Thousands flock to Alex Mall for Inauguration
Despite consumers’ seemingly waning appetite for retail therapy, Alex Mall, featuring numerous popular clothing and interiors brands, was officially opened on Wednesday by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.
Often perceived as the poor, forgotten neighbour of the prestigious Sandton, the township of Alexandra has elevated itself closer to “the richest square mile in Africa” with a brand new fully enclosed shopping centre, the R500-million Alex Mall.
Located on N3 Highway / London Road interchange, overlooking the township and the Sandton skyline, the Mall has over 30 000sqm of retail experience.
The tourism aspect, which embodies the running and creation of the Mall, is expected to be one of the major drawcards to the affluent neighbours from Sandton.
Speaking to SA Commercial Prop News, Mpho Motsumi, whose Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce (Galxcoc) co-owns the massive half-a-billion-rand mall with McCormick Properties and Valumax, said they had deliberately included the tourism aspect in the creation of the mall in order to draw tourists not just within the country but from abroad as well, in an endeavour to change the negative aspects of Alexandra that have crept in over the years.
The centre has more than 100 shops, taxi rank facilities and two flood-lit mini-soccer courts surrounding a 250-seater feature restaurant plus a children’s play area.
It will also benchmark some of drives towards environmental sustainability, with an extensive rainwater and greywater harvesting system being installed.
Provisions are also being made for extensive rooftop solar (photo-voltaic) plants to provide up to 30% of the Mall’s power.
The Mall is triple-anchored by Shoprite, Pick n Pay and a Roots “Super-Butchery” plus a large Liquor City providing a veritable array of grocery options directly to the almost 180 000 residents of Alexandra.
Concerns linger on new mall development
Concerns of exclusion linger around the development process of the new Alex Mall, according to Alex News.
Located on a vacant piece of land said to be part of the unresolved land claims in the township, land claimants are said to be wondering how the land of the mall was acquired. This as many of them have been waiting for more than 20 years to receive title deeds to their properties and land, and claim no knowledge of a mall being one of the claimants.
Speaking guardedly, community representative Karel Monyapeo said despite limited consultations on its development, the process should have been protracted and thoroughly inclusive to allay all concerns among the claimants who, he said felt left behind.
However, Mr. Motsumi said the land in question was not part of the contested claims and was purchased by the mall owners, Alex properties, from the Joburg City Council.
Motsumi sympathised with them and urged the government to resolve the claims expeditiously and added that the claimants may also want to use their title deeds as collateral for other things.
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