Blue Route Mall makeover

Posted On Thursday, 01 April 2010 02:00 Published by
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Built in the early 1970s in Tokai, Cape Town, Blue Route Mall has over the past four decades evolved from a small convenience strip centre of only ten shops to an established shopping centre offering 48,000m² of retail convenience entrenched within the community

"Near forty years of consistent trade and growth is definitely a major feat that we are very proud of," says Mervyn Kaplan, Blue Route Mall's Centre Manager, of Broll Property Management. "But we understand that the aging process of a shopping centre of this calibre needs to complement the times, and with this in mind plans is now full steam ahead for the re- development of Blue Route Mall."

After extensive research, deliberation and discussion the Mall's Landlord, Fountainhead Property Trust, decided to rejuvenate Blue Route Mall thereby offering retailers and shoppers a centre that will satisfy all their needs and expectations in a convenient and all-encompassing manner.

"The Mall, in its current state, no longer serves its stakeholders sufficiently and we have been looking for suitable solutions since 2001. There have been several issues related to the existing structure, bulk services and the needs of the community that were critical in our decision-making process," says Kaplan. "Besides these inherent problems, the current Mall is not in a position to satisfy its retailer's needs in terms of shop size, product ranges and services."

The confirmed re-development of the Mall will allow for an appealing and a more consumer-relevant shopping centre, attracting not only the loyal Blue Route Mall shoppers, but also those who reside further afield. Kaplan further states, "On completion of the project, the Mall will have grown from its current size of 48,000m² to 56,000m²."

Shoppers can look forward to larger outlets for the major chain stores, a dedicated food court, as well as upmarket coffee shops and restaurants throughout the centre. In addition to this shoppers can look forward to modern ablutions and other customer friendly facilities.

With the exception of Checkers Hyper, an entirely new centre will be built from scratch. The new design will incorporate a modern and sophisticated approach with special attention given to aesthetics and facilities.

A comprehensive tenant mix will include  fashion, electronics, home ware , groceries, jewellery, accessories, a new larger Ster-Kinekor cinema complex and restaurants with views unsurpassed in South Africa. All national fashion chains have expressed interest in expanding their current stores to include space for brands not currently represented at the Mall. A new two level Woolworths of approximately 5,500m2 and a new modern Edgars on 4,000m2 will be an added attraction. Discussions are presently underway with Dis-Chem and many other tenants not represented in the mall or in the Southern Suburbs.

The architects, Louis Karol, have elected to utilise the Mall's beautiful environment and surroundings in a positive way and have thus given the new food court and restaurants magnificent panoramic mountain views to enjoy from the large terraces and generous windows. "With South Africa's good weather, we look to maximise on the natural light flowing into the malls, thereby also reducing our dependence on artificial lighting. The walkways will be widened and generous in capacity, with approximately 3,000 parking bays which will include at least 1,300 undercover bays leading directly in to the mall, Blue Route Mall shoppers will never have a problem finding parking," adds Kaplan.

With final approval by Fountainhead Property Trust, issued, Phase One of construction is set to begin mid-year. A full communications plan has also been developed in order to keep stakeholders, including the community, abreast of developments and progress. An enthusiastic Kaplan confirms that ground will officially be broken in June, with completion set for March 2012.

"All members of the team are thrilled that this much-anticipated project is finally taking place," said Kaplan. "We know that there are going to be months of hard work ahead, but know that the final outcome will be worth every bead of sweat!"

Publisher: eProp
Source: FPT

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