Cape of Good Hope Bank financed shopping centre coming on stream at Paarl.

Posted On Monday, 28 October 2002 10:01 Published by
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The shopping scene in Paarl is about to undergo a radical transformation and upgrade.

The shopping scene in Paarl is about to undergo a radical transformation and upgrade.

On Wednesday 20th November the Platinum Mile Group of local investors, will open their 4,250 m2 R20 million retail centre in the main street of Paarl. The site is in a strategic position right next to the KWV headquarters who sold seven erven to Platinum Mile as part of their much publicised consolidation and rationalisation programme. Two of the plots had houses on them and a portion of the rest was used as a KWV parking area.

The centre will be known as Vineyard Centre. It will be the first in Paarl to offer basement parking as well as air conditioning throughout. What is more, the basement parking will be free to customers.

Finance for the project has been provided through Cape of Good Hope Bank's Northern Suburbs branch. COGHB's Regional Manager for the branch, Brett Webb, said his team had had 'absolutely no hesitation' in recommending the complex for finance because, he said, 'it has all the elements that make for a total success.'

'The most important of these, as always in property, is its position, right on the main road,' said Webb. 'Then, too, the ample parking on the site will be a huge draw card - there will in fact be room for 180 vehicles, half of which will be under cover. On top of this we have, in my opinion, an excellent highly appropriate modern Boland design with a recognisable Cape flavour. This was largely the conception of the Rémey Group's Project Manager, Marius Theron and Henk Smith of Smith & Smith Architects.'

Theron said that initially there had been concern about the design.

'The site was partially occupied by low rise houses which, although lacking any architectural merit, were fairly unobtrusive. It was feared that our building would be out of keeping with Paarl's architecture. However negotiations with the S A Heritage Trust quickly resolved all these difficulties.

'The original fears,' added Theron, 'have now been to laid to rest and there is huge satisfaction in the local community with the end product. It is widely realised that the flat roofed, white plastered facades with their moulded parapet tops are exactly right for Paarl.'

The centre, he said, will present a friendly, welcoming face to the main road, the shops on that side opening onto the parking area and protected by a covered walkway.

In addition, said Theron, the developers have kept all the historic, very attractive oak trees on the site except one that was diseased and has had to go. The rest, he said, are looking exceptionally good at present as a result of the new spring foliage and the excellent winter rains.

One oak tree, in fact, has been incorporated into the building, the façade of which was indented to make room for it. This section has been fully glazed so that restaurant customers will be able to look onto the tree.

The restaurant will be one of the popular Dros chain. It will occupy 400 m2 in a custom designed section. The main anchor tenant in the building, however, will be Spar, with 2,300 m2. They are transferring from another Paarl site and will, it is thought, bring a large clientele with them. Also transferring from a nearby site will be Westermans Chemist, who is taking 320 m2.

The complex will have 18shops in all. At this stage, said Theron, only three have not been signed for but he believes that these will be taken up before the opening.

Theron paid tribute to Webb and his team at Cape of Good Hope Bank.

'It is sometimes forgotten that projects of this kind cannot get off of the ground without finance. The great merit of COGHB is that they have people like Brett Webb who have the experience to appreciate the requirements – and the risks - involved in a development of this sort.'

The building work was handled by the Rémey Group themselves, with Dave Rixon as contract manager. The consulting engineers were Element Consulting Engineers.

For further information please contact Brett Webb on 021 914 2980.

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