R10 million cosmetic revamp for The Colony shopping centre

The Colony shopping centre in the trendy Joburg suburb of Hyde Park said “benvenito” to the first VickyCristina’s tapas bar and restaurant in Gauteng bringing with it a unique casual Spanish dining offering.

It’s a sizzling addition to the centre and opened in June to rave reviews. VickyCristina’s entry comes in the wake of a R10 million cosmetic revamp to The Colony, which is owned by JSE-listed Emira Property Fund and managed by leading property services company, Broll Property Group.

The 7,251 square metre specialist lifestyle centre located at 345 Jan Smuts Avenue is set to attract increased visitors following its revamp and VickyCristina’s official opening on June 26. The opening was even covered by popular morning television lifestyle show, Espresso.

“VickyCristina’s first entry into the Gauteng market with its flagship offering – the tapas bar and restaurant at The Colony shopping centre – was secured by Broll. It’s an exciting new drawcard for the centre boasting not just Spanish food, but a Catalonian experience complete with decor and dancing,” says Preston Gaddy, Broll’s Divisional Director of Strategic Retail Leasing.

“The VickyCristina’s franchise concept comes out of Durban, but Joburg-based entrepreneur Terence Naidu is behind the first outlet in Gauteng, where he is the master licence holder. The Colony needed a new addition like this that would bring something new to Joburg and attract new shoppers to the centre,” adds Gaddy.

James Templeton, CEO of Emira, agrees, saying the opening VickyCristina’s was timed well to coincide with the cosmetic revamp of The Colony.

“The revamp, completed earlier this year, focused on areas frequented by customers such as the walkways and ablutions. More lighting was added as well as new signage, improved gardens and security to the centre,” says Templeton.

“As a result of the revamp, the centre has definitely been put on the map.  The existing tenants are experiencing improved turnovers as a result of increased foot traffic. The Colony is now fully let.

“A wide variety of consumers are attracted to the centre, from the loyal followers of Pronto Italian Deli Restaurant and Hodges Coffee House to the enthusiasts of The Fred Astaire Dance Studio,” he adds.

Besides VickyCristina’s, other new additions to the centre include Living Yoga, Energy Emporium and the Vajrapani Buddhist Centre. VickyCristina’s takes up 388 square metres of space in the area that was once home to Jane’s Linen.

As the master license holder for VickyCristina’s in Gauteng, Naidu says he plans to open two to three more outlets in the province. However, he wants to “bed-down” his first flagship outlet.

“VickyCristina’s at The Colony only officially opened on 26 June, and while it has been well received, as our first outlet in Gauteng it is going to be our priority for now.

“We are bringing an exciting new restaurant offering to Joburg, which has been starved of a unique Spanish offering and diversity. It is based on the Spanish tapas concept of sharing small portions, but multiple dishes of foods in a lively setting,” adds Naidu.

“The Colony is not only home to the first VickyCristina’s in Gauteng, but as a casual dining experience it will also have a ‘Conquesta’ bar where salsa dancing and other entertainment will be part of the mix,” he says.