Nedbank announces acquisition of equity stake in Stellenbosch's Eikestad Mall

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An illustration of Eikestad Mall - Mill Square exterior view An illustration of Eikestad Mall - Mill Square exterior view

Nedbank Group, which recently saw its credit ratings being upgraded by rating agency Fitch, has once again demonstrated its commitment and confidence in the long-term growth potential of the retail sector by not only providing the finance for the completion of the new Eikestad Mall precinct in Stellenbosch through Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, but also taking an equity stake in the development.

The Eikestad Mall precinct is a five-phase, multi-purpose property re-development in the heart of Stellenbosch, which is widely regarded as one of the prime retail and residential growth nodes in South Africa at present. 

The Eikestad Mall itself represents Phase 1 of the project and comprises over 32000m² of retail and almost 1800m² of office space. This first phase, situated on Bird Street, Stellenbosch, is already 99% complete and boasts a number of blue-chip anchor tenants including Woolworths, Checkers, Truworths, Foschini, Edgars, Clicks, Pep, Ackermans and Ster Kinekor. 

Phase 2 of the development, Andringa Walk, is scheduled for completion by the end of July, and will seamlessly add big names like Mr Price Fashion, Home and Sport, Game, Incredible Connection and Food Lovers Market to this appealing retail mix. In addition, the completion of Phase 2 will see the opening of a multi-level parking garage comprising 541 parking bays for commercial and residential use, which will go a long way towards easing the parking challenges previously posed by this high-traffic area in the Stellenbosch CBD.

By the end of 2012, the completion of Phase 3 of the project will see the addition of Mill Square to the precinct. Located on the corner of Plein and Andringa Streets, with direct access to Eikestad Mall, this multi-storey office complex will be built around an open, outdoor mall area and also offer further ground floor retail space.

Phase 4 will see the construction of a Virgin Active Gym above Eikestad Mall and 119 luxury residential apartments above Andringa Walk, which will boast panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.  This phase will complete this ambitious redevelopment and construction project which is set to transform Stellenbosch into a vibrant lifestyle and shopping hub of the Western Cape. 

According to Regional Executive for Nedbank Corporate Property Finance in the Cape, Richard Thomas, the bank's decision to involve itself in the Eikestad Mall precinct was an easy one to make given the obvious potential that the project holds to contribute significantly to the economic growth of Stellenbosch and its surrounds.

"Eikestad Mall is the only mixed-use development of its kind in Stellenbosch," Thomas explains, "and by breathing fresh new life into an older section of the city, the developers are contributing tangibly to its fast growing commercial, retail and residential appeal."

Thomas also points to the proven experience of the partner companies in the development consortium as a contributing factor to Nedbank Corporate Property Finance's decision to fund and participate in the development.

While the landlord, Abacus Holdings (Pty) Ltd, is a relatively new name on the SA property landscape, it was formed through the collaboration of two very well-known property industry stakeholders in the form of the Atterbury Group and the Abacus Group. 

"Between them, these two reputable organisations boast vast commercial and retail development experience across South Africa and hold a considerable asset base," Thomas explains, "and this combination of proven experience and established financial stability is essential to ensuring the sustainable success of a building and redevelopment project of this magnitude and importance to the region."

"Stellenbosch is a vibrant, exciting and aspirational city with a strong sense of community," concludes Thomas, "and Nedbank is immensely pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in a development project that will undoubtedly serve to build on all these characteristics and further enhance the appeal of the city and its surrounds as a highly attractive shopping, working and living destination."


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