R1.8 billion mixed-use Central Square brings life to the heart of Menlyn Maine

Posted On Tuesday, 12 May 2015 10:37 Published by
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The multi-billion Rand 315,000sqm Menlyn Maine development revealed exciting details of the latest addition to Africa’s only green city – Central Square.

 

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Already home to leading companies like BMW, Nedbank and SAGE VIP, Menlyn Maine’s new Central Square will now introduce a 30,000sqm boutique shopping mall, featuring a vibrant piazza, a 213-room apartment and conferencing hotel, a 14,500sqm office tower, a 4,000sqm state-of-the-art Virgin Classic Gym, and a lush public park. Central Square is co-owned by Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd and the Government Employees Pension Fund (represented by the Public Investment Corporation SOC Limited), who are together investing R1.8 billion in this development.

Francois Roos, Director of Menlyn Maine Investments, says: “Central Square takes our vision for the Menlyn Main green city forward, and will be the heart of the Menlyn Maine precinct as well as the hub of the Menlyn node. It will be the place to meet, socialise, shop, live and work. It’s central piazza - perfect for events, markets, exhibitions and concerts – and its park, together with is retail, restaurants, offices and much more, will create a vibrant, decentralized new city centre.”

Dr Daniel Matjila, Chief Executive Officer of the PIC, says: “This asset will create a productive communal space and delivers value to our clients while making a meaningful addition to much needed sustainable infrastructure, which benefits everyone. It also reinforces the PIC and the Government Employees Pension Fund’s position as major players in the retail property sector as well as improving its office holdings, and supports our commitment to responsible investment. Furthermore, this investment confirms our commitment to developmental investment, which generates both financial and social returns for all the stakeholders involved.”

Menlyn Maine is South Africa’s first green, mixed-use city. It’s more than a collection of award-winning green buildings in one place; everything between the buildings is also designed to be environmentally sustainable, from its sidewalks and streets, to its parks and squares. The benefits go beyond a lighter carbon footprint and lower electricity bills, to the enjoyment of a quality experience in a distinguished address of choice, designed to promote responsible, healthy lifestyles. 

As a partner of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Menlyn Maine is one of 16 green cities being built in various countries, and the only one in Africa. In line with Menlyn Maine’s exceptional sustainability benchmarks, Central Square’s buildings will be designed for a Green Building Council South Africa Four-Star Green Star SA rating, and for a LEED ND certification for the precinct, explains Henk Boogertman, Architectural Director of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

“Central Square’s buildings, central piazza, parks, tree-lined boulevards, and generously landscaped sidewalks with seating and rest areas are all designed around people, green living and sustainability. They continue the ethos of Menlyn Maine, which is pedestrian friendly and walkable with wide pavements, and will be the only urban precinct in South Africa with dedicated bicycle lanes,” says Boogertman.

Construction of Central Square started in November 2014. Its main contractor is WBHO. The official launch of the project to the public and the media will be on 28 May 2015 and it is set to open in September 2016. The project, which is going ahead apace, will see around 1,800 construction workers on site at the peak of construction.

Linda Riley, Leasing and Investment Advisor at Menlyn Maine reports leasing demand is already strong, with the retail component of Central Square already more than 60% pre-let, and attracting keen interest. “Central Square is unique and exciting. It is being tailored to the discerning shopper, office worker and resident who prefers simplicity, beauty and best-of-breed brands, as well as niche market stores and restaurants,” notes Riley. 

The Central Square boutique mall will be one-of-a-kind in Pretoria. To drive its singular retail mix, Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment has been appointed as its retail leasing consultants. The mall will be anchored by an exceptional line up of grocery shopping from Pick n Pay, Woolworths Food and SuperSpar. Pretoria’s only Virgin Active Classic Gym is its fourth anchor. Central Square will also feature 88 hand-picked speciality stores and branches of major banks.  

For its distinctly delicious dining, restaurants already committed at Central Square include Tasha’s, Koi, Bistro, Turn ‘n Tender, Mythos, Remos, Frank’s and Fego. They will be joined by several other cafes, coffee shops, patisseries and eateries.

The added attraction of a new 213-room state-of-the-art hotel, built and owned by The Capital Group, will create an executive apartments, hotel and conference concept that is completely integrated with Menlyn Maine Central Square and will be a welcome and unique offering for Pretoria.

Central Square will also feature around 1,800 basement parking bays and 300 open parking bays enhancing its ease of access, convenience and pedestrian linkages into the surrounding precinct. Located minutes away from the N1 motorway’s Atterbury and Garsfontein interchanges, Central Square is right off the main arterial of January Masilela Road, and a mere 500 metres from the main entrance of the super-regional Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.

Its bustling location also means it benefits from exceptional transport connections. This includes access to excellent transport links, including three Gautrain bus stops, the new BRT bus system and a taxi terminus. The Menlyn Maine precinct is designed to welcome pedestrians. Fewer cars on the roads also mean lower carbon emissions. It is also surrounded by medical facilities, schools, and all the amenities that come with being in the heart of the upmarket, growing Eastern Suburbs of Pretoria.

There is also much more to come at Menlyn Maine, including the launch of its residential apartments later this year and the R3 billion Time Square development of  Sun International, which will include a 5-Star hotel, 8,000-seater multi-purpose arena, conference facilities and a 10,000sqm casino with restaurants and specialised retail. The amendment of the Morula casino licence to permit the relocation thereof to Menlyn Maine Time Square has been approved by the Gauteng Gambling Board.

 

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