Atterbury, the company undertaking the single largest property development ever seen in South Africa -Waterfall in Midrand- is venturing into Namibia to deliver that country’s biggest commercial property development.
Set in Windhoek, the R1.3bn development called Mall of Namibia- The Grove, is to boast 54000sqm. It is undertaken together with Namibian entities Demashuwa Properties and Safland Property Group.
While Namibia has always been a play ground for South African capital due to political history, this Atterbury venture can be seen as extending the movement of South Africa’s capital into the rest of the African continent and the sub Saharan region. The much talked about movement seems to be gaining momentum with property coming under focus. This week, medium sized JSE listed financial services player Vunani made an acquisition in Zimbabwe. In acquiring a minority stake in Purpose Asset Management, Vunani CEO Ethan Dube said“Even taking into account the political risk, Zimbabwe remains a good investment opportunity which will provide a platform for our expansion further into Southern Africa”.
Atterbury’s announcement comes a week after South Africa’s financial giant Sanlam announced plans to launch a mega Sub-Saharan Africa Real Estate Fund at the end of March. In that move Sanlam Investments CEO Johan van der Merwe said the timing for the fund launch is opportune. “While the majority of the developed world is struggling to find yield, the African continent currently has seven of the top 10 growing economies in the world”.
Atterbury Property Developments MD James Ehlers said the three-levels of appealing shopping, restaurants and entertainment at The Grove will open in September 2014, launching Namibia’s dominant retail mall.
The development is situated at the heart of the Hilltop mixed-use estate in Windhoek’s fastest growing node, Klein Kuppe. This mixed-use estate will include a hotel, offices, apartments, medical centre and health and fitness centre.
Ehlers said already Mall of Namibia – The Grove’s neighbours include Food Lover’s Market and Metro. The development has also secured Game, Shoprite, Woolworths, Edgars and Spar stores as anchor tenants. Other tenants already signed include Truworths, Dis-Chem, Jet, Tekkie Town, Pep, Ackermans, Jay Jay’s, Legit, Sportsmans Warehouse, Rhapsody’s, Vida E, Clicks, Spar, Cappuccino’s and Wimpy.
“The development has been greeted with enthusiastic retailer interest for its 126 stores with most South African national retailers already represented in Namibia lining up to trade at Mall of Namibia – The Grove. Several retail brands have also chosen to make their Namibian debut at the Mall” said Cobus van Heerden, Retail Director at Atterbury Property Developments. “There is also keen interest from local Namibian retailers.”
The developers said entertainment and restaurants are also key ingredients in Mall of Namibia – The Grove. It will include Namibia’s most cutting-edge cinema experience as well as a great variety of contemporary restaurants offering open-air dining under the African Sky, with spectacular views of Windhoek.
Van Heerden said “Besides being a valuable retail asset for Namibia and a major tourist attraction, The Grove will boost the local economy with valuable employment generation.”
During its construction, Mall of Namibia – The Grove will create direct employment opportunities for 700 people. Once open, retailers and centre operations will create between 1,200 and 1,500 permanent employment opportunities.