of awards sponsor Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, notes that the awards highlight the world-class innovation and local relevance of property development.


“Nurturing creative originality in property development across all sectors is an important ingredient to foster excellence in the industry as this ultimately enriches our cities and urban areas to benefit everyone,” says Berkeley. “The awards are an excellent showcase of the exceptional quality of our property developments.”


Awards categories include office, retail, industrial and residential developments, as well as refurbishments, mixed-use, international developments and social/environmental impact projects. The category of ‘other’ developments includes hotels, leisure and dealership developments. There’s also an award for the most innovative solution to a property challenge.


In addition, there are three overall awards for green building, transformation and, for the first time in 2012, social impact.


Decisions on award winners are given by a multi-disciplinary expert panel of 16 independent judges comprising leaders in their fields. The 2012 judges panel includes Hashim Bham – BTKM QS;  Barend de Loor  –  Eris Property Group; Corne de Leeuw  – Del QS;  John Truter  – WSP Group;  Pieter Engelbrecht – Growthpoint Properties; Chris Lawrence – Chris Lawrence; Ken Reynolds-  Nedbank; Wessel van Dyk – Boogertman & Partners; Rudolf Nieman – JHI; Anthony Orelowitz – Paragon Architects; Sam Silwamba – Old Mutual Properties; Richard Cottrill – Abland; John Williamson – MDS Architects; Beata Kaleta – DSA Architects; Zinon Marinakos – DSA Architects and Craig Sutherland – Sutherland Engineers.


Finalists and category winners will be presented at the 44th annual SAPOA International Convention and Property Exhibition, which takes place at the Durban International Convention Centre on 30 and 31 May 2012.


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