V&A Waterfront opens R140m expansion

Posted On Monday, 09 December 2013 17:25 Published by
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The V&A Waterfront has officially opened its R140 million expansion project.

PnPThe development involved the construction of a new flagship Pick n Pay supermarket in the basement, an underground tunnel linking the Granger Bay parking garage to Victoria Wharf's parking garage, as well as the Cross Malls project, which links two existing wings of Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre with a new wing and adds additional retail space to mall. In total, this amounts to an increase of 7 800m² in trading area.

Pick n Pay's new basement premises is an upmarket, flagship offering for the retail giant. According to Pick n Pay, their new Waterfront branch allows for "organic displays of innovative, exciting merchandise, carefully selected by specialists in their categories to ensure, not only an environment that is welcoming and appealing, but also an unsurpassable retail experience every time they visit the store, be it for a monthly shop, a quick cup of coffee or to pick up deli items for a picnic."

The old Pick n Pay space will now be converted into two stores for Mr Price and Australian department store Cotton On. This is all a part of the V&A's strategy to diversify its brand offerings to capture a wider segment of the market. Considering that 65% of its 24 million annual visitors are South African, there exists much potential to attract an even broader range of local shoppers by doing so.

The Cross Malls project has resulted in an additional 1 300m² of retail space being added to the mall, allowing Woolworths to open Witchery and Mimco pop-up stores inside their premises, as well as Edgars to open stores for Tom Tailor and Lucky Brand.

Due to much of the construction work taking place underground, below the existing mall, the entire project was complicated, but made much easier by the foresight employed by Victoria Wharf's architects – Louis Karol – when it was originally constructed. A portion of the ground floor slabs leading to the basement were designed to be removed if an expansion were ever to take place, with the basement floor being of a standard retail floor height. This allowed the mall owners to expand underground instead of outwards.

With space around Victoria Wharf at the V&A running out quickly, this was a perfect solution to their needs. Another problem was that any above-ground construction related to the Cross Malls project had the potential to put too much pressure on existing support structures.

Again a clever solution to the problem was sought, with the decision taken to create a steel structure suspended from the existing roof structure, topped with corrugated iron and a thin layer of concrete.

Source: IOL

Last modified on Monday, 09 December 2013 18:11

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