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Monday Feb 20, 2017

Fresh start for ill-fated Tongaat mall

The ill-fated Tongaat Mall that collapsed three years ago, killing two construction workers, has been sold and a new shopping centre is to be built on the site.

PropRoyale Developments, in partnership with Investec Property and AJ Property Developments, have bought the property from the current developer, Ravi Jagadasan, the son of well-known Durban businessman Jay Singh, for R32 million.

PropRoyale chief executive Murray Clark said construction was scheduled to start in the second half of this year.

The new developers are waiting for the eThekwini Municipality to give the the green light to demolish the collapsed structure.

Clark said it was critical the rules were followed because the new developers would be under scrutiny as a result of the site's history.

"We deeply respect Tongaat's heritage, and it's been heartening to hear from the town's residents," he said.

"One thing is clear - the community is desperate for a space where they can safely shop, eat and gather together.

"Our goal is to exceed their expectations by creating a dynamic centre that symbolises the spirit of Tongaat," he said.

The developers have budgeted R300m for the project, and aim to open the 16 500m2 mall in April 2019.

The centre will have 41 shops and 1 000 parking bays.

Clark said the developers were in talks with retailers like Spar, Pick n Pay, the Foschini group and banks.

"At the moment people from Tongaat have to travel to either Gateway or Ballito if they want to shop, and we are hoping they embrace the centre that we are going to build for them.

"I'd like to personally assure the community that their longawaited centre is now in the hands of a trusted team."

The developers intend to meet the families of the construction workers who died with a view to finding out how they would like their loved ones to be honoured and remembered.

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

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