Areas and Places News

PE's new R2 billion Baywest Mall set to be wow and world class, says Retail Network Services

An aerial view of the R2bn Baywest Mall development in Port Elizabeth, which opens on 21 May 2015. Full-service retail leasing and development specialist Retail Network Services led the leasing on the 90000m2 super-regional shopping centre.

The much-anticipated R2bn Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth opens today (Thursday, 21 May 2015), and when it does it it’s going to knock the socks off locals and visitors alike.

That’s the word from Gavin Tagg, managing director of Retail Network Services (RNS) – the full-service retail leasing and development specialist leading the leasing at Baywest Mall.
At 90000m2, the super-regional Baywest Mall will be largest shopping centre to open its doors in the Eastern Cape. Developed as a joint venture between Abacus Asset Management and the Billion Group, the mammoth mall will boast some 250 stores, restaurants and entertainment attractions such as an Ice Rink, 8-screen Ster-Kinekor Cinema complex with an IMAX screen, a tenpin bowling alley, hi-tech games arcade and indoor dodgem cars offering.

“I will be bold enough to put my head on the line to say this is the most leading-edge, world class shopping development in South Africa. It’s arguably the most innovatively designed mall and differentiates itself by being one of the most compact super-regional shopping centres,” says Tagg.

“It has a totally unique architectural design in the shape of a square, which is unlikely any other super regional mall in SA. Most mega malls are expansive and shoppers have to walk a long way from one end to the other. But, Baywest Mall has a compact layout with prime parking at each corner and ultimately the shopper in mind,” he explains.

Tagg believes the convenience of this layout sets it apart from other super regional malls in South Africa. However, the comprehensive mix of 250 tenants, in addition to attractions such as the mall being home to the only ice rink in the Eastern Cape, were integral aspects of the overall world-class offering at Baywest Mall.

“The mall will have several other distinctive offerings and features, such as four quads inside its square-shaped design. These quads will serve as pause areas for shoppers and be functional spaces with coffee shops and other eateries.

“There’s also going be a beautifully landscaped European-styled boulevard at Baywest Mall, where visitors can take in the fresh air in a secure environment before heading back indoors for a bite to eat or shopping spree. We have secured most of the major SA retail brands, as well as several new and international brands into the Eastern Cape market,” he says.

Tagg says RNS is proud to be leading the leasing at Baywest Mall – the biggest retail project the company has been involved with to date, and the biggest new mall to open in SA since 2010.

“Baywest Mall will no doubt be the flagship retail destination in the Eastern Cape and is currently more than 92% let. International brands such as Swarovski, Lacoste, River Island, Express, Dune, Mamas and Papas, Superga, Timberland, Toss, Karaca, TM Lewin and Tom Tailor will make an entry into the province for the first time at Baywest Mall.”

He adds: “Major retailers such as Edgars and Cotton On will have their flagship Eastern Cape stores at Baywest Mall. In addition to Edgars, the other anchor tenants at the mall include Checkers Hyper, Pick n Pay, Game and Woolworths.”

Tagg says most stores will be open when Baywest Mall officially opens its doors to the public on 21 May 2015, while more outlets will open during the year.

“It’s a very busy and exciting time with the opening of Baywest Mall. It is certainly going to wow both locals from PE and across the Eastern Cape, as well as tourists to the province. The province will have a world-class super regional shopping and entertainment destination to be proud of,” he says.

Baywest Mall is located on the western side of PE along the N2 national highway. It is the catalyst and first phase in the development of the multi-billion rand greater Baywest City Precinct, which is being undertaken by the Billion Group and Abacus Asset Management.

The 320 hectare Baywest City Precinct will be mixed-use, encompassing retail, office parks, residential nodes, private schools with associated sporting facilities, hotels, a hospital complex, a motor city, a light industrial node and a lifestyle centre. It is a greenfields project and is estimated to be fully development over the next 15 to 20 years.
“Baywest Mall is ground-breaking and while it will cater for the underserved PE retail market and for up to a 90km radius, the Baywest City development is certain to become a key part of its market and growth over the next decade,” says Tagg.

To coincide with the opening of Baywest Mall, a new interchange over the N2 and other road infrastructure to the tune of R250 million will be ready, which will allow for direct access to the mall and future Baywest City Precinct. The road infrastructure, which will also alleviate traffic congestion experienced in the area, is jointly financed by the developers and national roads agency, SANRAL.