The Quarry shopping centre in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, which was recently purchased from Old Mutual by a consortium of investors, is to undergo a major revamp. David Keal, who represents the consortium, says the major redevelopment will take five months to complete at an estimated cost of R10 million. Built in 1993, the centre comprises 6300sqm of retail and 1700sqm of office space and is noted for its location on the edge of a former quarry, now water-filled and attractively landscaped.
Comments Keal, "The acquisition of the centre is in line with our investment strategy of focusing primarily on high quality retail shopping centres, which are also sound retail income producing investments. It takes years for a centre to establish itself as successful, and quality retail centres such as this are the scarcest property assets and therefore highly sought after. Through careful and attentive management, it is our intention to extensively refurbish this centre in a vibrant redevelopment which will position it as the preferred shopping centre in the region, thereby retaining tenants and improving rental growth."
Keal says Hilton is rapidly becoming the preferred destination for Pietermaritzburg based companies wishing to relocate their offices from the CBD. "We have already concluded two five year leases of office space, comprising a total of 1172sqm, with Wildlands Trust and ActionCOACH. In the retail space, we have signed up new leases with Woolworths Food and also secured the ongoing commitment of Standard Bank, Nedbank and FNB, all of whom have signed new leases. In addition, the Super SPAR will also be undergoing a major revamp which will include a 'state-of-the-art' deli and Tops Bottle Store."
Rob Moran, KwaZulu-Natal regional director for JHI property services group, which has been appointed managing agents for the centre, adds, "The revamped centre will have a positive impact on the local economy by reducing the flow of consumer spending out of the area to the Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg."
"What we aim to achieve is to open up the centre, capitalising on its unique and attractive surrounds and creating new life and interest through revisiting the walkway roof, introducing striking entrance features and replacing existing shop fronts with more extensive, clean opening shop fronts. There will also be new signage and lighting. Adding colourful elements to the centre and introducing indigenous landscaping interlinked with functional, accessible piazza style walkways will further enhance its contemporary feel while making the centre vibrant, lively and functional. The new piazzas will be anchored by Jaxx Bistro, recently voted by the KZN south coast community as the best and most popular restaurant," concludes Keal.
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