News about the restart of the construction of Acornhoek Mall has spread like wildfire throughout the Acornhoek and surrounding communities, bringing a wave of anticipation and excitement amongst residents throughout the region. Acornhoek Mall will offer an estimated 40 000m² of retail, making it the largest enclosed mall in the surrounding area and finally fulfilling the long-awaited role of regional mall to the greater Acornhoek / Bushbuckridge area.
Following a lengthy court battle spanning more than three years, the case which delayed New Africa Developments (NAD) from constructing the prestigious Acornhoek Mall has been decisively won by NAD with costs, putting this totally unjustified court case to bed once and for all. The case having been brought by Acornhoek Plaza Share Block (Pty) Ltd of which Sanlam and the McCormick’s are shareholders. NAD CEO, Japie van Niekerk’s flame burns brighter than ever before: “We are working with great force and extreme energy to make up for lost time. We have left the negativity behind and are moving forward with this much anticipated and highly sought after development. Not only is NAD developing a shopping mall, but will in fact be creating an exciting new development node for Acornhoek that will ultimately boast a private hospital, private school and quality middle income housing.” Van Niekerk continues: “The people of Bushbuckridge and Acornhoek in particular were denied development, local economic upliftment and job opportunities for more than 3 years which had dire consequences for this community. The project commencement can simply not come soon enough.”
The site has already been handed over to the main contractor, who will use the rest of 2017 to complete groundworks and prepare the site for construction of the actual mall structure at the start of 2018. The mall will be enclosed and air-conditioned, which is a significant advantage over other retail offerings in the region as these are open to the elements. Another distinguishing feature is the engaging, dedicated food court which will host sit-down restaurants for an in-mall dining experience not typically found in the region. NAD has also recognized the increased mobility of the population, thus providing more parking bays than anywhere else in the area.
The tenant mix has been carefully considered with a wide variety of tenants meeting the various retail needs of the community. The mall will be home to more leading national tenants than any other retail development in the region. The mall layout and aesthetics have been updated to accommodate the new layout of a major retailer, and ensure the latest design trends for large department stores are accommodated.
An independent population analysis using hi-res photos provided retail specialists with population data of unsurpassed accuracy. The outcome of the study clearly showed that the potential for fashion and retail far exceeds that of the Hazyview area. The size of this unserviced market is astounding and a short trip to the region will surprise any potential retailer. Indeed a recent update of last year’s population study has shown a 16% increase in the number of households, which is a truly astounding statistic and clearly demonstrates the remarkable potential of the region.
Situated on the R40 the mall will ensure better and more convenient access than any of the alternative retail offerings in the region, and due to its convenient location will greatly reduce the outflow to Hazyview and other outlying retail outlets making it the most dominant retail offering in the region. With substantial land available to increase the mall in size after the initial opening date, there is significant potential for future growth and indeed subsequent phases are already being planned to meet tenant demand.
Van Niekerk and his team continue to motivate prospective tenants as they relaunch the retail opportunities of Acornhoek into the market place: “Our total investment into uplifting this community is in excess of R1billion, with Dwarsloop Mall set to open in October of 2017 and Acornhoek Mall opening almost exactly a year later to complete NAD’s dominance of the region. The area has great development and retail potential, and we are confident that Acornhoek Mall will provide retails with the perfect vehicle to maximize this opportunity.”
The much-anticipated opening date for Acornhoek Mall is 25 October 2018.
Progress updates will be available on the mall’s Facebook page, with drone video footage, images, and newsworthy items published regularly.
*Research by Fernridge Consulting Pty Ltd / 2016 AfricaEye Data Pro
*Research by Changing Tides Aerial Photogrammetry (Dr Wynand Uys)