Nedbank has long expressed its confidence in, and commitment to, the long-term development of South Africa’s retail property sector. Today the nation’s ‘green bank’ put its money where its mouth is with the announcement by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance that it will provide funding to the tune of R1.721 billion for the development of a new regional shopping mall in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
The 87,500 sqm Bay West Mall located on the western side of Port Elizabeth is to be developed via a joint venture between SA property giants, Billion Group and Abacus Asset Management. The development forms part of the City’s 2020 growth plan and the area is earmarked as a vital development node. A R300 million comprehensive road upgrade forms part of the development plans, which will enable the road network to link various suburbs to the Bay West Mall and will act as a significant catalyst for continued long-term investment in Port Elizabeth.
According to Ken Reynolds, regional executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, the finance agreement, which is the largest property development sum ever agreed to by the bank, will fund the first phase of the Bay West Mall, which is central to the greater 300 hectare Bay West City Precinct development.
“The sheer size of this development deal meant that approval had to be made at Board level. However, given that Sisa Ngebulana and Jaco Odendaal represent two of South Africa’s most respected and successful property development companies and the obvious potential Bay West Mall has to inject sustainable benefits and growth into both the Port Elizabeth and Eastern Cape economy, we knew Nedbank had to be involved,” says Reynolds.
The mall has commitments from major retailers and is anchored by Checkers Hyper, Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Game as well as leading fashion and entertainment tenants like Edgars, Truworths, Platinum Group, Pepkor, Ster Kinekor etc, with over 70% of tenants already secured with their latest design and product offering, thus benefitting other smaller tenants such as franchises and local retailers.
Bay West Mall is expected to attract shoppers from the entire Eastern Cape region. It will be built over two levels and will offer the latest technology in terms of design and green building principles. In addition, an innovative elliptical design will ensure flow throughout and provide convenient access to 3,500 covered parking bays.
“For Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, providing the funding for the development of Bay West Mall is far more than just another financial agreement. We see it as a unique opportunity to realise our passion for enabling the vision of our long-term clients while living out our commitment to being deeply involved in the types of property developments that can, and will, make a real contribution to the economic future of South Africa and socio-economic enhancement of its people and communities,” concludes Reynolds.
The Bay West Mall development is expected to generate up to 5000 direct and indirect job opportunities in Port Elizabeth and the surrounding region