Trendy Spar for Umhlanga’s R1bn Park Square

A cutting-edge Spar concept store will be the retail anchor within the groundbreaking new R1bn Park Square mixed-use development in Umhlanga Ridge, near the Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

The 40,000m2 development is being driven by Nedbank subsidary, Nedport Developments, and will boast 36,000m2 of office space and 4000m2 of retail space as part of a 4 Star Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA) rated project.

In a statement released last week, Ken Reynolds, Nedbank Property Finance Divisional Executive and Director of Nedport Developments, said: “The retail tenants of the much-anticipated Park Square development on Umhlanga Ridge are going to change the way the locals see convenience.”

As one of the key members behind the landmark development, Reynolds reinforces Park Square’s focus on keenly bringing together work, leisure and convenience. This has seen Nedport secure Mark Anderson, who has earned a solid reputation of delivering world-class retail environments and is the owner of the magnificent uMhlanga Rocks Superspar, to run the trendy new 1500m2 Spar store set to open at Park Square.

Construction underway on the 40,000m2 Park Square mixed-used development in uMhlanga Ridge, Durban, which will be home to a trendy new Spar concept store.

“With an offering as attractive and unique – aesthetically and financially – as Park Square, Nedport have absolutely nailed their concept with the acknowledgement that the right retail and commercial mix is vital to the success of any urban hub. Dedicated to servicing the needs of their commercial residents in addition to the burgeoning surrounding residential suburbs, this prestigious development is paving the way for Spar to be an anchor tenant in the near complete building – and this important tenant will be a game-changer for the greater precinct,” Nedport said in a statement.

Anderson comments: “Park Square is both an ideal environment for us to grow our vision to bring to market the very best concept retail offerings in KwaZulu-Natal, if not the country.” He added that the financial viability of the developments’ location and concept is one that has made the investment particularly appealing and exciting.

According to Nedport, Spar Park Square is set to fulfill the core vision of the development, which will offer seamless integration for a work-play lifestyle. With its considered mix of restaurants, shops and coffee bars, Park Square will offer a connected work culture incorporating a unique leisure offering seamlessly linked to a vibrant and open urban square.

The term ‘top-tier’ is not often used to describe a grocery store, but like Ken Reynolds, uMhlanga Rocks Superspar Owner, Anderson believes his new Spar, as the retail anchor tenant of Park Square, will reshape how locals view their daily shopping experience.

Ken Reynolds, Divisional Executive: Nedbank CIB Property Finance.

“Using the reference of the uMhlanga Rocks Superspar, consumers are set to be enchanted and delighted by the offerings Spar Park Square has in store. Walking through the uMhlanga store, one is impressed with the attention to detail that has gone into the planning and daily operations of the store. At every corner you are bound to see someone sweeping, mopping or tidying up,” said Nedport.

Anderson confidently says: “I have the cleanest store in the world.” What is clearly evident when you meet the owners of the soon to be Spar Park Square, is his passion and dedication to creating a destination for the consumer that is not only entertaining but well considered. “Our driving force is to exceed our consumers expectations. People no longer want to merely shop, they want an experience. This is what we are offering to them here – and more,” he says.

“Great service, convenience and a variety of offerings are the foundation of what will likely be the most talked about store in South Africa. Consumers will have plenty to choose from, from general merchandise, gifting, imported goods and home replacement meals,” adds Nedport.

It said that the home replacement meal section would offer quick, healthy and freshly made food options suitable for an array of dietary needs including but not limited to gluten free, banting and vegan dietary needs.

With convenience in mind, Anderson is working on an App that will allow tenants of Park Square to order their food, pay online and pick up at the end of the day. Once the App proves successful, it will be open for uMhlanga Rocks Superspar consumers too. However, they are not solely focused on health products, but will also have a delicatessen, a pizza, burger and pita bars. Word on the street is that there will be an exclusive whiskey tasting area for the connoisseur.

Designed around an aviation theme, Spar Park Square will boast interesting features such as a rickshaw from India and a reception desk made from an airplane cock-pit, making it arguably one of the first retail grocery stores in the world to have an official reception area.

Following in the footsteps of Park Square’s 4 Star Green Star GBCSA rated development, Spar Park Square, will have fridges with doors allowing for an estimated saving of up 30% on electricity.

“Retail is not just about being functional,” says Anderson. “The global trend is to have mixed used development with residential and retail, centred around an engaging and multi-dimensional square and this is just what Park Square offers, as the perfect complement to the thriving business hive of the uMhlanga Ridge Town Centre, making it a fully operational hub, servicing all needs,” he added.

“We want people to come here because there is something to see. The visibly appealing Park Square will bring beauty and vibrancy to the area too… Customers no longer want to do a grocery shopping in large centres due to the long walks. They want the convenience of parking, walking straight in, shopping, and walking out,” says Anderson.

The covered on grade retail parking bays allow for this convenience x-factor and the location and access planning of Park Square make for easy accessibility for all customers, with Park Square’s close proximity to the planned Go!Durban IRPTN bus route. Park Square also boasts a prime position, overlooking the beautiful Chris Saunders Park, which was developed by Tongaat Hulett Developments, the master-planners behind the booming uMhlanga Ridge Town Centre.

Nedbank will occupy approximately 50% of the office space within the Park Square development. In the retail section, in addition to Spar Park Square, private vault operator International Bank Vaults will also call Park Square home. The remaining retail space is set to be taken up by other convenience outlets and restaurants. Park Square will be complete by November this year.

* Content edited by Suren Naidoo.