Billion Group, a 100% black-owned property development and investment company, has broken ground on two retail developments totalling more than R3 billion.
Forest Hill City in Monavoni, Centurion south west of Pretoria and Bay West City in Port Elizabeth promises to be dominant, lifestyle destinations where shoppers will find an optimal mix of the latest in local and international retail brands as well as a diverse and exciting leisure offering.
“Billion has a solid reputation for delivering creative, highly functional developments on time and surpassing expectations. We are therefore very excited at the prospects of bringing these developments to market.” said Sisa Ngebulana, Billion Group’s Executive Chairman and founder.
The developer’s enviable track record includes the Eastern Cape’s landmark Hemingways Mall in East London and Mdantsane City which opened for trade in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
“We have significantly bolstered the team of asset and development management professionals at Billion and have worked relentlessly at bringing these developments to market. Pre-letting commitments from South Africa’s most exciting retail, fashion and leisure brands have been received for both Bay West and Forest Hill malls. The sites have been cleared, and earthworks are underway.” Ngebulana continued.
Billion Group’s development philosophy is geared towards exceptional returns to both retailers and real estate investors. Its objective is to enhance the overall lifestyle experience of the prospective end-user, while improving the community and environment within which the developments are located.
To this extent, Bay West City – a joint venture development with Abacus – is poised to become Port Elizabeth’s premier upmarket lifestyle and entertainment destination. The R1,75 billion first phase construction of this major mixed use development will ultimately form part of a modern, integrated urban node with green spaces, residential and commercial units in a prime location.
Located only 10km from the Port Elizabeth CBD and airport, the 310 hectare development site is ideally positioned on the N2 highway, with two additional interchanges planned, in order to attract as high a footfall as possible. Infrastructure funding is being provided by the DBSA and SANRAL.
Planned as part of Port Elizabeth’s 20/20 vision, Bay West Mall will cater to an underserviced area, providing a substantial one-stop offer for consumers looking for a pleasurable and efficient shopping experience.
At 86 000m2 Bay West Mall’s easy accessibility, landscape design and array of major retailers is likely to make it an unmatched shopping experience for the existing and planned households totalling almost 70 000 in the primary catchment area. The bulk of these households will be in the high LSM 8-10 categories.
Designed by DHK Architects as both a functional and aesthetically appealing shopping experience, Bay West Mall is constructed over two trading floors with a race track style layout to augment efficient consumer traffic flow. The structured parking built around the mall provides quick and easy access from any point of arrival.
Over 80% of Bay West Mall’s national tenants have committed to the development to date, including banks, food, clothing and entertainment franchises such as Checkers, Pick n Pay, Game, Woolworths, Truworths, Edgars, Ster Kinekor, and the Foschini Group.
Billion’s second development, Forest Hill City is located on a 66 hectare, highly visible site above the N14 Krugersdorp-Pretoria highway (the key connecting route between Midrand, Centurion, Sandton, Johannesburg, Krugersdorp and Pretoria) and is well positioned to service the current 112 500 households in the primary catchment area. This is one of South Africa’s fastest developing nodes which is set to grow to almost 160 000 households by 2014.
Independent research has indicated that this is a significantly underserved node with the current retail under supply estimated at 255 000m2 in the catchment area. Forest Hill City will comprise a total gross lettable area (GLA) of 68 000m2 and will offer a lifestyle destination where consumers will live, work and play within the same precinct. It will combine fashionable retail space with dining, state of the art offices, hotels, showrooms and lifestyle residences.
A Rob Bray Concepts and TPSP Architects design, Forest Hill Mall will introduce the latest in international trends optimising shopper convenience and dwell time. The 2 100 bay split-level parking will be located at the centre of the mall, providing covered, quick and easy access from any point of arrival. This design allows for a circular route interspersed with well-spaced anchor tenants, this will provide a journey to the point of departure without returning past the same shops. Additional external parking will provide access to Woolworths, Clicks and the food and entertainment node, bringing the total number of bays to 4 133.
All shops will be on the same circuit, allowing exposure to tenants without changing levels. This will improve flow and shopping access with trolleys to smaller tenants should become easier.
Pre-letting commitments in excess of 80% of GLA have been received and includes top South African and international retail brands such as Woolworths, Edcon, Pick n Pay, Checkers, Clicks, Truworths and The Foschini Group.