Nedbank has provided a syndicated development facility and long term debt funding of R181 million for a major 32,000m² retail centre that launches in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, today. The approximately R430 million mall is funded through a combination of equity and bank debt.
Maseru Mall is located to the south of the Maseru CBD and forms part of the first phase of a broader mixed use development that will comprise offices, motor showrooms, a hotel and conference centre and a fuel station – a further 20,000m² expansion.
Ken Reynolds, regional executive: Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, Gauteng says that the financing of this development is in line with the bank’s strategy to pursue opportunities in Africa with existing clients. ‘On completion of all the phases, this world-class shopping centre will be the largest of its kind in Lesotho and will provide a contemporary shopping experience targeting all LSM levels,’ he says.
The developer of the mall is well known South African and regional property player Eris Property Group, with Group Five Lesotho having been contracted by Eris to construct the mall. The investors in the mall, besides Eris Property Group, include Metropolitan Lesotho, Lesotho Public Officer’s Defined Contribution Pension Fund and CBS Family Trust (representing Lesotho’s King).
Maseru Mall lies less than 3km to the south of the Maseru CBD, 5km from the South African border and 12km from the Lesotho International Airport. The mall is anchored by Game, Shoprite, Woolworths and Edgars. Tenants are a cross-section of department stores, financial services, clothing, grocery stores, health services, home wear, restaurants and line shops. The centre includes 850 public parking bays, 79 tenant bays and 60 taxi bays and also offers a unique feature of a drive-through and trendy restaurants, allowing for extended evening trade – a first for Maseru.
Until now, Lesotho has lacked a formal centralised shopping centre and consumers were forced to do most of their shopping in neighbouring South African towns, like Ladybrand and Bloemfontein, which are 150km away. Maseru Mall is Lesotho’s first fully-integrated shopping mall with public transport facilities and other complementary commercial uses. For many nationals like Game and Edgars, this is the first time they are opening their doors in Maseru and the unique location, quality of product and excellent opportunity to reach the Maseru market have been major draw cards for retailers.
The tenant mix is considered good and dynamic and Maseru Mall offers at least 80% South African recognised national tenants by GLA. Located at the heart of Maseru’s affluent growth node, demand for the mall is likely to increase in the future due to other planned residential developments within a 5km radius of the proposed development.
‘Nedbank Corporate Property Finance is proud to be associated with such esteemed investors and property developers. Maseru Mall forms part of a new, cutting-edge comprehensive retail and commercial node that will create jobs and sustainable businesses, as well as give a boost to the local economy, attracting local visitors and cross-border shoppers. This new wave of construction is now becoming part of the shopping landscape in African cities, alongside traditional markets, and is rapidly growing in emerging markets. Maseru Mall highlights Nedbank’s strength as the market leader in corporate property finance and we will continue to invest in developments across the African continent with our clients,’ concludes Reynolds.
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