Regional centre good news for Windhoek CBD

Posted On Friday, 14 November 2003 02:00 Published by ePeop Commercial Property News
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The opening of a N$105 million retail and office centre by Namibian President Sam Nujoma marked the first phase in what is planned to become a N$500 million, 40 000m² project set to entrench a prosperous future for Windhoek’s central business district.

The development has also acted as the catalyst for South African-based Broll Property Group’s move into the Namibian market“Windhoek is a thriving city with a wonderful personality,” says Broll’s

.  “The local retail market is particularly strong and the CBD is safe and clean.  The launch of a new regional shopping centre within the city will act to further strengthen its attraction and reduce the potential for decentralisation that has been the death-knell for cities around the world.”

The first phase included approximately 8 000m² of A Grade office space – all of which has been leased by the Standard Bank Group – and a 6 000m² retail component which is fully let.  The centre has seen a number of South African retailers make their debut in the Namibian market, including Mugg & Bean, Milady’s, Sheet Street, Exact and @ Home, among others.

According to Broll Namibia
, the centre – known as Town Square – has already established itself as a premier shopping venue.  The building is fully air-conditioned, makes extensive use of skylights to maximise natural light and includes polished porcelain-tiled flooring and ‘floating’ glass balustrades.

 “Although small, by South African standards, the centre takes a quantum leap in quality of finishes and raises the bar in the Namibian retail and office market,” said Chilton-Jones.  “Shoppers will be able to enjoy an environment on par with anything offered in other more sophisticated retail markets.”

The project has made comprehensive use of local contractors and labour while at the same time, through Broll’s involvement, seen an infusion of new skills into the Namibian construction industry.  There has been significant job creation through the opening of the 32 stores and also from secondary support services such as cleaners and security.

“We have managed to achieve international quality finishes while making extensive use of local materials wherever possible.  It has been great to see the capabilities and commitment of Namibian companies to deliver product and service of the highest standard,” said Chilton-Jones.  “In fact, granite sourced from the Walvis Bay area is used as part of the flooring component and interior wall cladding of the building.  The product is of international quality but at the same time has given the twin benefits of cost effectiveness and support of local industry.”

 

The project was initially started in 1998 and then stopped.  Broll’s involvement – backed by its comprehensive understanding of shopping centre economics – saw the project go from concept to completion in 18 months with a reduction in cost of around N$15 million.

“It’s often the small things that make the big differences,” says Chilton-Jones.  “We manage more than 80 shopping centres and have acquired a tremendous amount of experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t.  That knowledge is what transformed this project from a non-starter to what is likely to prove to be Namibia’s retail diamond.”

Meyer sees Broll’s move into the Namibian as a key strategic development in the Group’s regional aspirations.  “Our property management operation is only five months old and we have already acquired a significant portfolio of buildings to manage.  Importantly, we have started to introduce other Group services into the Namibian market–Utilities Management is a prime example.”

“Our involvement in Namibia is a win:win for all,” concludes Meyer.  “Broll is keen to achieve greater representation in the SADC region and in-turn we plough back new skills and expertise, adding incredible value into the local property industry.”
Ends.

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:32

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