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Village View: Gauteng’s Jewel of the East

Bedfordview’s little jewel, Village View, has relaunched following an extensive yearlong revamp.

Situated on the corner of Kloof and Van Buuren Road, the Cavaleros Group’s 12 000m2 neighbourhood shopping centre boasts an upmarket, bespoke shopping experience that houses an exclusive selection of trendy retailers and restaurants.

Formerly quaint with distinctive features, Leila Daya, Retail Portfolio Manager for the Cavaleros Group says their vision for the refurbishment was to strengthen Village View’s placement as the leading retail player within its target market.

Village View was not in need of a revamp but with retail trends evolving, even prior to Covid-19, we thought to do something unique where our precision and attention to detail would align with the shopping centre’s brand.”

While leaving almost all the building intact, the larger part of the renovation included the introduction of a state-of-the-art, 3 500m2 premium Checkers, located on the ground floor.

We had a clear vision for Village View. We wanted it to be bold, an experience that would not date easily nor become tiresome to our shoppers. A lot of thought went into the concept, from the tiles to the bathroom design. Our team has a saying that ‘when we build, we build bulletproof‘”.

From left to right: Allistair McWade, Master Landscape Designer & Owner Of McWades Landscapes; Peter Felekis, Operations Director Cavaleros Group; Leila Daya, Head of Retail (Cavaleros Group); Alexi Cavaleros, Head of International Acquisitions (Cavaleros Group) with Federica Scalla.

A new View on life

The Cavaleros Group partnered with a professional team of some of South Africa’s most exclusive names including SVA International, Masterworx Architectural Design, Iguana Projects and Stephen Rich Interiors t/a Design Extraordinaire cc.

Stephen Rich of Stephen Rich Interiors piloted the project as the Head Interior Designer. With his local and international career spanning close on forty-two years, he has worked with the Cavaleros Group on numerous projects.  

He collaborated closely with Chief Executive Officer, Penny Cavaleros on Village View, drawing their main inspiration from the contemporary Bal Harbour shopping centre in Miami in the US, a timeless high-end shopping centre built in the 1970s.

As with any refurbishment, a design concept evolves. By focusing on Bal Harbour’s distinct features but tailoring these to suit Village View, the tangibles looked even better than what Stephen or his team anticipated.

“We took it to another level by using Bal Harbour as our inspiration base. Village View is not a vast super-regional shopping centre; for example, it boasts numerous exterior pavement walkways, reminiscent of European storefronts, from which we also drew inspiration”.

Sitting at the core of the retail centre, the main court’s roof trusses were opened by installing poly fibre roofing, allowing an excess of natural light to pour in with the porcelain floor tiles laser-scored into a beautiful mosaic-like keystone pattern.

The fruition of this light, bright and high-volume experience is exceptional. Village View possesses warmth and interest and for every couple of steps you take, you notice that all of the different elements are beautifully treated and layered.”

That ‘voila’ moment

The refurbishment of Village View was originally set for a six-month building program with the completion of Checkers scheduled for handover in July 2020.

When Covid-19 hit, no one contemplated that the initial lockdown was going to be extended accompanied by different regulations.

We experienced a seventy-two-day setback period. The deadlines were even tighter for us as a team and we placed all our focus on completing Checkers for the rescheduled opening in November 2020” says Leila.

The professional team worked around the clock to complete the revamp by completing most of the work during the evenings to avoid interruptions to daytime trade.

You are only as good as the product you deliver and, if you have a good team and a good contractor behind you. Iguana Projects were brilliant. We all managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat and we officially launched Checkers on the 24th of November 2020.”

We are still building and finishing up on the odds and ends but overall, we launched a solid product that was ready to welcome our shoppers”.

Village View is a timeless success story because it offers shoppers the excitement of the new way in which we live. By capitalizing on its prosperity while keeping its finger on the pulse of trends, it will remain top of mind as the number one destination for its shoppers.

The bigger conglomerate shopping centres were a thing of the 1970s to the 1990s. I believe that in the last ten to fifteen years, we have backtracked to these larger offerings and in light of the pandemic, retail needs to rethink its process and to reflect on how our lifestyles have changed. To get foot traffic back into the shopping centres, you have to create that magic” says Stephen.

While I work on commercial, residential and hospitality projects, Village View is my favourite project because it possesses layers that are decorated in a residential application which makes the shopping centre feel homely and warm. It has different pockets of experiences as you walk throughout the building. This is what makes it so different; it does not just have a commercial stamp to it”.