Tenants oppose extension of mall.

Posted On Wednesday, 12 March 2003 10:01 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Opposition to the extension of The Mall of Rosebank into Cradock Avenue is receiving support from a group of tenants in the northern Johannesburg shopping centre.

Property-Housing-ResidentialSome old tenants of the centre, who prefer to remain anonymous, are unhappy about the results of the R50-million recently completed refurbishment, saying it has delivered an "uneven tenant mix". They are unhappy in particular about the installation of two pavement cafés flanking the newly erected Cradock Avenue entrance of The Mall. The say these cafés, and the general addition of new trading space at the shopping centre, has contributed to the erosion of their business.

The owner of Cradock Heights, a property next to The Mall, won a court order last year to have the newly erected entrance and the trading space housing the two pavement cafés demolished.

London-based Stephen le Roith took the matter to court, accusing The Mall's owners of breaching an agreement with regards to plans of revitalising the Cradock Avenue commercial node. Le Roith is against the extension of The Mall's entrance into Cradock Avenue.

He says according to the original agreement between property owners in the Rosebank node, Cradock Avenue was to be pedestrianised and not meant to be usurped by The Mall. The Mall has appealed against the high court decision, which ordered the demolition of The Mall's entrance and the trading areas housing the pavement cafés.

JHI Real Estate Group's national retail director, Ivan Pachonick, says the majority of tenants, which include restaurants, are trading well at The Mall.

He says foot traffic has increased from about 600000 a month in June last year to about 903000 in December.

"There are, however, a couple of casualties due to various reasons," says Pachonick.

He says some retailers are not recognising that the market has changed to a younger, more vibrant customer looking for new and exciting venues. "We must also recognise that every shopping centre will have casualties, and The Mall is not unique in this field," says Pachonick.

The tenants say the foot traffic numbers are not useful because the average money spent by people entering the centre is very low.

They also accuse property managers of The Mall of compromising the boutique feel of the shopping centre by introducing shops such as Mr Price, which has driven away the upmarket spender.

The ownership of The Mall changed hands last week from property unit trust Cenprop to listed property fund Hyprop.

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