KZN boomtown Ballito Junction, on the burgeoning KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, is set to get a R1.4 billion regional mall with leading developers and investors, the Menlyn Maine and Flanagan & Gerard consortium, acquiring Ballito Junction Shopping Centre together with the adjacent undeveloped land and development rights.
The acquisition of the existing 11000m2 mall and prime 10ha property at the entrance to Ballito will see Ballito Junction expanded to a massive 65,000m2, transforming it into the area’s first regional shopping centre. Development rights that exist on the site allow for the centre to be further expanded to 90,000m2 and “super-regional” shopping centre status.
Construction on the R1.4bn project – the largest single property development in Ballito since the Zimbali Resort – is due to commence later this year and be complete in March 2017. The new mega-mall is being developed to meet the retail and leisure needs of a growing and affluent market on the KZN North Coast.
Pretoria-based Menlyn Maine Investments is the developer and investor behind the multi-billion rand Menlyn Maine development precinct in Pretoria, which will house the new Sun International Casino. Flanagan & Gerard is one of South Africa’s foremost shopping centre developers. The joint-venture in KZN will see these two groups bring their extensive property expertise together in developing a vibrant new retail and leisure hub in Ballito.
“The extended Ballito Junction is positioned to be the dominant regional shopping centre in the area. It will offer a world-class mix of fashion and variety stores as well as entertainment that will include cinemas. Already in excess of 70% of the space within the planned new shopping centre is bespoke,” says Patrick Flanagan, executive director of Flanagan and Gerard.
“The existing Pick n Pay, which is due to expand its offering, Dischem and other national and independent retailers who currently trade out of Ballito Junction, will be joined by two fashion-based department stores, a general department store and a host of international and national fashion brands. The new centre will include a very strong financial services offering, as well as health, beauty and pampering outlets.
“Besides cinemas, the centre will boast state-of-the-art family entertainment and an exciting mix of restaurants and fast food outlets, catering for both the permanent residents and visitors to Ballito. The unique position of the site and its views to the east over the Indian Ocean will see a number of restaurants offering al fresco dining with sea views and when the weather is fine, outdoor terrace dining,” he adds.
“The existing centre will continue to trade, largely unaffected by construction activities. However, the centre will undergo a degree of modernisation, so as to tie in to the expansion. The centre trades very well, off the strength of the Pick n Pay and Dischem anchor stores,” Flanagan.
The new Ballito Junction mall will be over three-level and offer generous parking over five levels (two underground). It will have a service level underneath the entire building to ensure its efficient operation is optimised.
Carl Jankowitz, a director at Menlyn Maine comments: “We are really excited about our first major commercial property development in KZN and what better place to invest then the boomtown of Ballito. Our R1.4bn Ballito Junction development with Flanagan & Gerard represents a major vote of confidence in this burgeoning area.”
He adds: “Ballito has seen significant growth over the last few years, bolstered by the development of the new King Shaka International Airport and Dube Tradeport, just 10km away. This once sleepy seaside town has now become a major regional node.”
The new mall also takes advantage of improved access to the area. The N2 highway is being upgraded by Sanral, as is the main entrance to Ballito from the N2 highway. A major new interchange is set to improve traffic flows. So will the widening of the road to four lanes in Ballito Drive, and proper pedestrian walkways. A new Taxi Rank is also close to completion near the centre.
With its excellent access and prime location, the new Ballito Junction regional shopping centre is expected to cater for shoppers from Ballito and even further afield, including Stanger, Tongaat and Umhlanga. It will also act as an interceptor for traffic using the N2 and M4 to and from the upper North Coast and Zululand.
“The macro environment in the KwaDukuza Municipality and iLembe District Municipality, as well as Ballito itself, has undergone enormous growth over the past few years, in particular since the relocation of the Durban airport to the North Coast,” says Flanagan.
“Ballito is regarded by many as the most significant urban growth area in South Africa. Not only does it cater for an expanding leisure and vacation market, but it has established itself as a major commuter town with a rapidly expanding permanent population,” he adds.