Green light for McCormick’s R1.2 billion Capital Mall

By Suren Naidoo

Pretoria-based McCormick Property Development has secured approval from the City of Tshwane to develop a new R1.2 billion regional shopping centre, spanning 60 000sqm, in the west of the city.

McCormick made the announcement yesterday, and said the double level centre dubbed Capital Mall, would be the cornerstone of the bigger ‘Capital City’ mixed-use development. It added that the development was set to revolutionise both the Pretoria West region, as well as McCormick Property’s portfolio.

Jason McCormick, Managing Director of McCormick Property Development, expressed delight at finally getting the go head to bring Capital Mall to market. “We have seen the potential of this area for decades, and know that this development will be a game-changer for the community of Pretoria West, as well as the retailers that are included in this iconic development.”

Speaking to SA Property Insider, McCormick said the mall would have more than 140 stores, including major national tenants, small regional and independent stores, franchises and eateries.

“This number will change and is likely to move upwards… The current retail environment is one of rationalising space, with retailers looking at smaller stores to increase trading densities and thus profitability of their stores…  The development of Capital Mall will be phased, with the 60 000sqm first phase set to open in 2020. It will be the biggest development to date for McCormick Property, which has almost four decades of experience in property development,” he said.

An artist’s impression of the new 60 000sqm Capital Mall in the west of Pretoria, to be developed by McCormick Property Development’s at a cost of R1.2 billion

“We are looking to create a true regional mall… (We aim) to provide a larger array of tenants, as well as allocate space to local businessmen and entrepreneurs, to ensure that the market is spoilt for choice in terms of the retail offering.

“As with all our developments, this mall will look to include features that appeal to the broadest cross section of the market in which it resides. Thus, we’re planning a significant public transport hub at the mall and parking will be free. Furthermore there will be free-to-use community facilities, such as action soccer and netball courts with floodlights; and, a large entertainment hub with cinemas, arcades and gaming, planned to add to the lifestyle appeal of the mall,” McCormick added.

Capital Mall is set to anchor the mixed-use development within the node, which will also include a 150-bed private hospital, a Value Centre, motor dealerships, affordable housing, schooling and community facilities. The fact that the mall is being located on a 25 hectare site, allows for it to be expanded into a super-regional mall of over 100 000sqm in time.

This latest project is one of 26 retail developments in McCormick Property’s development pipeline, all focused on areas with significant undersupply of retail facilities and aimed at satisfying these rapidly expanding markets. Situated just off on the planned N4/R55 interchange, Capital Mall will have direct access from both the N4 highway and WF Nkomo (Church) Street. The node in Pretoria West is anticipated to see massive population growth, sparking further retail, residential and other developments.

McCormick said: “As a full turnkey developer, specialising in retail development, McCormick Property will be the sole developer of this landmark scheme. We have undertaken all development planning and will be doing the leasing, financial modelling, financing, project management; and, ultimately, will be the asset and facilities managers of the development.

As with most of our developments, we have partners in the equity ownership, and the land owners here are partners in the ownership of this development.”

Questioned when construction would begin and about leasing progress, McCormick, said: “We’ve just received the formal notification of the approval of our rights on this development, and we are now commencing with the formal leasing process… Whilst I cannot mention names, we have informal interest from tenants making up over 30,000sqm of the mall already and will be working hard over the next few months to formalise these into lease agreements.”

He added: “As a general rule, we never begin construction until we have secured the final positions and layouts of all the major national tenants. We never follow a cookie cutter approach to our developments. Given that Capital Mall will be introducing a number of unique features, construction will only commence once we have secured the majority of the major national tenants in a layout and mix that we are all happy with.”