PROPERTY: Key Sandton City Internal Refurbishment Nears Completion
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The super-regional Sandton City Shopping Centre, arguably the continent’s most iconic mall, is poised to meet the world in all its new glory as internal refurbishments near completion. Furthermore construction on its considerable extension is forging ahead. Indeed, the five new tower cranes arching over the construction site at the heart of Sandton business district bear testament to the node’s changing skyline.
“Our vision for Sandton City is coming out of the ground right now,” says Maurice Mdlolo, COO of project developer Liberty Properties. Liberty Properties’ master vision is to ensure the Sandton City complex evolves in response to both global design trends, its surroundings, its consumers and its retailers. “Sandton City is an enduring asset that blends the best of international and local: in its tenant mix, architecture and design,” notes Mdlolo.
Liberty Properties - Developments is expanding and improving Sandton City Shopping Centre to enhance its leading position as the world-class, unrivalled shopping and rendezvous destination for millions of local and international visitors as well as leading global and South African retail brands. This is the first phase of a broader vision for the repositioning of the centre. The Sandton City complex is owned by Liberty Group (75%) and Pareto Limited (25%). The centre is managed by Liberty Properties and the development is being managed by Liberty Properties- Development.
The R1.77 billion first phase of the Sandton City redevelopment will bring an additional 30,000sqm of high-end retail space on-stream as well as refreshing the mall with features and finishes inspired by exciting trends in leading international design. Before the World Cup begins in June, the first phase of the upgrade planned for Southern Sun hotel, which adjoins Sandton City and is part of the complex, will be complete, as will the re-development of four sections of the mall. In addition eight parking lobbies will be lightened and brightened for local and international visitors, as well as a number of newly decorated ablution facilities inside the mall.
“Refurbishment work will be completed from the Edgars Court to the Fountain Court, to the Woolworths Court, to Entrance 22 (Clicks) across Levels 4 and 6 which are the main upper and lower shopping levels,” explains Mdlolo. The Edgars Court refurbishment will also be complete before the big event which kicks off. Work on the refurbishment will recommence once the World Cup has a new champion, with the Woolworths Court first in line for a facelift, starting in July and set for completion before the festive season. The Fountain Court and Mugg and Bean Court will receive makeovers in 2011.
To achieve this will be no mean feat, but the development has already met several challenges head-on.
“Despite heavy rains in recent months, we have achieved considerable progress on the construction of the extension, with the excavation and lateral support works virtually complete and the structure is now racing ahead,” says Mdlolo. Sandton City’s entire retail space, including the extension, will total 150,000sqm on completion of this phase, set to open in late 2011. This will take the complex, which includes the hotel and office component, to a massive 215,000sqm. Once complete, the expansion and refurbishment of Sandton City Shopping Centre will not only offer a variety of exciting local and international brands but furthermore a refreshed, bright and contemporary space, with the overall aesthetic of the malls subtly reflecting the diverse geographical regions of South Africa.
“More than 250,000 cubic metres of material has been removed from the site, and 100,000 cubic metres of that was rock.” To date, the new foundations are 60 percent finished; more than 200 metres of stormwater piping has been installed; and some 9,300 cubic metres of concrete has been cast of the estimated total 58,000 cubic metres. The first concrete slab for the Level 6 retail space was cast in mid-February 2010. More than 600 tons of steel reinforcing has already been placed, moving the project closer to the estimated total of 7,050 tons that the entire project will require.
The project is laudable in terms of economic impact, too. To date, close to 550,000 man-hours have been logged and the site currently employs over 600 personnel.
As the Sandton City upgrade steams along, so too does the Gautrain. Latest reports confirm that the Bombela Concession Company will have the Gautrain running between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton Station by the end of May.
“Sandton in general, and Sandton City in particular, will do nothing less than impress the world,” adds Mdlolo.
Business News Sector Tags: Property| Construction|