One of South Africa’s landmark shopping destinations, East Rand Galleria in Boksburg, which connects to East Rand Mall to create a 110,000sqm retail powerhouse, is receiving a major R411 million reconfiguration and renovation from owners, JSE-listed SA Corporate Real Estate Fund.
Originally Pick n Pay’s first Hypermarket which opened in this strategic location in 1975, its development was a retail milestone in South Africa. It was a resounding success and became the catalyst for the growth of the substantial and successful East Rand Mall retail node.
Now, the 45,000sqm East Rand Galleria is poised to deliver a ground-breaking and exciting redevelopment project. The impressive scale of the project necessitates the use of some 4,350 cubic metres of concrete and 420 tons of steel used for construction.
The refurbishment will also introduce a dizzying array of luxury outlet shopping, a fresh new family oriented food court, double its retail variety to around 120 stores, improve parking and access, create new levels of energy-efficiency and still offer shoppers all the quality and value they expect with a substantially upgraded Pick n Pay at its heart.
As it enters a new era in shopping, the centre will also adopt a new name – East Point — to better reflect its refreshed, aspirational market positioning.
“East Point shoppers are brand aware and benefit from substantial spending power, with a keen eye for value. We are refurbishing and tenanting the centre with their shopping needs in mind, while combining the latest in mall design and retail trends,” says Preston Gaddy, Divisional Director of Strategic Retail Leasing.
Broll Property Group were appointed nine months ago to manage and lease the entire R9.4bn SA Corporate portfolio and have already reduced retail vacancies from 12% to less than 8% in the SA Corporate portfolio.
Luxury outlet shopping will reach new heights at East Point, with top international brands offering great style and value to create a one-of-a-kind attraction in a section dedicated to high-end brands. Nike will double the size of its outlet to 765sqm and head the luxury outlet shopping in a new location in the mall. And this is only the beginning. Negotiations are underway with several luxury and lifestyle brands to come into the centre.
The ambitious 18-month project will essentially strip out the entire mall, and replace it with everything contemporary and new. Achieving a complete modernisation of the centre, on the outside its entire facade will change, it will receive a new roof and gain striking new entrances. Inside, Mezzanine levels will be removed so East Point can offer the latest in retail store designs with shopfronts of 4,0 metres measuring up to leading international standards.
Rory Mackey, Managing Director of SA Corporate, says, “The project will create a smart modern mall that links seamlessly with its surrounds, uses space more efficiently and improves the flows within the centre. Our strategic investment will ensure that East Point remains attractive, competitive and relevant for the long term and continues to support our performance for investors.”
East Point’s links with surrounding retail and facilities were a focus of this project, as a result its 2,000sqm Toys R Us will be upgraded and move its entrance point from the parking area to inside the mall. So too will the 11,000sqm Game, which presently operates as a stand-alone big box.
Another East Point highlight will be its exciting new 2,000sqm family oriented food court and fun zone. Besides restaurants like John Dory’s, Pizza Pasta and Fego, it will also include fast service restaurants and a children’s play area.
Embracing the latest trends in fitness, the centre will also introduce a 1,300sqm gym, Zone Fitness.
Pick n Pay is applying cutting-edge technology for logistics and operations to reduce its 21,000sqm store to a substantially more efficient and completely revamped 13,500sqm store. Its increased efficiencies create exciting space for an array of new retailers. Some of the centre’s most popular stores will stay on too, but in new locations. These include Pep, Shoe City, Flight Centre, Spec-Savers, Crazy Plastics, Vodacom, Carl’s Jewellers, Carlton Hair, Post Office and 3@1.
There will also be a full upgrade to the centre’s parking area to improve access and egress. The centre’s parking area includes its KFC Drive-Thru which will be entirely revamped and Burger King will open here in November 2014.
Both the mall and Pick n Pay will trade throughout the changes. Pick n Pay’s revamp will take place in 11 small phases, to minimise disruption for shoppers. The centre’s reconfiguration and refurbishment project is also a phased project, with the first phase set to open in early 2015, which will include the newly configured mall area adjacent to Pick n Pay and the new Dis-Chem. The second phase is planned for late 2015 with a link to Game and the third for early 2016 when the last reconfigured line shops and refurbished mall areas will be completed.
“During this time, there will be some relocation of stores to temporary trading locations, but everything possible is being done to streamline this process to reduce disruption for shoppers,” says Gaddy. He also confirms that space in the reconfigured East Point is already 80% let.
Like Pick n Pay, the mall itself will become more efficient and environmentally conscious. The refurbishment will introduce major energy-efficiency to its plant and equipment. The chilled water air conditioning system will be controlled with a building management system, and motion sensor lighting will be placed in service areas. We are replacing the entire roof and all the insulation to the latest standards to improve energy efficiency and gain environmental benefits.
In line with the latest generation of malls across the world, East Point will feature touch screen directories and benefit from a fibre-optic backbone. This will create permanent Wi-Fi for retailers to plug into for high-speed data transfer and for shoppers to go online.
“We are using high-tech resources to improve efficiencies for retailers and create a first-rate shopping experience for customers,” says Gaddy. “We are also working closely with the owners of East Rand Mall to ensure that, together, we continue to bring shoppers the best experience and choice.”
Gaddy adds that the professional team’s pioneering efforts in reducing the malls lettable area whilst increasing its profitability during construction was a noteworthy achievement.
Broll Property Group was established in 1975 and manages third party assets across all of its service lines valued at R94bn. Group CEO of Broll, Malcolm Horne – born in Benoni on the East Rand and having known the building for many years , says his group is excited about the redevelopment which has been long overdue and he is confident that shoppers will be well pleased with the final product.