Southgate puts R75m into upgrading project

Posted On Wednesday, 28 August 2002 02:00 Published by
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Makeover intended to keep pace with demographic change in the area
Southgate Mall, a regional retail centre south of Johannesburg, is set for a R75m upgrade.

The work is intended to help the centre keep up with the radical demographic change in the make-up of its visitors.

Many centres around SA, especially in major cities, have been altered amid tightening competition, often in the form of massive retail developments such as Gateway in KwaZulu-Natal, Canal Walk in Cape Town, and The Zone in Rosebank and Campus Square in Johannesburg. The increased retail space chases an unchanged number of retailers, some of whom have expressed concern about the expansion when they are already stretched.

Established shopping centres usually undertake facelifts when they face fresh competition.

The 70000m² Southgate is to get an additional 3000m² of retail space. A new, improved taxi rank is being created for the growing number of shoppers who rely on this form of transport. The facility will include a fast food outlet and motor parts fitment centre.

The fast food court is being remodelled, and Pick 'n Pay and Checkers are upgrading their stores.

The alteration plan also features a new banking court, freeing space elsewhere for a fashion shopping area.

John Rainier, MD of Grayprop, which holds 20% of Southgate, says the change in the centre's demographics has been evolving, and with the influx of black middle-class families into the southern suburbs, it is the right time to improve the facility.

The refurbishment of Southgate is part of a major investment programme by Grayprop in upgrading its retail properties. The company and its partners say they are spending up to R150m on four centres.

Blue Route Mall, in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, has been allocated R45m, Northmead Shopping Centre, Benoni, gets R25m and the Randburg Waterfront gets R80m.

Negotiations are at an advanced stage for a R200m extension of Centurion shopping centre. This will involve the addition of about 20000m² of retail space, taking the total to about 70000m². This centre has seen sales growing consistently above the inflation rate for a number of years, thanks to the steadily growing residential and working population, says Rainier.

Business Day

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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