Biggest mall in Africa, Mall of Africa, opens for business in Gauteng, South Africa

AA – Developed on a scale beyond anything the country has known by leading South African property developer and investor Atterbury, the iconic new Mall of Africa has opened its doors today.

Southern Africa’s largest single-phase shopping centre development to date, the R5-billion Mall of Africa, is a 130,000sqm super-regional mall that sets a new benchmark for shopping centres on the continent.

Commenting on the Mall of Africa development, Louis van der Watt, CEO of Atterbury says: “In line with the Atterbury vision to create working, shopping and entertainment spaces for everyone to live to their full potential, the development of this breath-taking shopping and leisure destination introduces an unmissable, unmatched retail experience. Mall of Africa’s exceptional scale, design, location and retail mix places it at the forefront of development.”

Van der Watt adds: “The development has enhanced the diversity of the retail sector in South Africa, changed Gauteng’s skyline and stimulated the economy.”

Mall of Africa is co-owned by two leading South African property companies. JSE-listed real estate capital growth fund Attacq Limited holds the commercial development rights to Waterfall and owns 80% of the Mall of Africa. Atterbury Property Developments owns 20% of Mall of Africa and is responsible for the Mall of Africa development project, on behalf of Attacq.

At 130,000sqm, it is the largest single-phase shopping mall development in South Africa. Mall of Africa will feature over 300 retailers, restaurants, entertainment and services, all within a single exceptional development. It also has all amenities that any shopper may need. Atterbury Asset Managers is responsible for Mall of Africa’s asset management for its co-owners.

Atterbury began the construction of Mall of Africa nearly three-and-a-half years ago, on 28 October 2012.

While the mall comprises some 130,000sqm of gross lettable area, James Ehlers, MD of Atterbury Property Developments, notes its construction area covers a massive 550,000sqms – or 78 rugby fields. A stroll around the building’s perimeter will take you on a walk of 1.75 kilometres.

Ehlers also reveals that over 6 kilometres of shopfront has been created inside Mall of Africa. Plus, more than 530 kilometres of post tension cable has been used in its construction, as well as 18,500 tons of rebar and 205,000 cubic metres of concrete.

During the construction of Mall of Africa a substantial 3,078 people were employed for the project and, by January 2016, they had worked 10.41-million man hours.

“When the centre opens, hundreds of permanent and part-time jobs within the centre will be created on a sustainable basis,” says Ehlers.

A mall of the magnitude of Mall of Africa has massive pulling power for shoppers in the region and beyond, driven by its distinctive retail experience across two levels of exceptional shopping.

Lucille Louw, MD of Atterbury Asset Managers, confirms Mall of Africa will open with seven anchor tenants, and an exciting array of international retailers that have chosen to debut their brands to South Africans at the mall, as well as an appealing line-up of flagship stores for all major South African retailers.

“Mall of Africa’s carefully considered retail mix creates a unique experience that is a major attraction. It offers a well-balanced variety of local and international brands, services, speciality shopping, entertainment and eateries. There will be something for everyone, with 2.4 kilometres of shopping and an exciting selection of 300-plus stores,” says Louw.

Anchor tenants at Mall of Africa include Checkers, Edgars, Game and Woolworths. They will be joined by leading South African brands from The Foschini Group, Mr Price and Truworths.

Louw reveals that top international brands opening their first stores in South Africa at Mall of Africa include Armani Exchange, Helly Hansen, Asics, Zara Home, The Kooples, Under Armour, Mango Man, women’secret and Amsterdam-based Soap Stories.

These new retailers opening in the country for the first time will join a full pack of favourite brands like H&M, Forever 21, Forever New, River Island, Mango, Starbucks and Versace.

Louw adds: “In addition to its exciting shopping appeal, Mall of Africa also includes endless entertainment. Customers can enjoy a state-of-the-art nine-screen SterKinekor cinema complex with Imax, and an extensive selection of 12 restaurants, fast food stores, coffee shops and cafés.”

One of the many leisure highlights at Mall of Africa is a magnificent outdoor park with a children’s play area featuring an interactive musical water fountain.

A major benefit of Mall of Africa is its central location in Gauteng and easy access from all areas. Mall of Africa is superbly situated in Waterfall City, halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is highly accessible, located adjacent to the Allandale Road exit of the N1 Highway, the first free-flow intersection of its size in Africa. Plus, Atterbury has undertaken major roads upgrades around the development to make it easy for shoppers to arrive at Mall of Africa’s 26 entrances.

The mall has around 6,500 parking bays, most of which are under cover. It also offers valet parking, special drop-off facilities for buses and dedicated Uber pick-up and drop-off points – a first in the South African retail environment. It is also minutes away from the Gautrain Midrand Station.

While Mall of Africa is set to dazzle both locals and visitors from far and wide, there is much more to this ground-breaking development than first meets the eye.

Cobus van Heerden of Atterbury Property Developments comments: “Our commitment to responsible development, energy efficiency, sustainability and the implementation of green strategies is evident in Mall of Africa’s inspired design, construction and operational practices. As a developer, it is crucial to ensure the assets we create are environmentally responsible and as energy efficient as possible.”

The project implemented multiple green technologies, including a massive photovoltaic installation on the roof of Mall of Africa. The installation will be the largest in South Africa and Africa and will provide 4.8MVA of sustainable power for the centre. The mall will use grey water harvesting in all public toilets and for the irrigation of the entire development. Its design means natural light is maximized in the mall in such a way that shopper comfort is also optimised.

Van Heerden says: “Atterbury’s vision was to develop the highest quality retail property that offers an exceptional overall shopping experience and is a real asset to its owners, retailers and customers. We are excited this has now become a reality and can’t wait to share the Mall of Africa experience with everyone.”

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