Rosebank Judgment Affects Customers.

Posted On Tuesday, 29 October 2002 10:01 Published by
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The Mall of Rosebank is appealing against a high court decision that has been obtained by Stephen Le Roith, the owner of Cradock Heights, an office building in Rosebank, which will adversely affect customers and businesses in the Rosebank shopping node.

The Mall of Rosebank is appealing against a high court decision that has been obtained by Stephen Le Roith, the owner of Cradock Heights, an office building in Rosebank, which will adversely affect customers and businesses in the Rosebank shopping node.    Le Roith has gained a judgment that effectively forces some of the restaurants in the Cradock Avenue Square to remove their tables and chairs and calls for the demolition of the recently completed entrance to The Mall of Rosebank.  His application also calls for the removal of the canopy of Mimmos and the effective elimination of other cafés/restaurants.


Charles Ryan, a director of Property Fund Managers, the management company of property fund Cenprop that owns The Mall of Rosebank, noted that at the beginning of the court hearing, Cradock Heights conceded that The Mall of Rosebank site development plan and building plans had been properly approved by the Council.  In the appeal, it will be argued that The Mall of Rosebank has always acted within its rights.   The Mall’s objective relating to the interacting pedestrian flows with other properties in the precinct is to take cognizance that the most important people in Rosebank are the customers and within the precinct they want pedestrian flows which are easy, welcoming, lively and customer friendly.   “We do not believe that people frequenting Rosebank want barren paved areas with a few benches as granted by the court to Le Roith”.


He adds that customers want a people conducive and vibrant activity within this revitalized shopping and office precinct.   In fact, the unintended effect of the court decision could even result in a return of hawkers if not properly controlled.   The decision being appealed against cuts across the rights of existing tenants and also ignores the obvious commercial success of the development”.


The new entrance to The Mall provides a pleasing complementary architectural link to the entrance of The Zone and is flanked by Nescafé and Clockwise, two attractive pavement style cafés.   The architects appointed to design the Cradock Avenue pedestrian mall have successfully blurred the line where outdoor and indoor activities begin and end.   The open air is only one of the design elements, which integrates well with sidewalk cafés and pedestrian points of interest.


Ivan Pachonick, national retail director of JHI Real Estate, the property manager of The Mall, comments that pedestrianisation and shopping at Rosebank continues to improve according to shop owners.   Surveys indicate that parking utilization to August 2002 is 48% up on a year ago and foot traffic in August, at 866 000, was 20% up on 2 months previously.   “This is the type of foot traffic that regional centres in excess of 50 000 square meters would expect.  The Mall’s square meterage is 32 000 m².   Turnovers of national tenants are up at around 22% and there is strong demand from many other national retailers”.


Rosebank benefited from the World Summit, not only through international tourists coming to the centre and particularly the craft market which hosts the broadest range of crafts and goods manufactured in countries in Africa, but also from South African shoppers who diverted to Rosebank as a result of perceived congestion at their normal shopping venues.   They found Rosebank to be “refreshingly South African” with its open spaces, pavement cafés and interactivity between The Mall, The Zone, office and other retail properties.    The pavement cafés give it a “continental atmosphere”.


The precinct’s popularity and vibrant atmosphere is causing retailers to open their stores on Saturday nights in addition to the very active Sunday trading which compliments the activities of the well-established Mall Market on the roof of The Mall of Rosebank.   This has also had a positive impact on the office market.


Pachonick added that the expansion and refurbishment of The Mall of Rosebank is almost complete and the result is an absolutely A-grade shopping centre in all respects. “This has enticed international tenants such as United Colors of Benetton and The Body Shop, as well as national tenants such as the Foschini Group and Pick ‘n Pay.   Staying open until 7:00 pm on week days, is attracting many office workers to Pick ‘n Pay to do their shopping in a relaxed after hours atmosphere”.


He adds that he was sad that the tables and chairs on the sidewalk, which are very well utilized, would have to be taken away and believes this will severely damage the new vibrant, quality shopping experience found in the Rosebank retail and office node.

Publisher: JHI
Source: JHI

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