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Monday Mar 10, 2014

Pretoria's Menlyn mall to get R2bn facelift

Pretoria's Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, the capital's largest shopping mall, is set to be further expanded and refurbished at a cost of about R2 billion.

Hein Smit, fund manager for Old Mutual Property Funds, said plans were to expand the retail space in the centre by 51 000m2. This would would result in the mall gaining about 200 new tenants.

The regional shopping centre is already the largest in Pretoria and one of the largest in the country.

Smit said the expansion of the centre was driven primarily by current tenants wanting to expand existing brands and introduce new brands, as well as demand from international retailers.

The expansion would be in three phases, with the first starting next month. This phase is expected to be completed by March next year.

The final expansion phase was scheduled to be completed by December 2016.

Eight months ago, Sun International announced plans for a R3bn entertainment complex called Time Square at Menlyn Maine - including a casino bigger than the gaming area at Montecasino - less than a 1km from the shopping mall.

Permission still has to be granted by the Gauteng Gambling Board to move Sun International's licence from Morula Sun to the new complex which will also boast a conference centre and shops.

The site is at the intersection of Corobay and Aramist streets, behind Glen High School and opposite the CTI Pretoria campus and Menlyn Corporate Park.

The entertainment complex forms part of the mixed-use Menlyn Maine development, which includes corporate offices, shops, restaurants and a residential component that had originally been approved by the City of Tshwane in terms of the Menlyn node spatial development framework - a master plan for the development and densification of suburbs in the area.

Some residents groups have questioned the framework and have approached the public protector.

The Menlyn Park Shopping Centre expansion and refurbishment will result in the Checkers Hyper relocating to the expanded section of the centre. A Food Lover's Market will be one of the new tenants in this section.

Sarita van Wyk, corporate communications manager for Shoprite, said it was too early to provide details of the new store, planned to open towards the middle of next year.

Graeme Liebenberg, the group property and business development manager for Fruit & Veg City and Food Lover's Market, confirmed it would be opening a 3 500m2 Food Lover's Market on the ground floor of mall's west wing in the second quarter of next year.

The new store would cost about R20 million, he said, with the developers contributing an extra R10m in tenant installations.

It was an easy decision to establish a new store in the centre, he said. 'This is one of the top five malls in the country with a monthly footprint of more than 1.5 million. With that kind of exposure and the growth in our own brand equity, it was an easy decision.

'We are constantly innovating and looking at global 'best practice' in retail stores but always ensuring the offer is relevant to the demographics. So you will see all the departments that differentiate us from our competitors as well as some exciting new ideas.'

Smit said the expansion of the centre would take place on a vacant 2.7-hectare site - adjacent to the Garsfontein off-ramp - that had been acquired from Telkom in March 2008 for R99m.

The Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria is 50 percent owned by Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of SA.

This follows the sale by Old Mutual of half its shareholding in Menlyn Park and Cavendish Square and Cavendish Connect in Cape Town in 2009 to property company Pareto for about R2.5bn in one of the biggest property transactions in South Africa.

Pareto is 60 percent controlled by the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund. The remaining 40 percent is controlled by the Public Investment Corporation, managers of the Government Employees' Pension Fund.

Pretoria News

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