The Pavilion to get a R1.1 billion makeover

Artist’s impression of what The Pavilion shopping centre in Durban will look like when its R1.1 billion makeover and expansion are complete.

The Pavilion shopping centre in Durban is set to get a massive R1.1 billion makeover and expansion designed to reposition the centre, significantly increasing its leisure and retail offering.

This was announced by Pareto Limited, the owners of The Pavilion, during the recent SA Council of Shopping Centres’ 19th Annual Congress, which took place at Durban’s International Convention Centre.

Pareto chief executive, Marius Muller, says: “This development at The Pavilion will take the centre up to around 139 000m2 and entrench it as one of Durban’s and SA’s top super-regional shopping centres. This major makeover project will be the biggest investment in an expansion of The Pavilion since it opened two decades ago.”

The development has been approved by the Pareto board and has also secured relevant municipal approvals.

“At more than R1bn, this development is going to take The Pavilion to a whole new level. The centre is going to be transformed with great new attractions, the most spectacular of which is a glass-encased roof-top fine dining and leisure area to be called Sky@Pav. The development will also see the opening of well-known international retail stores, some of which are not represented in KZN at present.

“Pareto is in advanced negotiations with global fashion retailers to take up space at the expanded centre. At the moment, we cannot reveal the fashion brands coming in. But, I can say that a new international fashion entrant into the SA market will be anchoring the new retail section and will be occupying two levels. The iconic UK-based toy retailer Hamleys is also on the cards for The Pavilion.”

Another major brand and new offering coming into the centre as part of the expansion is Virgin Active, which will open a 3 200m2 gym.

Muller says: “The Pavilion is one of South Africa’s leading shopping and entertainment destinations and among the top five largest malls in the country. This expansion is demand driven, but also aimed at making sure The Pavilion retains its position in the market by securing the major international brands coming into SA and expanding its offering in-line with the latest trends.

“Illustrating the significance of this latest expansion, the number of retail stores and other outlets at the centre will increase from 240 to around 320 upon completion. The Pavilion will increase from 119 000m2 to about 139 000m2, making it just smaller than Sandton City and Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pareto’s portfolio.”

The 20 000m2 expansion will include about 14 000m2 to accommodate new retail offerings, 2 500m2 for the new Sky@Pav roof-top feature and space for the Virgin Active. The development will also include 1 505 new parking bays.

Muller says: “It is definitely our aim to energise the space and create a wow experience for locals and attract visitors and tourists to The Pavilion. Our massive new investment in The Pavilion will see it retain its status as one of the top five super-regional shopping centres in SA.

“We are undertaking this massive expansion to also reposition The Pavilion within its market in Durban; for its existing customer base to remain loyal; and, to attract new tenants and customers to the centre. Furthermore, the growing need for space from existing and potential tenants, both local and international, necessitates the planned reconfiguration and extension. Our announcement of this expansion comes in the wake of Pareto completing a R220 million upgrade at The Pavilion last year, which included an all-new food court and expanded cinema and entertainment offering.”

He says the retail and commercial landscape surrounding The Pavilion has undergone significant changes in recent years with new centres opening such as Westwood, Galleria and Watercrest Mall. There have also been refurbishments of existing centres like Overport City, Westville Mall and Musgrave Centre.

“Increased competition in its catchment area, as well as competition from super-regional shopping centres such as Gateway that are able to accommodate international tenants like ZARA, meant that we needed to do something groundbreaking at The Pavilion. With this R1.1bn project, we are doing just that.”

Citing IPD and market research, Muller says that The Pavilion currently provides significantly fewer stores compared to other super-regional shopping centres, such as Gateway, which has more than 400.

Muller says: “The new development will be undertaken in a phased approach, with the Virgin Active project anticipated to begin in November and major construction work scheduled to start in February 2016 on the 14 000m2 retail extension. Construction on the new roof-top area will begin in October 2016 and the overall development is anticipated to take between 18 to 20 months to complete.”

He says Pareto and The Pavilion’s centre management are finalising plans to try to ensure any disruptions linked to construction would be kept to a minimum, and tenants and shoppers would be kept up to date on the development.

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