Mall of Africa to open soon

Private Property South Africa
Jackie Gray-Parker

Johannesburg has earned a reputation for offering a variety of upmarket shopping malls. The Mall of Africa which is set to open its doors at the end of April, looks set to bolster that reputation.

Located at the heart of Waterfall Estate in Midrand, the mall occupies an area measuring 485 000sqm’s. While this technically makes it the largest mall in Africa, ‘only’ 131 000sqm’s has been allocated to lettable retail space which still makes it one of the largest malls after Gateway Shopping Centre in Durban.

The mall is being constructed by the Atterbury Property Group and will play host to over 300 local and international branded shops including, amongst others, H&M, Zara, Hamleys, Forever New, Edgars, Woolworths, Game, Checkers Hyper, River Island, Mango, Stuttafords and Versace. The mall will also offer “world class” entertainment, a plethora of restaurants and approximately 7000 parking bays. A Gautrain bus will service the mall which can be easily accessed courtesy of several major road upgrades in the area.

In addition to the mall’s enviable position halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria amidst a burgeoning, upmarket estate, a number of other features reportedly saw tenants snapping up space at the mall which is now fully tenanted. These include the use of environmentally friendly materials and technologies which help buffer against future running cost increases, generous corridors, plenty of natural light, quality fittings and fixtures, attractive high shop fronts and a focus on creating a walkable, mixed-use environment.

Construction of the mall was originally estimated to cost around R3.2bn. Closer to completion, the estimated cost has rocketed to R5bn. The mall represents a major milestone in the development of Waterfall Estate as a whole and is estimated to attract approximately 15 million people per year which should act as a major catalyst for further buy-in and growth at the estate.

In addition to the mall, a number of other major developments have already been completed at the estate which broke ground in 1997. Spread out over a 2200ha tract of land, the estate comprises several residential nodes including Waterfall Country Estate & Village, Waterfall Equestrian Estate, a variety of retirement villages and Waterfall View which caters to the affordable housing market. Property prices currently range from around R600 000 to the tens of millions.

Additional estate facilities include a Netcare hospital which is already up and running, five star hotels, several private schools, an exquisite clubhouse and gym which overlooks a lake, myriad walking and mountain bike trails, parks, a crèche, a cemetery and a Gautrain station. A large portion of the estate has also been allocated to office, retail and industrial development which will collectively form Waterfall Business Estate.

Upon completion in ten years time it is estimated the estate will have cost approximately R71bn and will play host to 10 000 residential units which could house approximately 35 000 to 40 000 residents. It is believed the estate will be bigger than Johannesburg’s CBD and will act as a major economic, business and residential hub.

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