Africa’s premier shopping centre welcomes the Continent’s first rapid rail system
Situated in the heart of Johannesburg’s economic hub and a stone’s throw from the Sandton Gautrain Station, the pioneering Sandton City has warmly embraced the recent opening of the Gautrain link between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
“Sandton City is proud to welcome all Gautrain commuters to our shopping centre, in particular those who are now a quick commute from Pretoria to our centre,” says Sharon Swain, Sandton City Centre Manager.
“Residents of Pretoria are now a convenient and efficient 35 minutes away from Gauteng’s leading shopping destination that combines the world’s most desirable brands with everyday leisure and entertainment. Both weekly business commuters and weekend leisure commuters will take pleasure in the variety on offer at Sandton City.”
The Gautrain link between the two cities and economic hubs is set to revolutionise daily commuting for thousands of citizens, with the opening of the link between Pretoria and Joburg having served over 200 000 commuters within its first week of operation.
“It is estimated that one fifth of commuters between the two cities are set to use the Gautrain, driving a new market of shoppers to our centre. We anticipate that our choice offering, in particular brands such as Christian Lacroix, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Dumond, Giovane Gentile - which have exclusive presence provincially within Sandton City – are set to draw shoppers from a greater geographical footprint who will now have easier access to these high-end brands.”
Sandton City is further enhanced by the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square, which celebrates African hospitality and international style. Home to some of South Africa’s finest restaurants, exclusive couture, designer fashion boutiques and a European style piazza, Nelson Mandela Square commemorates heritage and celebrates international style with the warmth of African hospitality.
The Sandton node has experienced a surge of commercial developments in the past decade, with the strategic placement of the Sandton Gautrain Station bearing testament to this rapid growth flux. The Sandton City refurbishment and expansion project is one of the developments that have captured the interest of the public, becoming a highlight in the changing of the city’s evolving skyline.
“In November, Sandton City will open the first phase of the R1.77 billion expansion and refurbishment project, which will feature 30,000 sqm of newly built retail space housing approximately 70 top local and international retailers,” notes Swain. “We are delighted that due to all the Gautrain links being operational, shoppers from across the province will be able to revel in this exciting milestone in the centre’s history.”
An impressive new entrance will face Rivonia Road and will be within easy walking distance of the Gautrain station. The area will also include a Piazza, which will create a bustling street café atmosphere.
This project will bring even more shopping variety to strengthen the centre’s position as one of Africa’s leading retail destinations. The redevelopment is being undertaken by Liberty Properties on behalf of owners the Liberty Group, which owns 75% and Pareto Ltd, which owns 25%.
The emergence of this sustainable and viable public transport system will assist with the alleviation of congestion experienced in the node and will further promote healthy-city living, boosting the ideals of pedestrian-friendly zones and sustainable commuting habits.
“Sandton City is proud to have this world-class, innovative infrastructural development alike to London’s Underground and New York City’s Subway system in our vicinity,” concludes Swain. “The Sandton Central District is the hub of fashion, business, entertainment, retail and Afro-chic innovations. With the long-awaited arrival of the comprehensive Gautrain system, the entire province is now closer to experiencing the pulse of Joburg’s cosmopolitan core.”