New ‘Savannah Mall” being developed in key growth area to the east of Pretoria

A brand new retail development, ‘Savannah Mall’, is being developed on a prominent vacant site on the corner of Solomon Mahlangu Drive and Bronkhorstpruit Road (R104) in a burgeoning area just east of Pretoria, in the Tshwane metropole.

Strategically well-positioned within one kilometre of access to the N4 highway, the 66 025 square metre mall is being developed by Group Five Property Developments at a total investment of close to R600 million, and retail space is marketed by JHI Properties.

Comments Simon Thirsk, development manager for Group Five Property Developments: “This new retail development will connect these communities along the key M10 / Solomon Mahlangu development corridor as the Tshwane metropole expands and seeks to densify in this north-east direction. The mall is also uniquely situated on the banks of the Pienaarsriver – taking into account the existing river flood-lines - and in close proximity to the historic Sammy Marks Museum situated across the river.

“Savannah Mall will be a significant retail anchor for the communities of Nellmapius and Mamelodi to the north and Silver Lakes to the south. It will also provide much needed shopping facilities to those living in the immediate surrounds – including Bronkhorstspruit and the planned, sizeable residential communities of Savannah Country Estates and the Africa Renaissance Lifestyle Estate. Considerably reducing travel times to a first-class retail experience, and providing an appealing social interaction space for shopping, dining and lounging, we believe the conveniently situated new mall will complement and also considerably enhance the quality of life for many local residents,” says Thirsk.

Says Kieron van Rooyen, retail broker for JHI Properties: ”Comprising 38 000 square metres in the first phase, the single level mall will cater for the upmarket and the aspirational requirements of a variety of shoppers. The project has met with a very positive response in the marketplace, with firm interest from major retailers as well as banks, restaurants, fast food outlets and clothing stores, among others. The intention is for a major food anchor to be located at either end of the mall, with two department stores as further strategic anchors. The overall design will create a relaxed and easy navigable environment with strategically placed anchor tenants and ease of access from four entry points to different merchandising areas of the shopping mall.”

Adds Thirsk: “Savannah Mall will be developed in a complementary fashion, taking into consideration current best practices in retail design and sustainable site and building design. With this in mind the centre is placed adjacent to the two major north-south and east-west transport routes with the majority of the surface parking area located behind the centre.

“The building will create more of an ‘urban edge’ than in traditional suburban shopping centre developments with vast parking areas fronting the development. The incorporation of a mass transit commuter facility will provide easy access for a broad range of potential retail clientele and contribute to the sustainability of the centre, while minimising the overall parking demand,” he says.

Boogertman and Partners Architects describe the architecture of the mall as inspired by the aesthetic appeal of both the modern-day and sweeping landscape of the Highveld. The exterior is light, bright and transparent with the focus on the retail offerings. Special attention is paid to important thresholds and entrance points as key areas of transition between the exterior and interior.

The interior mall will be illuminated by indirect natural daylight wherever possible to minimise the impact on resources, while efficient, state of the art heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in line with Green Building Standards will contribute to the comfort of shoppers.

Says Romy Altmann, who is also a retail broker for JHI Properties: “Work is expected to commence on site in early 2014 with completion anticipated around April 2015.”

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