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R200m mixed-use development set to change lives in Knysna

Latitude Properties Developers to open first shopping centre in Concordia township.

R200m mixed-use development set to change lives in Knysna

National property developers, Latitude Properties, in a joint venture with EPCM Holdings, a global oil and gas engineering, and product development firm, are set to open a new 4500m² shopping mall, in October 2022 in Concordia, Knysna, says CEO and retail developer Harry Pretorius. Phase 1 of the development will bring shopping convenience to this underserviced area, while Phase 2 will add a further retail component together with a strong focus on quality affordable housing and community-centric amenities such as a co-working space, day-clinic, action-soccer fields as well as house a local Early Childhood Development centre (ECD). Kunjani Mall Concordia will change the way people shop, eat, live, and work.

Major national retailers Shoprite, Ackermans, Pep have confirmed tenancy in Phase 1 of the project. The residents of the catchment area who travel mostly by foot into Knysna for higher order goods will now have a better shopping experience on their doorstep.

Pretorius explains: "We are extremely excited about our new multi-functional Kunjani concept developments. By creating more equitable developments with more cohesive, inclusive spaces we are making townships better places for residents. The Kunjani Concordia development in Knysna will play a key role in enhancing the neighbourhood fabric and importantly contribute to job creation. While it is estimated that at least 200 builders and labourers will be involved in the construction of the development, it will also yield at least 100 permanent jobs on completion."

He continues, "We have also made an allowance to support informal traders and smaller retailers with the space, so our approach is very much a collaborative one that will stimulate the entire area and have a positive social impact."

Despite the pandemic having a devastating effect on retailers, retail in 'township' areas has recovered quicker, as shoppers in outlying areas do not utilise online shopping much and buy what they need much more frequently than urban dwellers.

The company has plans to complete three more Kunjani precincts in the Western and Southern Cape over the next 18 months and remains bullish on the long-term growth of retail business in rural and 'township' areas.

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