Maluti Crescent Shopping Centre, formerly Setsing Crescent in Phuthaditjhaba, in the Free State, has unveiled the first part of its major redevelopment and expansion undertaken by JSE-listed retail real estate investment trust Vukile Property Fund; and is well on track for its official launch on March 21, 2019.
Developed and leased by Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment and designed by MDS Architecture for Vukile, the redevelopment will become the largest shopping centre in the town.
Contractor Concor Buildings started construction work in January.
The redevelopment includes the extension of the existing mall, which will add 12 357 m2 of gross lettable area and boost its size to over 34 000 m2, as well as undercover parking and a taxi rank.
This redevelopment is transforming Maluti Crescent from a strip mall to a modern, enclosed shopping centre.
Built over three levels, which includes two parking levels, the extension will be linked into the existing centre, which has remained operational throughout the contract period.
Maluti Crescent was added to the Vukile portfolio as part of its acquisition of the retail portfolio of the former Synergy Income Fund two years ago.
“We immediately identified an opportunity to unlock greater performance from this asset, and we believe the upgrade of the centre responds directly to both tenant and shopper demand,” Vukile Asset Management director Itumeleng Mothibeli said in a statement issued this week.
Set to be completed in various stages, Maluti Crescent will boast a mix of national retail combined with quality local traders, to serve the needs of the community.
The new structure will integrate references to local culture through fabrics and tiling patterns.
The first and only structured taxi facility of its kind in the area has already opened at Maluti Crescent and began operating on November 29.
"The taxi rank was a necessary addition to the mall to ensure better access and an enhanced experience for our shoppers. This development has been well received by the local community and we expect it to add significant value to the new mall,” noted Mothibeli.
The taxi rank will have direct links to a number of fast food outlets, specifically the first McDonald’s in the region and the Fish & Chip Co.
“This project has been the direct result of an agreement between the local council, the Qwa Qwa United Taxi Association and Maluti Crescent,” added Maluti Crescent Shopping Centre manager Jeffery Motloung.
The new centre is already 98% let. The tenant mix includes two supermarkets, two pharmacies, major fashion chains, athleisure, sit-down restaurants, an array of fast food outlets, speciality retail, all major banks, health and beauty, electronics and all major cellular providers.
“The established shopping centre has provided a great foundation from which to redevelop and grow its size, variety and choice. The conversion into a closed mall will have a significant impact on shopper experience with its new, fresh, modern look and feel, convenient access, improved visibility and one-stop shopping and leisure,” said Flanagan & Gerard MD Paul Gerard.