Bentel Group concludes a R100 million redevelopment project at Victory Park

Exterior view of part of the Victory Park shopping centre in Johannesburg which has received a R100 million makeover and expansion.

Victory Park – a community shopping centre in the Johannesburg suburb of Victory Park – has been given an extensive makeover by leading shopping centre developers and investors the Bentel Group, which has pumped R100 million into its redevelopment.

Bentel Group acquired the centre in 2010 when it was about 6,500sqm in size and in a flagging state with largely ‘mom and pop’ type stores and just one major anchor. Known originally as Victory Terrace, it was a poorly developed small neighbourhood centre with serious design issues. However, recognising its latent potential, Bentel bought the centre and has now turned it around into a prime convenience retail property asset not only for the group, but for the area.

“We are really chuffed with what we have achieved at Victory Park. We acquired the centre at a good price, and have invested about R100 million into its redevelopment. The project has taken time with several challenges, but we now have turned around the centre, effectively doubling its size to around 13,000sqm and with four major anchor tenants,” says Selwyn Bentel, director of Bentel Group.

“When we bought the centre, it had numerous small mom and pop type stores and a single anchor, Pick n Pay. With our redevelopment, we have strengthened the centre bringing in more national brands and now have four anchors – Woolworths Food, Dis-Chem, Virgin Active and the original Pick n Pay. The centre now has adequate parking bays, while other new tenants include Mugg & Bean, CNA and Levingers dry cleaners. It is home to about 20 retail stores, eateries and service outlets.

“The redevelopment project has also addressed the access and design challenges of the original centre. It’s a great transformation considering what the centre was like when we bought it. This has been a complicated project and the last phase was completed in August 2015,” he adds.

Bentel comments: “Some of the challenges the original centre faced included the fact that it was set on a narrow strip of steep sloping land with poor access from Rustenburg Road and Second Street; it had zoning issues with two land uses on the site, as well as a service station owned by someone else.

“All these issues have been addressed with the centre’s transformation over the past few years. In the last phase, we removed the service station and extended the parking slab creating a user friendly parking experience. We now have a great community centre with good access and better parking, in addition to an excellent complement of tenants.”

Victory Park’s makeover project was concluded last month (August) with the final phase of the redevelopment being the completion of the new parking slab.

Bentel concludes: “The new bigger, better Victory Park has been very well received by the local community. The centre is also virtually fully let. Victory Park having four major brands as anchor tenants is excellent for a centre its size, and shoppers are the winners too – benefiting from a strong retail offering. We see the centre going from strength to strength following its transformation.”