18 Dec 2012
The Umzimkhulu CBD is set for a major facelift as a result of a R125 million development financed by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance for the construction of a retail centre that is set to be a hub for much needed economic activity in the area.
More than just creating economic revival, the issue of unemployment will be addressed as 200 people will be employed during construction while the mall will create 600 permanent jobs for members of the community.
It is the main commercial hub for the Umzimkhulu area and attracts many people from small surrounding towns as well as transit shoppers between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Anand Joseph, regional executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance in KwaZulu-Natal, says they are pleased to participate in the economic revival taking place in the Umzimkhulu CBD.
“The new mall is well-located in the heart of Umzimkhulu and offers easy and convenient accessibility off the R56 and Main Street,” says Joseph.
The site will also be supported by an onsite taxi rank which will enhance the appeal of the centre by being accessible to taxi commuters, while the existing main road network is being upgraded by the Council to facilitate vehicle access to the mall.
These improvements will enhance flow to the shops, making it convenient for consumers using public transport.
Joseph says the mall is anchored by large supermarket, Shoprite.
Clothing retailers are represented by Mr. Price, Jet, Edgars Active, Exact, Markhams, Total Sports, Ideals, Ackermans, Pep, Power Fashion, Sheet Street, Franco Ceccato Fashion World to name but a few.
OK Furnishers, Ellerines, Joshua Doore and Price n Pride will offer a wide range of furniture.
Five fast food franchises will cater for a variety of foodstuff, while smaller shops will offer everything from medical, dental and optician’s services to internet, cellphone repairs and photographic shops.
Nedbank and African Bank are opening branches in Phase 1.
Mike Graham of Graham Projects explains that Phase 1 is over 90 percent let and a second phase of between 5 000 to 7 000 square metres is expected to follow shortly to accommodate the shops and banks that were too late to secure space in Phase 1.
“Negotiations are underway with several Government Departments who wish to consolidate Government services on one site as envisaged by the Government’s Thusong Centre concept.
“The Department of Home Affairs is already on site operating from 500 square metres of mobile offices until their new permanent offices become available,” he says.
This is the fourth shopping centre that Nedbank Corporate Property Finance has financed for Graham Projects since 2003 when their association began with the development of the Esikhawini Mall near Richards Bay.
“Our longstanding relationship with Nedbank has positioned us to be in the forefront of developments in previously underserviced areas, thereby allowing us to play a role in the revitalisation of economic activity in the local economy,” says Graham.
Last year, President Jacob Zuma, in his state of the nation address, mentioned Umzimkhulu as a town in dire need of services and infrastructure.
Since then National Government has been working closely with the Municipality to provide finance and support for programmes to uplift the town.
The development is being undertaken by Thina Bantu Trading (Pty) Ltd, and project managed by Graham Projects.
Construction of the first phase of 17 000 square metres of GLA commenced in May 2012 with completion set for April 2013.
Meanwhile in Gauteng, Nedbank Corporate Property Finance has partnered with emerging market pioneer McCormick Property Development to finance a new retail development called Olievenhout Plaza in the north of Johannesburg, and its investment arm has acquired a 25 percent equity stake in the development.
McCormick Property Development has forged the way within the South African emerging market since 1983 and has completed 52 developments to date with a combined value of over R7 billion.
Nedbank Corporate Property Finance has provided finance of R136 million to the developer for the proposed new suburban open boulevard-styled mall.
“This partnership shows our allegiance to proven stakeholders in the property industry, like McCormick Property Development who is considered a market leader in retail development within South Africa,” says Ken Reynolds, regional executive: Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, Gauteng.
The Olievenhout Plaza will have a total GLA of 16 314 square metres with 50 shops and is planned to be completed in June 2013.
This will only improve as a result of the future construction of a new road planned to link Uitsig Road in The Reeds/Rooihuiskraal to Summit Road, which is the link between the Ben Schoeman Highway and R511 (William Nicol).
Shoprite is one of the main anchor tenants and is located on the western side of the mall.
Significant national fashion tenants, furniture retailers and banks will also be represented in the mall.
A Midas store will be situated on the exterior of the mall, as well as two freestanding stores for Cashbuild and a KFC drive-through.
There will be open demarcated parking bays and a new petrol station has been completed on the southern side of the site.
Residential development that has taken place in the surrounding area over the last three years as well as the proposed future development both within the Olievenhoutbosch area and within the larger catchment area supports the view that suburb demand continues to be good.
McCormick Property Development is remaining true to its pioneering roots by developing some of the most significant retail and mixed-use schemes on the African continent.
The company’s portfolio has grown to over R4.4 billion worth of property under ownership and management, and about R7 billion worth of retail projects in the immediate pipeline.
The portfolio showed strong growth even through the recession due to strong retail mixes and attentive hands-on management.
Founded by Chairman John McCormick 29 years ago, the company established itself as the first company of its kind in the country specialising in the development of shopping centres in the rural areas and former “homelands”.
Working closely with local communities since inception, the company set up the first ever BEE scheme in the country in 1985 and remains fully committed to broad based economic empowerment to this day.
Recent developments from McCormick Property Development within South Africa include Thorntree Shopping Centre and Chris Hani Crossing in Gauteng and Edendale Mall in KwaZulu-Natal.
The company is currently developing three of the largest malls in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa in Matola, Mozambique; Harare, Zimbabwe and Luanda, Angola.
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