Countdown to the opening of the Mall’s new phase

Architect Gerald Scholts, Muhammad Varachia, Liberty Midlands Mall Centre manager, and Pieter Louw Project Manager at the construction site on Thursday

After years of planning and hard work from the project team, the construction of the Liberty Midlands Mall’s Phase 3 development, that commenced in November 2016, will be completed and ready for trade later this month.

A media tour of the new extension revealed an exciting array of retail and lifestyle space that adds spectacular value to the shopping experience at the mall.

With a firm view to provide new experiences for the Pietermaritzburg and Midlands communities, the new phase will feature an upmarket Checkers – the phase’s anchor tenant, with sparse lighting and wood-panelled sections, boasting extensive wine and gourmet coffee selections, as well as counters selling quality selections of cheese and meat.

Other firsts for the mall include an Al-fresco dining area with restaurant Mozambik, The Daily Coffee Café, Rochester, Volpes, Toy Kingdom and Build-A-Bear as well as @Home Livingspace.

Most stores, including Checkers, Volpes, Coricraft, RocoMamas, Rochester, Just Plastics and The Hub among others, will be open to the public on 15 March.

Toy Kingdom, @Home Living Space and Arthur Ford will open between June and November 2018.

The wing that will host gym Planet Fitness on the upper level and the massive 6000 sq meter Woolworths with conveniently located parking.

The new development boasts an increase in the parking space allowing the mall to now accommodate over 3000 cars.

600 local construction workers and 185 local artisans were employed for the construction with Checkers working closely with the local Ward Councillor for staff recruitment within the ward.

The Phase 3 development also used CSI driver, designer and artist Nhlanhla Mthembu to create a model of the new extension.

Mthembu’s CSI initiative Gods Promises House Plans and Designs was founded in 2011 when he found himself bound to a wheelchair after a stray bullet left him paralyzed. Not one to limit himself, Mthembu kept busiy by making house models from cardboard and soon people were taking their house plans to him for their models.

Workers busy with the final touches before the extension opens to the public on March 15.

The Liberty Midlands Mall is co-owned by Liberty  Group Limited and Liberty Two Degrees’. Their prestigious real estate portfolio includes ownership in Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Eastgate and Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Liberty Promenade in Cape Town as well as the recently developed Botshabelo Mall in Bloemfontein.

Since opening its doors in 2003, the Liberty Midlands Mall has established itself as the retail destination of choice in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands.  Over the years, the mall has grown to cater for the retail needs of its customers and measured a remarkable 56,000m² amongst its first two phases. Based on the success experienced, and further demand for space within the mall, from both local and international retailers, the launch of the much anticipated Phase 3 expansion has come. Phase 3 presented an opportunity to enhance the tenant mix, catering for the broader needs of Liberty Midlands Mall customers.

The Phase 3 expansion will introduce retail and leisure space of almost 22,000m2, increasing the size of the mall to an impressive 78,000m2, parking space that will accommodate over 3,000 vehicles, and will ultimately welcome several ‘firsts to the PMB market’ retailers to the mall.

Liberty Two Degrees’ Asset Management Executive, Brian Unsted announced; “The mall’s new Phase 3 expansion is adjacent to the existing mall and will include a lifestyle centre, made up of both retail and leisure components. The increased retail offering within Phase 3 aligns itself with Liberty Two Degrees’ commitment of enhancing customer experiences and exceeding public demands within its retail portfolio and binds to the strategy of strengthening Liberty Midlands Mall’s presence in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands”.

Since the original opening of Liberty Midlands Mall, spending patterns have transformed within a 50 kilometre radius. Prior to the existence of the mall, the PMB community had to travel considerable distances to access some of the country’s most prominent outlets. Anchored by tenants such as, Pick ‘n Pay, Game, Woolworths, Dischem and Edgars, Liberty Midlands Mall answered the call for retail convenience, and is home to over 160 stores with an average foot count of approximately 650,000 loyal shoppers per month.

  AUTHOR
Capital Media Reporter

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