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J-Bay mixed use takes shape

14 Mar 2008
In globally renowned surfing mecca Jeffreys Bay, construction is under way at a R3,5bn commercial and residential development which is revolutionising what is arguably SA's fastest growing coastal town.

The site of the regional shopping mall is just off the N2 on the busy main access route.

"A R2bn plan becomes a R3,5bn reality as demand for commercial space far outstrips researched planning. The extent of market demand was underestimated when the Fountains Estate was in planning, and what in 2005 was announced as a R2bn neighbourhood development has materialised into a mega project, a 600 hectare mixed-use development," says Keimpe Weistra, area principal for Pam Golding Properties (PGP).

"It has in fact virtually doubled in size and scope," says Weistra.

Demand for a commercial node was originally identified in 1985 by Oswald Buchner, the then owner of the Fountains Farm, and also acknowledged by the local planning authorities.

Now, 20 years later, demand is no longer for a local node but for a regional, all-embracing commercial, retail, industrial and residential new town.

The planned 12,000sq m local shopping centre has become a regional mall of 40,000sq m with 80% national tenants including Pick 'n Pay, Woolworths, Edgars and Game. An industrial park, motor city and value mart have been added, as well as a lifestyle nursery world. In addition, approval has been granted for an equestrian estate.

"Jeffreys Bay has come of age and the Fountains Estate project has become a key regional growth point - a centrepiece of the Garden Route," says Buchner.

Services, including roads, sewage and water, are already well advanced and in excess of R50m has already been spent on services to the residential and commercial sectors of the development. Total sales on the Fountains Estate have exceeded R300m, with some 26% of sales being for commercial property and the balance residential.

The Fountains regional mall (the shopping centre) will officially open in October this year with the major national tenants mentioned above moving in. Research shows that shopping centres are a major catalyst for economic growth. Besides massive job creation for the area, surrounding property prices soar on the back of such developments.

Buchner says an example is that property around the Gateway shopping centre in Umhlanga, just north of Durban, increased in value by some 400% over six years.

Image: An artist's impression showing an aerial view of the Fountains Estate regional shopping mall.

For more information contact Keimpe Weistra on 083 381 7710 or send an email.

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