20 Mar 2012
South African consumers can expect to shop till they drop at the new shopping centres across the country offering unrivalled retail experiences.
In Mpumalanga, the R500 million Middelburg Mall is set to open on 19 April, poised to delight shoppers with its selection of South Africa’s popular retailers.
The new mall measuring 43 000 square metres is 99 percent let and anchored by retailers including Checkers, Woolworths, Edgars, Pick n Pay and Game.
It has 94 stores and is developed by Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment and Moolman Group.
The mall has further built-in expansion potential and could eventually exceed 55 000 square metres.
Middelburg Mall is located off the N4 highway with access via both the Fontein Street off-ramp and Tswelopele Avenue.
“Middelburg Mall will provide the underserviced shoppers of the area with an easily accessible, quality shopping experience,” says Patrick Flanagan of Flanagan & Gerard.
Speaking to Property24.com, Flanagan says they chose to develop this multi-million mall because there was demand for this type of retail offering.
It is set to be an icon in the town, a meeting place designed to respond to different architectural elements attractive to the area, he says.
Flanagan points out that Middelburg Mall will provide retail to rural communities that have not had retail experience of this nature before.
On retail developments in the current property market, he says they are extremely cautious as the economy has been through tough times, overall, the group chose the right development now ripe for the picking.
Goldfields Mall located at the intersection of the N12 and Jabulani Street in Jouberton adjoining Klerksdorp, the mining centre of the North West Province, is set to open for trading in the second quarter of 2013.
Construction of the 15 000 square metre shopping centre will commence in May.
Klerksdorp is the business and administrative hub of a substantial and strategically positioned region bordered by Botswana and Gauteng.
Goldfields Mall will be the first modern shopping centre in Jouberton and will include 500 parking bays as well as a fully serviced taxi rank for 30 taxis designed in collaboration with the local taxi associations, which have lent their support to this project.
Rob Terry, development manager for Landmark Real Estate, property developers of the new shopping centre, says more and more retailers with vision are offering their brands in South Africa’s townships.
The reasons for this trend toward township retail development are self-evident and revolve mainly around expediency and price.”
He explains that for Jouberton’s 200 000 residents, the new shopping centre will eliminate the need for a 25km round trip to Klerksdorp by taxi in order to purchase necessities, a few luxuries or to enjoy a meal out.
Terry says there have been a number of major retail investment announcements in previously disadvantaged areas by the likes of Old Mutual, Vukile, Advent Asset Management, Dipula Income Fund and the Public Investment Corporation, indicating investor confidence in this important retail sector.
“Retailers active in this arena are reporting significantly higher growth compared with so-called traditional retailing nodes.”
He notes that Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed property loan stock, Fortress Property Fund, with exposure to low income commuter-type retail centres, recently reported impressive growth of 10 percent in distributions over the previous year, clearly confirming this higher performance.
Retailers wishing to take advantage of this high growth performance will need to hurry as the centre, which is yet to be built, is already 85 percent pre-let.
Shoprite is the anchor tenant trading from a 3 500 square metre store, complemented by Hyper Butchery and Nizams.
PEP and Jet will head up the fashion offering and Cashbuild the DIY component, eateries include KFC and Traditional Fish ‘n Chips while furniture outlets include OK Furniture, Lewis and Fairprice, and a post office branch enhances the service mix.
Terry says because of its size and expansion potential, this centre should remain the dominant retail offering in the area for the foreseeable future.
In Roodepoort Gauteng, Atterbury Properties and Pick n Pay will create a R160 million flagship 10 000 square metre next-generation ‘green’ store for the leading retailer.
Construction of the store began in January 2012 and is scheduled to open before this year’s festive season.
Louis van der Watt, chief executive officer of the Atterbury Group says developing The Falls Pick n Pay will provide world-class shopping in a ground-breaking ‘green’ setting.
The Falls Pick n Pay will be developed on the site of a former driving range on Hendrik Potgieter Road in Little Falls, Roodepoort.
The exciting new concept store will feature exceptional fresh foods, more imported lines than any other Pick n Pay and specialist ranges unique to flagship stores.
It will also include a restaurant, liquor store, wine boutique and cheese room.
Atterbury says following the success of Pick n Pay on Nicol, in the north of Johannesburg, the company identified further opportunities for this concept.
“Securing the best possible position for our flagship concept was a priority and The Falls Pick n Pay’s convenient location on Hendrik Potgieter Road is within a consumer market that has shown strong growth and continues to flourish.”
The developers will invest R10 million to upgrade to the surrounding road network and this will include widening Hendrik Potgieter Road and creating a new intersection at the access road to The Falls Pick n Pay.
Van der Watt points out the Pick n Pay is only the first phase of this development, which has built-in expansion potential of an added 10 000 square metres of retail and 15 000 square metres for offices.
“Expansion of The Falls will be demand driven, in line with retailer demands and consumer needs,” he says.
The chic R500 million Nicolway Bryanston Shopping Centre located on William Nicol Drive in Bryanston Johannesburg will open for trade on 26 April.
Investec Private Bank provided funding to The Rodrigues Group to develop the 23 000 square metre centre described as an upmarket, trendsetting shopping experience for the well-off consumers in the area.
It will have 90 stores including a 3 200 square metre Woolworths Supermarket concept store, a 3 400 square metre Checkers and 2 500 square metre Food Lovers’ Market.
The Rodrigues Group appointed Flanagan & Gerard to lease this unique shopping centre and the centre is 98 percent let.
Steve Kruger a member of the consortium that developed and owns China Town, the China Town Trust, says a third centre will be opened at the beginning of April in Parow.
Kruger says this will be a large China Town centre measuring over 6 000 square metres and located in the Shoprite Centre, owned by Redefine Properties on Voortrekker Road.
While Ottery is a wholesale and retail centre, Sable Square seems to attract more of the retail type shopper and Parow is likely to attract the same kind of trade, he says.
“China Town brings great value to the consumer, offering a very wide range of goods including clothing, shoes, bedding, electronics, motor spares, food, toys and much more.”
Between the two existing centres there are now over 100 shops and each shop employs at least one local person and in many instances two or more creating employment opportunities in the City of Cape Town.
When the Parow centre opens, there will be more than 160 shops between the three centres.
According to the Investment Property Databank (IPD) South Africa Retail Trading Density Index Q4 2011, larger shopping centres were winners over the Christmas period.
The report reveals that annual trading density growth for the year remained below inflation across all shopping centre sizes, reflecting reduced levels of consumer confidence.
Super regional shopping centres achieved the highest increase in trading density for the Christmas quarter, recording trading densities 10.2 percent higher than the same period in 2010, contributing to a 4.9 percent increase for the full year.
IPD notes that these larger centres rely on this cyclical boost to their annual trading figures more so than smaller centres which see more consistent trading throughout the year.
Despite the apparently rosy picture, retail trading density growth has in fact contracted in real terms with flow on effects to shopping centre tenants and owners.
Rental growth has slowed, particularly in the smaller centres, with super regional rentals the only category to match inflation, according to IPD. – Denise Mhlanga
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