Richway retail and trends

Posted On Wednesday, 07 February 2001 03:01 Published by
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BROOKLYN Mall in Pretoria attracted a record 265000 vehicles during December, vindicating the decision that it will be the only property in the original Richway portfolio not to be sold.

BROOKLYN Mall in Pretoria attracted a record 265000 vehicles during December, vindicating the decision that it will be the only property in the original Richway portfolio not to be sold, says executive director Richard Harman.

'Foot counts indicate that more than a million people visited the centre in December. Moreover, 90% of the retail tenants showed improved turnover figures from the previous year.'

Brooklyn Mall has more than 170 retail outlets, including international trend-setting shops, designer boutiques and speciality retailers. There are 16 restaurants and coffee bars.

'Entertainment has become an important component of shopping centres. Patrons now require a much wider experience than just shopping,' says Harman.

The centre benefited from latenight trading during the 10-day build-up to Christmas. Tenants believe that the positive upswing in turnover was a direct result of longer trading hours, he says.

'Shopping trends continue to change and it is clear that more shoppers prefer to shop outside traditional shopping hours.'

Richway recently acquired the Walmer Park shopping and entertainment centre situated in one of Port Elizabeth's most affluent suburbs, says Angus Mackay, an executive director of Richway.

He says plans are to extend the centre.

Richway is involved in extensions to its Northgate and Kolonnade shopping centres.

Cape Town developments join stable of flagship centres

THE acquisition by Richway of 58% of the Canal Walk shopping centre has established it as a premier property loanstock company, investing exclusively in flagship regional shopping centres in the major cities in SA, says chairman Gerald Rubenstein.

'Canal Walk shopping centre is located on the 250ha Century City site, eight kilometres from both the Cape Town central business district and the economic hub of Bellville.'

The site is adjacent to the N1 freeway with direct access provided by the Sable Road interchange.

It is surrounded by a comprehensive road network providing access to the metropolitan area.

Rubenstein says the Century City site will allow residents to live, shop and play in a secure, stimulating environment.

Canal Walk, with 13 formal entrances, has more than 450 shops offering a comprehensive and competitive choice of retailing outlets, he says.

The 125000m² development includes 9200m² of Agrade office accommodation and parking for 7500 cars.

Rubenstein says trading to date has been described by retailers as very favourable.

'The tenant mix represents a who's who in local retail trading. All of the country's major tenants have opened large, flagship stores.'

Another development, Longbeach Mall, under construction with an end-of-March completion date, will have 27000m² gross lettable area and is anchored by Pick 'n Pay, Edgars and Ster Kinekor, augmented by fashion retailers.

The new centre is a direct consequence of retail demand for modern trading premises and the letting of the centre has been excellent, says Richway executive director Angus Mackay.

He says Longbeach Mall will dominate the southern side of Table Mountain and as such constitutes a quasi-regional shopping centre.

'We believe that it will supply consumers from Noordhoek through to Kommetjie, and Fishhoek, St James and even Muizenberg.'

Under way at Northgate Shopping Centre, Randburg, is an extension of about 12000m² gross lettable area.

This extension incorporates a new Checkers store and a fully integrated family entertainment node with a full-sized ice-skating rink.



style='font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt'>Time is running out for loan stock property company Richway to complete its R1,6bn purchase of the Canal Walk shopping centre at Cape Town's Century City. It has until April 1.

Richway bought a 58% Canal Walk stake from Richway's own shareholder, BoE, in November. The deal was subject to a rights issue that Richway CEO Peter Blanckenberg hoped would take his company's market capitalisation from R268m to R900m. But it's touch-and-go whether it will attract institutional investors in time, say analysts. Even Blanckenberg isn't sure what the April 1 figure will be.

style='font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt'>Canal Walk was successfully launched in October and visitors flocked to experience the exuberant architecture and 'shoppertainment'. But with the initial 'wow!' factor gone, many smaller shops have folded as sales dried up. Even Edgars, CNA and Pick 'n Pay are disappointed.

style='font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt'>Only the long term is in question, as Richway gets a guaranteed 11,75% yield for its share, rising to 13,3% in four years.

style='font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt'>Blanckenberg says the centre will be a success. And retail consultant Pat Flanagan says Century City as a whole has the location and potential to become Cape Town's next commercial CBD in 15 years.

style='font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt'>But not everyone is convinced.

style='font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt'>What happens to the R1,6bn Canal Walk purchase if Richway doesn't meet its April 1 rights issue target? Hyprop, which competed unsuccessfully for the stake last year, says it is no longer interested. With no other bidders, BoE, which owns 50% of Richway, may be forced to take up the unsold issue and turn Richway into a noncore subsidiary

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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