Top-grade shopping centre for PMB

2018-02-02 13:30
An artist’s impression of Athlone Centre, which is being built at a cost of around R250?million. Retail tenants are being carefully selected to be able to provide premium services to the surrounding communities such as Athlone and Montrose.

An artist’s impression of Athlone Centre, which is being built at a cost of around R250?million. Retail tenants are being carefully selected to be able to provide premium services to the surrounding communities such as Athlone and Montrose. (Supplied)

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The R250-million Athlone Centre is one of the biggest commercial property developments under way in Pietermaritzburg this year and will boost economic growth prospects in the region.

The project is being developed by Willmeg Investments — being the property development subsidiary of Mattland Holdings, which is based in Howick.

Mattland is the holding company of Sutherlands Home Furnishing (SHF). The main contractor is GCP Projects SA, from Pinetown.

Mattland MD Paul McCabe said in an interview with The Witness that construction started on the project in August last year, and the plan is to have a grand opening event on March 28, 2019, when building is expected to be complete.

Athlone Centre will be unlike anything seen in Pietermaritzburg to date, and features the unique modern red brick revival architecture that has become a signature of property developments undertaken by SHF founder Craig Steel.

Even though Willmeg has expanded to include many properties around the country, Pietermaritzburg remains home to Steel, as evidenced by his determination to develop Athlone Centre, and other Pietermaritzburg properties.

Describing how the development came about, McCabe said Steel had to drive past the vacant site every day on his way to work, and felt all the time that it was perfect for development.

“Craig is passionate about Pietermaritzburg. He chased it [the development], he got it,” said McCabe.

“It is going to be an upmarket premium development that will strive to cater for the shopping, entertainment and other requirements of the neighbouring communities. We have taken a great deal of time to carefully choose the retail tenants so, for the most part, they won’t need to go to any other place.”

For instance, apart from offering a premium shopping and dining experience, some of the other tenants include a gym, florist, pet products, printing and courier, laundry, hair and beauty salon, and a host of other lifestyle and convenience stores.

The basement level construction work is currently under way.

The retail space of more than 7 000 square metres is already 70% let, and the marketing for the office space of about 4 000 square metres was only recently released as available to lease.

The offices will be ideal for businesses that offer professional and other services wanting to operate within a catered, energetic and vibrant space, said McCabe.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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