TAKE A LOOK | Kyalami Corner owner to open new R210m mall in Roodepoort

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Kwena Square artist impression.
Photo: Supplied
Kwena Square artist impression. Photo: Supplied
  • Redefine is on track to complete a new R210 million shopping centre in Roodepoort.
  • The company is increasing its exposure to convenience shopping centres as more consumers have preferred these since the start of the pandemic.
  • The 10 004m2 Kwena Square will have 23 stores, a drive-thru RocoMamas and 407 parking bays.

The owner of Kenilworth Centre and Kyalami Corner will soon open a new R210 million convenience shopping centre in Roodepoort on Johannesburg's West Rand.

Even though Redefine Properties has more exposure to retail properties, it is big on office space in SA. It owns various office blocks in the heart of Sandton, Rosebank and Bryanston, to name a few.

But the office property market is facing more challenges than the retail sector after Covid-19 as more people work from home, and companies are changing their space requirements.

So, diversifying more towards industrial properties and smaller shopping centres appears to be a winning formula for landlords. Those two sectors have proven to be more resilient since Covid-19 tuned the property sector fundamentals on their head.

Redefine started building Kwena Square in the middle of the pandemic, when data was already indicating that expanding into convenience centres and shopping malls in townships and rural areas was the way to go.

The development started breaking ground in 2021.

"Kwena Square entrenches the trend we first identified on the re-emergence of convenience centres, a shopping format most favoured during the pandemic for its ease of use and open ventilation enhancing safety. The completion of the project during a pandemic reflects our commitment and our tenants' confidence in the project and the neighbourhood," said Redefine Properties COO Leon Kok.

Different studies, including MSCI Real Estate data on annualised trading density, showed that convenience shopping centres are seeing a rise in sales and visitors with trading densities exceeding pre-Covid levels.

As time-pressed consumers juggle work-from-home with making quick stops for groceries, they want to avoid crowds and thus turn to convenience centres in their neighbourhoods.

Redefine's own retail turnover and foot count data showed that convenience shopping centres were the least volatile between the beginning of 2021 and July 2021. By the end of its financial year in August 2021, Redefine's regional and convenience shopping centres had lower vacancy rates than its big super-regional malls.

"A convenience centre like Kwena Square addresses changing shopping habits and is positioned to efficiently meet evolving demands of shoppers," added Kok.

Redefine now expects to complete the 10 004m2 shopping centre in May, well ahead of the proposed opening date of 1 July 2022.

Kwena Square will house 23 stores boasting national retail tenants like Checkers, Checkers and Clicks, as well as SA's first drive-thru RocoMamas. Redefine said already over 60% of the space in the centre has been taken up by different tenants.

The company will put rooftop solar panels, which will generate as much as 25% of the electricity required by the centre. The company recently unveiled its Moonshot Strategy setting a target to deliver the smartest and most sustainable spaces shopping centres and offices by the end of this decade. 

 "We are ready to put the efforts in towards meeting our commitment to convert all buildings in our portfolio to net-zero carbon, water and waste by 2050. The process has begun with our newer projects and demonstrates our ongoing focus to reduce our carbon footprint," said Kok.

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