Construction on the 7000m² third phase expansion of Paledi Mall in the rural Limpopo town of Mankweng is under way, and will take it to 32,000m² in size. Pretoria-based owner Twin City Development is investing more than R130m in the expansion and has brought in leasing and development specialists Retail Network Services (RNS) to advise on the project.
“Opened in 2009, and expanded in 2015, Paledi Mall has been such a resounding success that we’re expanding the centre yet again. The expansion is due to the performance of the centre, demand from retailers and research into what our local shoppers want. Contractors are already on site and we are looking to have the new expanded section opened by October this year,” says Ryno de Leeuw, chief operations officer of Twin City Development.
“This is an exciting development project and investment for Twin City, coming just over four years after we expanded the mall to around 25,000m². The mall has established itself as a focal point for the community. Through this expansion we want the centre to retain its dominance in the market, by increasing its retail offering and convenience, while also bolstering its position as a social hub with more restaurant, leisure and family-friendly facilities,” he adds.
Twin City appointed Fernridge Consulting to do extensive research in the local community in terms of what they would like to see at the mall, in addition to getting insight into the local economy, employment and spending trends. The research, which included a survey of 800 shoppers. One of the key findings is that Mankweng continues to grow into a fully-fledged town with the number of households increasing from around 32,000 in 2014 to 36,500 in 2016. A key driver of the growth is Mankweng’s location just 4km from the University of Limpopo’s main campus. The town is also home to the Mankweng District Hospital, a regional magistrate’s court, as well as a public library.
“Paledi Mall is in a prime position – just 10kms west of the popular hub Moria – where seasonal pilgrimages significantly increase traffic on this already busy road. Up to five million worshippers make their way to Moria for their annual Easter pilgrimage, which serves as a further annual boost to the mall and area’s growth,” explains de Leeuw.
He adds that as part of the mall extension, Twin City is investing into an upgrade of the taxi rank adjacent to the mall. The taxi rank is a major transport hub in Mankweng and a key connection for the mall, with some 60% of its shoppers using public transport.
The current expansion at Paledi Mall will see its retail mix and service offering increase by some 30 new stores, restaurants and service outlets, which will take its store complement to more than 80 outlets.