Construction under way on R950 million Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park

Construction has started on the R950 million Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park development, and the 52 000m² regional shopping centre is now scheduled to open before Easter in 2017.

Artist’s impression of Springs Mall, under construction at Blue Crane Eco Park in Springs.

The landmark mall, being developed in Springs in the Ekurhuleni Metro in the east of Gauteng, is a joint-venture between Blue Crane Eco Mall (Pty) Ltd, Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment, and Murinda Investments, which is part of the Giuricich Brothers Group.

“We are delighted that construction on Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park is finally under way now that all outstanding town planning hurdles have been overcome,” says Patrick Flanagan, executive director of Flanagan & Gerard.

“At just shy of a billion rand, this regional shopping centre development is a major investment in Springs. It is encouraging that the local council has given all the relevant approvals,” he says.

The mall project is the brainchild of the Springs based D’Arrigo family, who have lived in Springs for three generations and are invested in the future of the city.

The development also benefits from the know-how of a respected and experienced team of business and retail property developers and investors at Flanagan & Gerard and the Giuricich Brothers construction company, which has been in existence for 75 years.

Flanagan & Gerard’s regional shopping centres include Vaal Mall, Highveld Mall, Mall of the North and Middelburg Mall, as well as the new Ballito Junction regional mall which is under construction.

“With our different expertise, as joint developers and owners of Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park, we plan to build a regional shopping centre that the Springs’ community can be proud of,” says Franco D’Arrigo.

“The mall is set to become a landmark retail asset that serves the region’s consumers with a top quality shopping experience. Besides providing an exceptional shopping destination, Springs Mall will also introduce many economic benefits such as local jobs during construction and permanent positions once the mall is completed. It will also keep valuable retail spend within Springs,” he says.

Says Gerard Giuricich of Murinda Investments, says the company’s construction arm, Giuricich Bros Construction is playing a key role as the main contractors on Springs Mall. Earthworks contractors are on site with the main construction set to start soon.

Destined to become a dominant mall in the region, the new Springs Mall is in an excellent location in the suburb of Casseldale. It is easily accessible at the intersection of the N17 and R51/Wit Road and is also easily approachable from the N17 and Wit and Jan Smuts Roads.

Giuricich says that as part of the earthworks contract, there will be a realignment of Jan Smuts Road along the northern side of the site. When Springs Mall opens in March 2017, it will have frontage on the N17 and people travelling on the road will be able to see the two-level mall from some distance away. The mall will also act as an interceptor on the N17 for people travelling to Mpumalanga and Swaziland.

Meanwhile, to help mitigate the impact of load shedding and as part of several green features of the mall, the joint venture developers are investigating the installation of solar generated power, with the intention of using this, if viable, as a supplement to the municipal electricity supply.

“We are trying to employ as many environmentally sustainable measures as possible in the mall’s development. The use of natural light is a key part of the mall’s design, as are other green building interventions,” says Flanagan.

Springs Mall is also part of the broader Blue Crane Eco Park development. It will form the anchor of the development, with further commercial development on 10 ha of land surrounding the mall.

The leasing progress on Springs Mall has been excellent, says Flanagan.

“We have already attracted several of South Africa’s leading retailers and brands. In fact, the mall is already 80 percent let almost two years before it opens. Now we are selecting the balance to offer a great tenant mix and shopping offering of around 120 stores and outlets.”

Anchor tenants signed up include Pick n Pay, Checkers, Woolworths and Edgars. Other major national retailers that are also set to be part of the tenant mix at the new Springs Mall include the Foschini Group, Truworths, Mr Price, HiFi Corporation, Clicks, Dis-Chem and Incredible Connection. The mall will also offer family entertainment and restaurants.

Flanagan says a wide variety of restaurants, electronics, gifting, décor, banking, services, health and beauty and fashion retailers are set to be part of the mall’s tenant mix.

Springs Mall will also offer free open-air parking on both its shopping levels with easy shopper access from both parking areas, through four entrances.

“The mall will act as a stimulus for the Springs economy, see local retail rands being spent in Springs and provide an icon for the town. The inhabitants of Springs will further benefit by being able to patronise a number of stores and brands that are not trading in the town at present.

“Clearly much needed permanent jobs will be created once the centre opens for trade – sales assistants, merchandisers, packers, and cleaning and security personnel will largely be drawn from the local communities. Members of the local community should also note that during the construction phase, limited non-permanent job opportunities will be available,” says Flanagan.

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