Lesotho’s first fully-integrated shopping mall

Posted On Thursday, 05 May 2011 02:00 Published by
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Maseru Mall has brought Maseru its very own cutting edge shopping destination and convenience shopping

When it opens in August 2012, the 32 000sqm Maseru Mall will be Lesotho’s first fully-integrated shopping mall with public transport facilities and other complementary commercial uses. For many in Lesotho, this represents the realisationof a long-held dream.

Maseru Mall is part of the broader RaceCourse Mixed-Use Developmentand isbeing developed by Eris Property Group [Pty]Ltd in partnership with the CBS Family Trust, the Lesotho Public Officer’s Defined Contribution Pension Fund and Metropolitan Lesotho.

Lesotho lacks a proper centralised shopping centre forcing patrons to do a lot of their shopping in neighbouring South African towns, like Ladybrand and Bloemfontein; which is 150 km away. Maseru Mallwill create jobs, opportunities and sustainablebusinesses, and will add much needed injection to the local economy by attracting visitors and cross-border shoppers to this exciting shopping Landmark.

Maseru Mall forms part of a new comprehensive retail and commercial node including:

  • Offices    20 000 sqm
  • Motor Showrooms  8 000 sqm
  • Hotel    150 rooms
  • High density residential  
  • Total Service Station  5 000 sqm
  • Phase 2 Retail   20 000sqm

The combined retail offering in the node amounts to 50 000 sqm,which is equivalent to that of a regional shopping mall. Phase 1 will be 32 000sqm and is scheduled for completion in August 2012. The mixed-use development follows the trend of first-world retail developments that has been growing rapidly in emerging markets. This new wave of construction of shopping centres is becoming part of the new landscape in African Cities, alongside traditional markets. There is an increasing trend towards more formalised shopping centres with reputable Anchor Tenants and Nationals. Maseru Mall will be no exception.

The Race Course site lies less than 3 km South of the Maseru CBD, 5 km from the South African Border and 12 km from the Lesotho International Airport.

It is located at the gateway to the Maseru CBD, on the corner of Pope John Paul II and Pioneer Roads. It is Eris’s contention that that Maseru Mall’s location in the new commercial node situated on the historic site formerly known as the RaceCourse site; has been a major draw card for retailers.

The integration of the public transport facilities [taxi and bus ranks] into the precinct design was without doubtcrucial as it has meant that Eriswill be able to create an incredibly convenient and accessible shopping experience for all consumers.

Essentially two main arterial boulevards off Pope John Paul Rd provide ingress and egress into the greater development; and both lead into the bus and taxi rank, tenant parking and service area, as well as the mall parking area.

Anchored by a 2 800 sqmShoprite Checkers _ the first in Lesotho of this size; a 4 500 sqm Game and a 1 500 sqm Woolworth’s; Maseru Mall will provide a quality, first-world shopping environment structured alongthe lines of leading shopping centres inSouth Africa, with some 80% tenants comprising National retailers, featuring some of South Africa’s favourite retail and food brands. A largenumber of retailers will be represented in Lesotho for the first time in Maseru Mall.

That the tenant mix is based on the needs of the market in thisspecific node, and accurately reflectsthe tenancy required for a centre of this nature. In addition to the 3 anchors, over 100 other retailers will be represented in the centre, 80% of which are nationalretailers.Tenancy currently sits at 65% pre-let with Truworth’s, Identity, Pepkor, Fashion World, Dunn’s, The Brazen Head, Roman’s Pizza, FNB, PostBank, OK Furnishers, Bears & Ellerines, Matrix Computers, Torga Optical,Studio 88, NWJ Jewellers and Liquor City forming the spine of tenancy. The centre will also have a unique feature of two [2] drive-thru’s tenanted by KFC and Nando’s respectively, allowing for extended evening trade, a first for Maseru. Discussions are at an advanced stage with other leading Fashion Nationals, Banks and Home Stores to galvanise the already exciting tenant mix.

For many nationals, this will be the first time they are opening their doors in Maseru. Theunique location, quality of product and the opportunity to reach the MaseruMarket havebeen major draw cards for retailers.Others, including fashion retailers, dry cleaners, internet and cellular shops, and local retailers which serve thetarget market already have representation in Maseru. There will alsobe unique stores representing Local Maseru traders in the mall accounting for 15% of the lettable area.Maseru Mall will thus be one of the first shopping centres that Maseru residents can call truly identify with and call their own, and will assist in ensuring that consumer spend remains within the local economy, bringing with it all the associated economic, social and employment benefits.

With its dynamic tenant mix that appeals to all LSM levels, the mall will compete head-to-head with centres such as Mimosa Mall, Loch Logan Waterfront, both in Bloemfontein; and the Maseru CBD. All these currently serve as shopping destinations for mostMaseru and greater Lesotho residents.

Architecturally, the Mall largely follows modern contemporary SA Retail Centre design and incorporates indigenous Lesotho construction materials such as sandstone; resulting in a unique seamless blend of rustic African elements and modern construction materials.  The Mall will sit proudly against the background of the Europa Hill which enhances its visibility from the Maseru CBD and the South African Border.

Construction of the R 430 million Mallis scheduled for commencement in late May 2011, with the pre-qualification process of Bulk Earthworks Contractors having been completed. Key to the success of Maseru Mallhas been the commitment of key investors; the Public Officers defined Contribution Pension Fund and Metropolitan Lesotho.

Maseru Mall will definitely act as a catalyst for proposed other developments

Publisher: eProp
Source: EPG
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