Menlyn Park Shopping Centre becomes one of the largest mall in Africa
After undergoing a R2-billion revamp over the past two years, the Pretoria based Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is now one of the largest mall in Africa, with a total floor space of 170 000m2.
Despite a slowdown in consumer spending across South Africa in recent months and shopping mall oversupply, at least 30 new centres, varying in size from 5000m² right up to 120000m², are expected to open their doors this year and next.
With more that 500 stores, the Menlyn Park is now larger than Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Sandton City, Fourways Mall and the recently opened Mall of Africa.
Among the established anchor tenants and top international brands making Menlyn Park their home are such on-trend fashion drawcards as Zara clothing, Fabiani menswear and H&M Clothing.
The Mall is owned by unlisted company Pareto Limited which purchased the centre last year from Old Mutual.
“We’ve put together a fantastic tenant mix that caters to all our shoppers,” says Olive Ndebele, general manager of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.
Pareto’s shareholder is the Government Employees Pension Fund. Pareto is also the full owner of Cresta shopping centre, Southgate Mall and Value Market and Westgate shopping centre in Gauteng, the Pavilion in Durban, and Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein, while it jointly owns the Tiger Valley shopping centre in Cape Town.
“The redevelopment of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre was driven by a strong demand from retailers, as they’re enjoying robust trade results year-on-year,” says Malose Kekana, group CEO for Pareto Limited.
The suburb of Menlyn is seeing new and redevelopment, with new office parks also under construction. It is viewed as the "Sandton of Pretoria".
Gateway is now SA’s second-largest mall, at 166,636 m² with 362 stores. Sandton City follows next: it is 146,803 m² and has about 300 stores. Canal Walk is the largest shopping centre in the Western Cape, at 140,567m², with 412 stores.
Mall of Africa, located in the recently constructed Waterfall City in Midrand is 130,000m². It has about 300 stores. It is, nevertheless, the largest mall to be built within a single phase.
Durban’s The Pavillion has 120,000m² floor space followed by Centurion Mall and Cresta, which are 105,000m², and 104,000m² respectively.
These shopping centres are all much smaller than many others in the developing world. SM Prime Holdings’ Mall of Asia in Pasay, Philippines, is being extended from 400,000m² to 700,000m² and is set to have 1,300 stores.
In the rest of Africa, Egypt’s Cairo Festival City Mall boasts 168,000m² of space, while the Mall of Arabia, also in Cairo, has about 180,000m² of gross lettable area.
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There have been concerns that SA is over-shopped and that too many malls are being opened, but landlords have found that many shoppers are choosing to visit larger centres once or twice a month instead of many smaller centres multiple times.
Smaller convenience centres struggled to hold on to small tenants, said Patrick Flanagan, head of development company Flanagan & Gerard.
"I think developers need to be careful. There are many shopping centres that have been announced which just won’t be sustainable in certain areas. Quite a few smaller centres are difficult to tenant in a slow-growth economy," he said recently.
Menlyn Park is in Tshwane, the metropolitan municipality with the fastest-growing gross domestic product (GDP) in SA, as well the youngest population. And the capital city of Pretoria has the highest number of embassies in SA.