Investec Property has recently opened Cornubia, a new shopping mall near Mount Edgecombe, north of Durban.
The 65,000m² mall is valued at R1.8bn.
Investec Property SA head Darryl Mayers said it would be home to more than 110 retailers and had taken eight years to construct.
Its competitors include Africa’s largest mall, the 220,000m² Umhlanga’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping and Ballito Junction which opened in March.
But according to Investec, KwaZulu-Natal still has scope for new retail centres.
“We have brought a number of firsts to KwaZulu-Natal’s communities from Bounce Trampoline Park, Cycle Lab megastore, Fives Futbol, Consol Glass and a seven-screen Nu Metro cinema complex featuring 4DX to being one of the only malls to offer all three large food retailers, Pick n Pay, Checkers and Spar,” Mayers said.
“There is room for further growth of the mall and there is already a plan underway for a 20,000m² expansion in the future. The second phase will include a further 70 stores that would be added. The mall has brought infrastructure, jobs and skills transfer and improved transport to residents within the Cornubia development and surrounding communities,” said Mayers.
“The opening of Cornubia Mall marks a major milestone for its investors, the city, the various stakeholders and the people of this community, as it is the manifestation of big-sky thinking that can be achieved in partnership between government and business,” said Councillor Sipho Kaunda in his address at the launch event.
“The mall, set within the Cornubia Presidential Project, acts as a link on so many levels between a number of communities from varied economic backgrounds and heralds opportunities for employment, skills transfers, economic growth and development.
“The role of this mall, together with other developments set to come on line in the near future, must continue to carve out new ways of addressing the economic disparity that is still widespread across our city. We are happy to see that the mall has taken up the charge and continues to work with its local communities in creating a sustainable Cornubia community,” he said.
Trading densities, or turnover per square metre, have been declining across an array of shopping centres in SA, recent statistics released at the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ national conference in Cape Town showed.
The IPD SA Retail Trading Density Index recently reported that for the second quarter of 2017, super-regional malls or centres sized 74,000m² and more, experienced an 8.2% fall year on year in trading density growth. Trading density growth in regional malls or centres sized between 37,000m² and 74,000m² increased a measly 0.5%. Community centres, which are between 9,300m² and 32,500m², did the best with 2.8% growth in trading density overall, followed by neighbourhood centres, between 2,800m² and 13,900m², which achieved 1.2% growth.