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Joburg's Design Quarter to transform into niche lifestyle centre

Design Quarter, the design, décor and lifestyle destination located in Johannesburg's northern suburbs, has rolled out upgrades as it repositions itself as a niche lifestyle centre focused on home, dining, leisure and convenience.
Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

The first phase of the redevelopment is due for completion during August 2022 and the final project is scheduled for completion mid-2023.

“The expansion of marque retailers to a more holistic offering will provide customers with a shopping experience that is convenient, accessible, safe and enjoyable,” says Darryl Mayers, joint chief executive officer of Investec Property Fund, Design Quarter’s owners. “The ethos behind the upgrade has been to create a space that is carefully curated, bespoke and connected to Design Quarter’s clientele.”

The centre, which was launched in 2005, is situated on William Nicol Drive, acting as a gateway to the greater Fourways node. It is located in a secure, access-controlled precinct and is an ideal work-and-play destination.

Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

Design and décor

Design and décor have always underpinned the Design Quarter’s offering, and this category is expanding. South African online furniture and homeware retailer Cielo recently launched its flagship 1,300m<> store.

@Home will be growing, making its Design Quarter iteration the largest outlet within the group’s Gauteng collection. European high-end kitchen manufacturer Fabri, Iconomy Design Experience and the relocation of Mr Price Home complete the substantial category offering.

Food street

The reconfiguration has facilitated the creation of a 'food street', ramping up the centre's dining offering. The double-volume industrial design concept is expected to create a buzzing food area that spills out onto an outdoor piazza strategically positioned alongside the recreational offering of The Golfers Club and Trek Bikes.

Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

This north facing, open-air zone is unique in the local shopping area and provides a perfect space replete with a child-friendly piazza. This will serve as the heart of the entertainment area with greater pedestrian access, landscaping, living sculptures and a water feature.

Boosting the dining options will be Bootleggers, one of Cape Town’s most recognised coffee and eatery brands, offering sustainably-sourced coffees with a comprehensive light menu. Existing restaurants will be migrating to the piazza precinct, including Lupa Osteria.

Convenience retail

Convenience retailers round out Design Quarter’s refreshed offering, and include Checkers’ new concept store, Checkers’ Liquor and Checkers’ Petshop Science, along with a pharmacy offering, and Samsung, which will showcase the latest in high-tech home appliances.

Improved design

MDS Architecture has been called upon to bring its expertise to the Design Quarter upgrade. “Circulation and flow will be improved with greater accessibility and connection between the parking area and the stores,” says Sean Pearce, partner at MDS Architecture. “New lifts and escalators have been strategically positioned to enable shoppers direct access into the piazza and improving the flow and the experience for the customers.”

“This refurbishment could not have come at a better time. The trend towards home improvement gained traction during the Covid-19 lockdowns, providing the perfect context in which to revisit the roots of this landmark building. The updated design and carefully curated tenants will establish Design Quarter as a retail leader,” concludes Pearce.


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