Liberty Property breaks new ground in the Free State

Construction of a shopping mall to service the Botshabelo community began today with a ceremony to mark the ground-breaking of the R320m property development.

STANLIB, the asset manager of the Liberty Property Portfolio, has partnered with Khora Investments to develop the 21 000m2 mall which is expected to commence trading in the third quarter of 2016. Providing a much-needed service to the local community, whose nearest shopping mall is approximately 50km away in Bloemfontein.

This is the first Free State development for the Liberty Property Portfolio, which has a flagship retail portfolio spanning Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape. Importantly, the Botshabelo Mall will be in line with the Liberty Property Portfolio’s strategic intent to have property located in growing townships.

“Our strategy is to invest in areas where we see opportunities not only to provide investment returns, but to also create value for local communities. We see huge growth potential in this area both in terms of geography and the socio-economic demographic we are catering to will be a diversifier within our Portfolio. We have identified the Botshabelo node as a compelling place to invest within this thriving community,” says Amelia Beattie, Chief Investment Officer of STANLIB Direct Property Investments.

The mall has been well received by top national retailers, such as Pick n Pay, Clicks, Foschini, Shoprite, Truworths Ltd. Cash Build and Woolworths, are among the retailers already committed as tenants.

Alex Phakathi, Fund Manager of the Liberty Property Portfolio, says: “This is a very exciting new development and will be the first shopping mall of its kind developed in the community. We aim to provide customers in the Botshabelo area with an exceptional shopping experience, conveniently located in the largest township of the Free State. ”

Botshabelo, part of the Mangaung Local Municipality, is the single largest township in the Free State Province accommodating approximately 28% of the population. The vast majority of people conduct their shopping outside of Botshabelo in Bloemfontein and Thabanchu where the nearest malls are currently situated.

The mall is located at the corner of Main Road and the N8 national highway. Main Road is the key route in and out of Botshabelo (from the N8) with the N8 being the main transport route between Maseru (Lesotho) and Bloemfontein.
The Executive Mayor of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Cllr Thabo Manyoni will host the ground-breaking event with the owners.