A major boost is in the pipeline for Overport City with an extensive R100 million refurbishment of the centre about to be undertaken by the owners of this landmark, mixed-use development in Peter Mokaba Ridge (formerly Ridge Road) on Durban’s Berea.

“This is the first major refurbishment of the centre in 30 years, and on completion - and renamed ‘The Atrium at Overport City’ - this will be a flagship shopping centre for the greater Berea catchment area, positioning it with other premier shopping centres in the region,” says Frank Reardon, project co-ordinator for the owners, Terrafirmanet Investments (Pty) Limited. He adds that development finance for the project has been provided by Investec Private Bank.
Rob Moran, regional director in KwaZulu-Natal for JHI Properties, the managing agents of Overport City, says the refurbishment will breathe new life into the centre, converting it into a prime shopping destination in Durban. The centre was built in the early 1970’s and comprises a retail component of 16 000sqm, 8000sqm of offices and over 1000 parking bays.

“Centrally located in a densely populated suburb, Overport City is well situated within easy reach of residents across a broad spectrum on the Berea and surrounding areas which include Overport, Morningside, Greyville and Glenwood.  It affords easy access to the city via bus and taxi routes and has considerable parking capacity on site,” says Moran.

Comments Ivan Pachonick, director retail consulting for JHI Properties: “This significant refurbishment will upgrade the centre and reposition it into a modern, highly appealing shopping mall which will better serve the demographics of the area. Both patrons and tenants of Overport City will benefit from the refurbishment as the entire experience of visiting and working in the centre will be greatly enhanced. The complete interior and exterior upgrade will include upmarket new finishes, a shopping centre and exterior façade upgrade, new food court, an office upgrade including replacement of exterior windows and parking lot upgrade, while the retail component will be anchored by a much larger 4000sqm Checkers store – upgraded from Shoprite to a blue line Checkers store. Other major tenants include new tenancies for four national banks, and other significant new tenancies are currently under negotiation.”

With the refurbishment of the centre and in line with the design style enhancements to be implemented Overport City will in future be called ‘The Atrium at Overport City’, taking its name from the emphasis on contemporary architecture with high volume ceilings, the use of natural light and cascading landscaping with hanging gardens, vertical wall gardens, fully-grown trees, and tranquil pond and water features with koi fish. Combined with strategic lighting the designers will create a restful, green conservatory ambience.

Logistical access will be improved with new signage directing customers clearly around the parking and road system, new emphasis on the large number of covered parking bays on the two retail levels above street level - which will be connected to the centre via a pedestrian retail bridge, while the new interior will be a ‘vertical mall’ where entry on any level provides full access to all shops. New escalators will link the three retail levels and two new fully glazed panoramic lifts link all parking to the retail section, while a new flying staircase will link the roof parking level to the central space.

The new food court component will feature restaurants with trendy decks fronting onto the street and in the mall, while leading national fast food outlets and coffee shops will overlook The Atrium, creating an ideal venue for relaxing in a tranquil atmosphere. Currently tenants are being selected to provide the best in convenience neighbourhood retail.

Of note is the new, larger Checkers store which will include a deli section, wine store and bakery, with banking, post office services and a well-stocked Clicks store included in the convenience mix of tenants. New toilet interiors, management offices, security systems and a strong emphasis on natural stone finishes and lighting completes the transformation of the centre into a first class convenient shopping centre designed to enable shoppers to access their requirements without delay – or linger over coffee or a meal with friends and family.

For further information contact Ivan Pachonick of JHI Properties on 011 9118000 or email or Moira Redman of JHI Properties on 031 5342529 or email

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