Property Flash


March 29 2023

Semi-rural centre, Edendale Mall is serving its community again, Exemplar Reit, the JSE-listed fund said on Wednesday.

Located in Plessislaer in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Edendale Mall was severely damaged in the riots and chaos that took place in July 2021.

The mall has now welcomed back its tenant mix. In order to ensure the community had access to convenient retail as soon as possible, the mall was rebuilt in phases, with the first phase reopened in August of last year.

The reopening of the third and final phase of the mall brings Exemplar’s July unrest rebuild journey to a close, the fund’s CEO Jason McCormick.

The company’s asset base was severely impacted by the events that unfolded just under two years ago with five centres across Gauteng and KZN affected.  While four of those five were rebuilt and trading by the 2021 Festive Season, Edendale Mall required a strategic rethink, according to McCormick.

“The team took the opportunity to recreate the Edendale Mall we had always envisioned. Inspired by the community that we had grown with from the original opening in 2011, we relooked at our tenant mix, consolidated our gross lettable area and designed a more compact but no less impressive centre of 30 000m2,” he said.

Phase one of the development was opened in August 2022 with a focus on food, healthcare and banking. Phase two, opened in November 2022, saw the reopening of an additional grocery anchor and the food court. Phase three which opened in late March, saw the real wow factor being revealed as the fashion corridor was opened to link phase one and two together.

Key tenants include Shoprite, Boxer, Woolworths, Clicks, McDonalds, Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank Capitec, FNB and OMF. Fashion tenants include Mr Price, Truworths, Markham and Totalsports among others.

The next ‘Kasi CoLAB’ has been added to tenant the mix to help uplift and empower the community.

First opened at the Mall of Thembisa in Gauteng, the Kasi CoLAB is a township retail incubator that allows local design entrepreneurs the opportunity to get to grips with the retail environment.

“A shared space for collaboration, members of the CoLAB have the opportunity to expose their brand to a large customer base while coming to grips with things like shop fitting, window displays, marketing, stock management and customer service – all in a prime location, rent free,” said McCormick.

The Edendale Mall Kasi CoLAB will be the third in the portfolio and is planned to start trading in September, with the talent search for local entrepreneurs currently underway.  

Vastly increased natural lighting, expanded walkways, elevated bulkheads and uniquely laid tiling all contribute to the updated image of the centre, Exemplar explained.

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