Outlook improves for Mall of Rosebank

Posted On Thursday, 16 May 2002 10:01 Published by
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Refurbishment, improved trading, capital investment and drop in crime mark turnaround for small commercial centre

IMPROVED trading at the refurbished Mall of Rosebank could signal a turnaround for the small Johannesburg commercial node.

Traditionally an exclusive upmarket node, Rosebank has suffered heavy blows in the past few years, losing its status to centres like Hyde Park and Sandton.

Two years ago an exodus of traders left The Firs, The Galleria, Mutual Gardens, Mutual Square, Rosebank Mews and Knightsbridge the heart of Rosebank on the verge of collapse, with alarmingly high vacancies.

Stakeholders joined forces in the Rosebank Management District to develop an integrated rescue plan for Rosebank. Their efforts appear to be paying off, boosted by capital investment in the area.

Key investments were in the R220m refurbishment that produced Old Mutual Properties' The Zone at Rosebank, and the R56m refurbishment of The Mall, the latter intended primarily to create more retail space and to improve the centre's appearance.

The creation of more space was mainly to accommodate Pick 'n Pay, which moved from The Firs to The Mall, which is managed by JHI Real Estate.

JHI director Ivan Pachonick says a great tenant mix, the refurbishment and extended shopping hours are behind the trading rise.

'The new tenant mix and refurbishment further complement the flourishing African Craft Market and strengthen the piazza ambience created in Cradock Avenue,' says Pachonick.

Turnover at the mall rose 22% for the first quarter of 2002, compared to the same time last year. Some national tenants notched up increases of almost 40%.

New tenants occupying 573m² include Clockwise, Cafeé Nescafé, Herbert Evans and B&B Rooftop Shop. Nedbank, Sophia's, Black Steers, Incredible Connection, Spitz and Van den Bergh's have expanded their premises.

'This is only the start. More exciting developments will be announced shortly,' says Pachonick.

He says the recovery of Rosebank has also been boosted by increased security measures which have reduced crime in the area.

However, it appears Rosebank is now attracting a younger clientele with less spending power than Rosebank's lost mature, higher end of the market shoppers.

Meanwhile, the owners of Cradock Heights, a block of flats adjoining the mall, have brought legal action against the mall's owners over the transgression of an initial development agreement.

While the agreement allowed for the pedestrianisation of Cradock Avenue, the mall's owners have since extended their building into the street, upsetting Cradock Heights' owners. Business Day

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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