Development of shipping-container retail centre in Melville

Posted On Tuesday, 23 September 2014 09:39 Published by
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The first shipping-container retail centre in the country has come on stream.


What was previously Faan Smit Park, is now to become 27boxes, a design and retail centre in the middle of Melville. The design of the centre will reflect the vibrant, trendy and somewhat bohemian character that made Melville famous, transforming it into a bespoke shopping centre and parkland.

The development will also offer 200 parking bays, providing a secure and convenient centre for shoppers, casual visitors and shopkeepers alike.

Known for its innovative building techniques used in the conversion of the Newtown grain silos into student accommodation and the successful shipping container apartment block in Windsor, Citiq has designed a retail centre with 2 400m² of contemporary retail space for the Melville site, built entirely from modular units using 63 shipping containers, making up 78 shops.

Citiq's CEO, Paul Lapham hopes the centre will revolutionise retail shopping. "Affordable shop space and being geared towards the needs of small entrepreneurs, artists, creative people and food lovers, 27boxes will provide an ideal environment to attract shoppers and encourage visitors to linger and enjoy what's on offer from the eclectic mix of tenants."

27boxes will have something to suit all tastes, with plans including an art gallery and studios, a couturier, a bakery, a micro-brewery, a furniture manufacturer, a restaurant and a coffee shop as well as a boutique garden centre, a kiddie's playground, walkways and an amphitheatre.

The monthly rental on a container shop will be from R1 600 per month, making a shop accessible to almost any business. Permanent shops will be complemented by pop-up shops available for periods of as little as a week, allowing the centre to constantly change and evolve in terms of tenant mix and culture.

"Shipping-containers have long been associated with pop-up malls and temporary exhibition stands. They have also provided the basic building block for a number of internationally acclaimed retail developments.

Box Park in London, and a retail park in Christchurch, New Zealand, are both examples of what can be achieved with the humble shipping-container. We look forward to providing residents and tenants with a shopping experience that will spearhead the revival of Melville," says Lapham.

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