A artist’s impression of the Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge.
The new multi-million rand landmark Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge, developed by the owners and developers of the mall, Bentel Group, is set to open to the public later this month (December) just ahead of peak festive season trading.
At 410 metres long, the new pedestrian walkway and bridge over the busy Malibongwe Drive, is strategically located at the entrance to bustling Cosmo City. It will not only give Cosmo City residents and visitors safe and easy pedestrian access to the trendy new 22000sqm Cosmo Mall, but represents a major private sector investment in public infrastructure by Bentel Group.
“The Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge is scheduled to open to the public in the latter half of December. We are proud to have made this further investment in Cosmo City, which is not just a public facility, but has been strikingly designed and will be user-friendly,” says Bentel Group Executive Chairman, Aubrey Bentel.
“Its design was aimed at creating a landmark structure in the community that gets used and also inspires civic pride. This multi-million rand investment comes just more than a year since we opened the R270m Cosmo Mall in September 2014. The mall has more than 70 retail stores, eateries and service outlets and has brought quality shopping to the Cosmo City community,” adds Bentel.
The Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge and walkway will serve the main pedestrian entrance into the new mall and Bentel forecasts it will result in more than 400,000 shoppers visiting the mall in December alone. Currently, the mall sees an average monthly footfall of around 340,000. Shoppers who utilise vehicles are catered for with ample parking as well as a taxi drop-off facility.
Bentel comments: “In designing and constructing the bridge, we used a highly skilled professional team comprising WSP Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers, Rob Bray Architects, Quad Africa Electrical Engineers and contractors Tri-Star and Ferro Eleganza. An integral part of our brief to the professional team was to create a very user friendly bridge structure, with a gradual incline to make it suitable for wheelchairs access.”
He adds: “We managed to achieve this, partially due to the topographical composition of the land in the area, in addition to making use of an extended arc design. This resulted in the gradual elevation of the structural incline. The bridge, which is illuminated at night, was designed to have a positive impact on the landscape and is set to become a treasured landmark in Cosmo City.”
Bentel Group decided to build the bridge not only for improved pedestrian access into Cosmo Mall, but also to create a strong visual presence for the mall with a public structure that would serve as a beacon.
“As you come from Lanseria Airport, heading towards Malibongwe Drive, you will be able to see the bridge. The bridge extends Cosmo Mall into the public space, which is in effect an extension of the mall. It leads customers from the traffic lights on the Western side of Malibongwe Drive virtually to the entrance door of Cosmo Mall,” explains Bentel.
“Cosmo Mall, which has been open for just 14 months, has seen an increase of 32% in footfall for October 2015 at the mall entrance where the bridge terminates. This statistic bodes well for the success of the bridge project and ultimately the mall,” says Bentel.
Cosmo Mall is anchored by Pick n Pay, Builders Superstore, Roots Butchery and Nizams. It is 97% let and has a very strong component of national retailers that make up over 90% of the tenant mix. Big brand fashion retailers represented at the centre include Jet, Edgars Active, Legit, Foschini, Mr Price and Pep, amongst others.
The mall has a very strong financial services offering with branch representation by Standard Bank, ABSA, Nedbank, FNB, African Bank, Capitec and Old Mutual. Furniture nationals at the centre include OK Furnishers, Beares, Joshua Doore and Price and Pride. A host of national restaurant franchises round off the tenant mix, including a Steers, Debonairs and Fishaways combo offering, Chicken Licken and ChesaNyama, amongst others.
“We are proud of our investment in the Cosmo Mall development and the new Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge. These are major investments into Cosmo City in terms of quality retail and public infrastructure that has not only created jobs, but an exciting shopping and leisure destination right on their doorstep,” concludes Bentel.