Menlyn Park Shopping Centre to cement its place as Africa’s largest mall

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Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in South Africa to cement its place as the largest mall in Africa, unseating Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in South Africa to cement its place as the largest mall in Africa, unseating Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

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Despite a slowdown in consumer spending across South Africa, Pretoria’s Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is undergoing a R2.5-billion revamp that will make it the largest mall in Africa, unseating Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

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The on-going shopping mall developments and others that are still in the planning phase in SA, is increasingly driving concerns about an oversaturated retail property market despite consumer spending being in the doldrums.

However, still, some property punters believe the market can take it.

The R2.5-billion redevelopment is an ambitious undertaking that has been two years in the making. Once complete, the new shopping centre will have floor space of about 170 000m2 and 500 stores by November 2016.

It is also set to be larger than iconic shopping centre, Sandton City, Fourways Mall and the recently opened Mall of Africa, all in Johannesburg.

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Menlyn Park is owned by unlisted company Pareto Limited which purchased the centre in 2015 from Old Mutual.

“The redevelopment of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre was driven by a strong demand from retailers, as they’re enjoying robust trade results year-on-year,” says Malose Kekana, group CEO for Pareto Limited.

Pareto’s shareholder is the Government Employees Pension Fund. Pareto is also the full owner of Cresta shopping centre, Southgate Mall and Value Market and Westgate shopping centre in Gauteng, the Pavilion in Durban, and Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein, while it jointly owns the Tiger Valley shopping centre in Cape Town.

The suburb of Menlyn is seeing new and redevelopment, with new office parks also under construction. It is viewed as the "Sandton of Pretoria".

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Gateway is now SA’s second-largest mall, at 166,636 m² and contains 362 stores. Sandton City follows next: it is 146,803 m² and has about 300 stores. Canal Walk is the largest shopping centre in the Western Cape, at 140,567m², with 412 stores.

Mall of Africa, located in the recently constructed Waterfall City in Midrand is 130,000m². It has about 300 stores. It is, nevertheless, the largest mall to be built within a single phase. Durban’s The Pavillion is the next largest mall in SA, given its 120,000m² size. It is followed by Centurion Mall and Cresta, which are 105,000m², and 104,000m² respectively.

These shopping centres are all much smaller than many others in the developing world. SM Prime Holdings’ Mall of Asia in Pasay, Philippines, is being extended from 400,000m² to 700,000m² and is set to have 1,300 stores.

Stanlib’s head of listed property funds Keillen Ndlovu says the Mall of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is about 502,000m².

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In the rest of Africa, Egypt’s Cairo Festival City Mall boasts 168,000m² of space, while the Mall of Arabia, also in Cairo, has about 180,000m² of gross lettable area.

There have been concerns that SA is over-shopped and that too many malls are being opened, but landlords have found that many shoppers are choosing to visit larger centres once or twice a month instead of many smaller centres multiple times.

Smaller convenience centres struggled to hold on to small tenants, said Patrick Flanagan, head of development company Flanagan & Gerard.

"I think developers need to be careful. There are many shopping centres that have been announced which just won’t be sustainable in certain areas. Quite a few smaller centres are difficult to tenant in a slow-growth economy," he said recently.

Menlyn Park is in Tshwane, the metropolitan municipality with the fastest-growing gross domestic product (GDP) in SA, as well the youngest population. And the capital city of Pretoria has the highest number of embassies in SA.

Read more on:

Retail Property  |  Keillen Ndlovu  |  Mall of Africa  |  Sandton City Shopping Centre  |  Menlyn Park Shopping Centre  |  Malose Kekana  |  Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)  |  Cairo Festival City Mall  |  Mall of Arabia  |  Pavillion Shopping Mall Durban  |  Patrick Flanagan  |  Canal Walk Shopping Centre

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