Kyalami Corner shopping centre development meets resistance

Posted On Monday, 07 September 2015 16:50 Published by
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A new shopping centre development in Kyalami‚ north of Johannesburg‚ is under fire from local business owners.

Jackie_Van_Niekerk_MD_Pivotal

A new shopping centre development in Kyalami‚ north of Johannesburg‚ has come under fire from business owners‚ residents and an environmental conservancy who warn that Kyalami Corner threatens the R1bn equine economy and its environmental quality.

Property group Abland is the project manager for R402m Kyalami Corner‚ which is co-owned by Dorpstraat and recently listed Pivotal Property Fund (PIV)‚ Abland’s property fund.

The Greater Kyalami Conservancy‚ residents and business owners say there is no need for a shopping centre in the area as it would disturb the country living estate and environment.

“There are already two shopping centres in Kyalami within a kilometre of this development. This one is being positioned where it disrupts what is a very carefully managed area tremendously‚” the conservancy’s chair‚ Kristin Kallesen‚ said.

“There are no plans to create a buffer between the residential country properties and the urban sprawl which the mall will create‚” Ms Kallesen said.

Four years ago‚ the development‚ being built on the corner of Main Road in Kyalami and the R55‚ got environmental authorisation from the Gauteng government’s department of agriculture and rural development.

The authorisation was granted with conditions‚ including that certain facilities‚ environmental practices and safety measures were in place to ensure residents’ safety and the equine industry in Kyalami was not damaged.

Residents’ association chairman Darryl van Niekerk said construction had already disrupted horse-related businesses and residents’ daily lives.

Kyalami is the biggest equine area in SA. It houses the largest concentration of Lipizzaners in Africa.

The SA Lipizzaner Centre in Kyalami is the only breeding establishment for Lipizzaners in Africa and the only registered Lipizzaner riding school outside of Vienna‚ Austria.

“Studies have shown that the equine industry here is worth around R1bn. The developers need to appreciate that not only are the horses here worth millions but there are many businesses which rely on the horses’ habitat not being invaded like this‚” he said.

Pivotal CEO Jackie van Niekerk said the fund had conducted detailed research and consulted residents before it started to build the mall.

“The location of Kyalami Corner is on the fringe of the equestrian zone and we see it as a gateway to the area. We have gone to great lengths to ensure the centre is in line with the character of the area‚ and understated to blend in with the environment‚” said Ms van Niekerk. “The greater Kyalami area is wedged between two of the largest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas in SA‚ linked by the N1 freeway‚ purported to be the busiest stretch of road in the country.

The location of Kyalami Corner is strategically positioned on two provincial arterials that are already extremely busy and are therefore a textbook location for a retail node.”

Source:BD

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 September 2015 09:07

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