More families are moving, or considering doing so, out of busy city metropolitans to lesser congested environments and suburbs, say many property experts.
This trend is likely to be more prevalent since Covid-19 lockdown proved just how versatile organisations can be in adopting flexible hours and remote working of employees.
Add to this that online education and homeschooling is also growing in popularity, it’s no wonder that the value of smaller community living is heightened.
Along with this shift comes the relief from not needing the hustle and bustle of large regional malls, according to Gavin Tagg, CEO of Retail Network Services, considered one of the premier developers of local mall development.
“Community centre shopping is proven to be more therapeutic and less noisy, and thus more pleasurable and relaxing,” he said.
“They are no longer the quick-shop destinations of old, instead they have evolved to be places where families can shop together and be entertained, but with the same convenience as is expected from local shopping centres.
“What the new local malls also highlight is that convenience does not need to be boring, but only if the variety of services provided is in response to local supply and demand.”
Retail Network Services’ new development in conjunction with Dalmar Construction, Country Mall, sited in Dalpark near Makro Carnival, will prove just how getting the tenant mix right, along with other important features like safety and security, fulfil the needs of local residents.
Set to open on September 23 next year, Country Mall will boast some of the country’s high-end and most desirable retail chains.
Among them are Tops Liquor, SuperSpar, Clicks and West Pack Lifestyle.
Eateries like Mugg & Bean, Steers/Debonairs and Piccolo Family Kitchen are further attractions along with more specialty and unique food stores like Bella’s Market.
The uniqueness of Country Mall will be attractive to existing restaurants and fast-food outlets in the area, especially if they are looking to centralise or upgrade their patronage.
This applies equally to the health and beauty and family fashion stores that are looking for premises in an entirely new and exciting centre that is set to attract a larger and more comprehensive footfall.
Tagg also highlights that Country Mall is the ideal location for local producers to find anchorage in the region.
“Keeping things local means Country Mall is attractive to unique retailers who want to address the merchandise and service needs of the catchment area, and which complement the existing retailing needs of this economic hub,” said Tagg.
“An additional plus is that a number of job opportunities will be created.
“The ambience of the mall will be evident in its ‘fresh’ approach to what Tagg refers to as ‘a third space’.”
By this, he is referring to the soft green features that will dominate, which have given the mall it’s ‘Country’ name.
“This will not feel like a traditional mall,” he said.
“We have undertaken intensive market research to ensure that visitors will experience a strong country feel in a social space, without needing to travel far.”
The traffic-controlled entrance to free parking adds an extra level of security for those entering from Heidelberg Road or Wild Olive Street, both easily accessible from the N17 and N12 highways.
Dalmar Construction’s CEO Conrad Swart explained the mall will also be evidently unique to passers-by.
“It’s green aesthetics inclusive of abundant planting with similarly foliage façade frameworks take the eye away from bricks and mortar, and really this is what makes it stand out from other malls,” he said.
Tagg confirmed that ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’ are paramount when considering the local mall of today.
“People and families want to feel a sense of pride in their shopping areas,” he added.
“Country Mall will not disappoint.”
This article first appeared on Brakpan Herald and has been republished with permission.