R2.5 billion super-regional mall to anchor Rainbow Junction mega-project

The multi-billion rand Rainbow Junction mixed-use property megaproject, anchored by a new R2.5 billion 94 000m² super-regional shopping centre, is getting unprecedented attention from investors and major developers wanting to co-develop or secure a stake in the groundbreaking project 6km north of the Pretoria CBD.

Artist’s impression of Rainbow Mall in the Rainbow Junction precinct.

That’s the word from Gavin Tagg, chief executive of Retail Network Services (RNS) and Rosella Dingle, joint chief executive and spokesperson for Rainbow Junction Development Company, the brainchild and developer driving the Rainbow Junction property megaproject.

RNS has been brought on board by the developers to lead the leasing on the strategic super-regional shopping centre component, which will be called Rainbow Mall.

Tagg says: “Rainbow Mall will be the catalyst anchor project within the greater multi-billion rand Rainbow Junction integrated mixed-use development. The overall development is on a prized 140ha greenfield site with several other competitive advantages, so it is no surprise that the developers are now getting such great interest in the project.”

Dingle says: “Rainbow Junction is set to be Pretoria’s beacon property development and a South African landmark too. With all municipal, environmental and other approvals in place for the anchor Rainbow Mall development, the project is now gaining momentum and prospective investors and major property developers who either want to secure a stake in the project or the whole development are showing interest.

“The shopping centre and broader Rainbow Junction precinct are being spearheaded by the Rainbow Junction Development Company, with plans to turn the prime greenfield site into a booming retail, leisure, commercial and residential node, as mandated by the property holding realisation company owned by the Rossi and Sinovich families.

“Rainbow Junction is an all-new nodal development and is set to include some 670 000m² of commercial development – making it the largest private sector development of its kind in the City of Tshwane Metro and one of the largest integrated mixed-use developments in the country.”

Tagg says: “Construction of the mall is scheduled to begin early in 2016, and road construction surrounding the mall started in July. It will have more than 250 retail stores, restaurants, a cinema complex and ice rink, as well as “Third Place” attractions.

“We are speaking to major national and international retailers and other brands to take up space at this new centre. Although the shopping centre is part of a greenfield development, its great location surrounded by an established market of some two million people and proximity to the CBD means it will attract strong local support as well as visitors from outside the area.”

Rainbow Mall is estimated to cost about R2.5 billion, however, the broader Rainbow Junction mixed-use precinct development is anticipated to be a megaproject of between R10bn and R12bn over its 10 to 15 year development phase.

Rainbow Junction’s overall commercial uses will include about 165 000m² for retail, 170 000m² of prime offices, 120 000m² for residential projects, 65 000m² for hotel and conferencing facilities, with the balance catering for general commercial uses and light industry. It will also have space for educational facilities as well as 37ha of green open public spaces for social and recreational facilities.

The development is on a strategic site in the centre of the Tshwane Metro’s geographic boundaries and has been identified by the city as a catalyst for its “Zone of Choice” new key growth node. It is highly visible and has excellent access to key arterial roads and major national highways, as well as strong rail and air connections via the Wonderboom Station next to the site and Wonderboom National Airport just 3km away. Another significant advantage is that the city is planning to build the biggest transit hub of its multi-billion rand A Re Yeng integrated rapid transit system at Rainbow Junction.

Rainbow Junction has a direct link to the M1 Paul Kruger St Ext, which is the main northern arterial route serving the city. The development also connects to Sefako Makgatho (Zambezi) Drive, which links to the N1 highway, and, will have a direct connection to the N4 Platinum Highway on completion of the K97 link road. The property is bordered by the Apies River, which gives it 4km of river frontage and another distinctive development characteristic.

Says Dingle: “The overall Rainbow Junction development is a strategic legacy project in a greenfield node that has been identified and prioritised by the City of Tshwane as a key project to unlock growth and development in the capital. This is a major economic development and is anticipated to create around 45 500 jobs over its development phase.”

She says the megaproject has been more than seven years in the making and the developers are considering ‘Third Place’ elements, such a high-rise viewing tower within the development, which will set it apart from other major malls and serve as a beacon attraction to locals and visitors.”

Subesh Pillay, MMC for Economic Development and Planning at the City of Tshwane, says: “We are confident that the Rainbow Junction megaproject will contribute to the capital city’s objective of building a resilient, liveable and inclusive city through infill development between the outlying northern belt and the city centre, linked to the City’s A Re Yeng rapid transit system.”

Warrick Fulford, Rainbow Junction Development Company’s joint chief executive says: “This will be an integrated and sustainable mixed-use megaproject, developed with green consciousness and a low carbon footprint in mind. In line with this, Rainbow Junction is a strongly transit orientated development.

“The mall is the biggest development in this megaproject, but there are others that we will announce as soon as they are finalised. For instance, talks are progressing with Africa’s first sustainable hotel management group, Verde Hotels, to develop Gauteng’s greenest hotel within the “Green Grid” component of Rainbow Junction. This project will have the potential to take over the current status of their flagship hotel property next to Cape Town International Airport, currently hailed as Africa’s greenest hotel.”

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