Developments News

R500m retail development in store for Nelson Mandela Bay’s Boardwalk Precinct

An architectural perspective of the entrance to Boardwalk Mall.
An architectural perspective of the entrance to Boardwalk Mall.

Flanagan & Gerard Group and Emfuleni Resorts (a subsidiary of Sun International) have confirmed the planned R500 million extension and upgrade to the retail area at Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Construction is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2021.

With Flanagan & Gerard driving the delivery of Boardwalk Mall and MDS Architecture designing the development, the project is expected to more than double the retail space in the Boardwalk Precinct which will be tenanted with retailers and ready to open in 2022. The tenant mix will include two supermarkets, two pharmacies, specialist food retailers and major bank representation. A variety of restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food options will be balanced with health and beauty, home, and décor, cellular and electronics, gifting, sports, and specialty shops. Everyday services and essential fashions will also feature.

We believe that the Boardwalk Mall redevelopment has become more relevant for its community than ever” comments the project’s partners. “We could not be more pleased to confirm that it will be proceeding with this investment. Our hope is that its impacts will be felt in a more meaningful way than we could have anticipated. Our approach to the development includes a sharp focus on creating positive opportunities in the local market. The entire project has been designed to be positive for the local economy and job creation which will be significant in both the construction phase and after opening”.

The developers will work with the local community liaison officer to ensure optimal positive impact. A development of this kind typically creates 2 000 jobs during construction and approximately 1 500 permanent jobs thereafter. In keeping with the team’s commitment to economic development, local contractors and materials will be used wherever possible. There will be a significant investment in upgrading the surrounding roads with Second Avenue being widened into four lanes and it will include a new entrance into Boardwalk Mall.

The redevelopment is being built from an excellent foundation. Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World are well established as prominent landmarks in the area. A short walk from the Blue Flag awarded Hobie Beach, it is a prime holiday and leisure destination distinguished by exceptional entertainment and attractions, including the only licensed casino in Nelson Mandela Bay and one of only two cinema venues in the city. The precinct currently comprises of the 6 000m2 Boardwalk Casino, 140 key 5-Star Boardwalk Hotel, conference facilities and 11 800m2 of existing retail including a five-screen Nu Metro cinema complex.

The retail space will be increased to 23,000m2 and enhanced with an extensive upgrade and reconfiguration. More leisure and retail options will be added, with even more shops, restaurants, and family fun. And, among the many highlights that guests can look forward to is the spectacular new Sun Park Square which designed to host events.

We are excited about the many synergies between the different elements of the new Boardwalk Precinct. The retail, leisure, casino, and events will all complement each other, and create an amazing experience for guests. It’s different uses will also appeal to a wide-range of people and ensure the precinct is activated around the clock and throughout the week. Sun Park Square will also be able to host events that cater to local lifestyles, such as the Iron Man” comments Anthony Leeming, CEO of Sun International.

Bongi Siwisa, Chairperson of Emfuleni Resorts, says, “As long-standing partners of Sun International and investors in the Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, including its current retail, Emfuleni is pleased to extend our investment to the new Boardwalk Mall. We believe it is going to be a great asset for ourselves and its community.

The mall will cater to an under-served immediate trade area of upscale neighbourhoods where there is good demand for quality convenience shopping. Superbly accessible for residents of some of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s most well-established leafy suburbs – Summerstrand, Humewood, and Walmer – as well as its CBD, Boardwalk Mall will offer a bespoke curation of brands, services, and experiences, all hand-picked for local shoppers.

Being at the heart of a celebrated leisure node on the city’s hotel-lined beachfront, entertainment will be key to its mix, making it an appealing destination for weekend and holiday shoppers too.

It is also central to a cluster of education institutions, including Nelson Mandela University Business School and Drama School as well as several primary and high schools.

We have always felt that this is a unique, strategic and exciting retail development opportunity in South Africa, and our view still holds. It is a privilege to working with visionary partners of the calibre of Emfuleni Resorts and Sun International to development the ultimate convenience shopping experience in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, and we look forward to being part of the venture that will make this vision a reality” comments Paul Gerard, MD of Flanagan & Gerard.

With seventeen hectares of land available for the redevelopment, Boardwalk Mall is only the first phase of the redevelopment. There are plans to add even more variety in future, which could include additional hospitality, medical suites, big-box retail, and a health club.