Nothing but demolition will do.

Posted On Wednesday, 06 November 2002 10:01 Published by
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The chance of an out-ofcourt settlement in the dispute over the extended entrance of The Mall in Rosebank looks slim.
The chance of an out-ofcourt settlement in the dispute over the extended entrance of The Mall in Rosebank looks slim.

The London-based investor who applied for the court order to demolish the extension, Stephen le Roith, says he will not consider a settlement that does not have demolition as a precondition.

He took legal action against The Mall's owners, Cenprop, accusing them of extending The Mall into an area set aside for public use in terms of an agreement reached by Rosebank property owners. Le Roith says a compromise can be worked out to accommodate tenants in the disputed area, but 'that entrance will have to go'.

He owns Cradock Heights, the building next to The Mall on the corner of Cradock and Tyrwhitt, and has development rights for the plot between The Mall and his building.

The Mall story begins in 1995, when Rosebank's property owners got together to arrest degeneration in the node. They formulated a facelift plan meant to draw traffic back to Rosebank.

They resolved, among other things, to convert part of Cradock Avenue into a walkway to create a pedestrian-friendly ambience, and to create an African Craft Market attached to The Mall.

Property owners, including Old Mutual Properties and Cenprop, which owns The Mall, pledged to invest capital in the area.

Old Mutual Properties delivered the R200m development called The Zone@Rosebank.

Cenprop, meanwhile, pumped R56m into refurbishing The Mall, which increased its gross lettable space by about 573m² and improved its image.

The entrance of The Mall was extended into the pedestrianised Cradock Avenue and two tenants, Clockwise and Nestle, were installed on its flanks.

If Cenprop loses the appeal, it will have to cover the cost of demolition about R600000 plus legal costs.

Le Roith says he raised the encroachment on Cradock Avenue with Cenprop, but to no avail.

He took the matter to court and won an order to demolish the entrance and the two flanking shops. The court order also affects Mimmos, which extended its trading space into Cradock Avenue.

Le Roith's main issues are that the extended entrance channels pedestrians into The Mall, and that it obscures the view of his building, which houses Absa on its ground floor.

Charles Ryan, a director of Property Fund Managers, Cenprop's management company, says Cenprop will appeal against the court order, and will explore every avenue to resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, Cenprop, preparing to wind up, has put The Mall and all its other assets up for sale.

Business Day

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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