To ensure the surrounding community had access to convenient retail as soon as possible, the mall was rebuilt in phases, and the reopening of the third and final phase brings Exemplar’s July unrest rebuild journey to a close.
Exemplar's asset base was severely impacted by the events that unfolded just under two years ago with five centres across Gauteng and KZN affected. While four of those five were rebuilt and trading by the 2021 festive season, Edendale Mall, which is located in the area of Plessislaer, required a strategic rethink.
“The team took the opportunity to recreate the Edendale Mall we had always envisioned. Inspired by the community that we had grown with from the original opening in 2011, we relooked at our tenant mix, consolidated our GLA and designed a more compact but no less impressive centre of 30,000m2,” explains CEO of Exemplar, Jason McCormick.
Phase 1 of the development was opened in August 2022 with a focus on food, healthcare and banking. Phase 2, opened in November 2022, saw the reopening of an additional grocery anchor and the food court. The latest Phase 3 sees the fashion corridor opened to link Phase 1 and 2 together.
The mall has now welcomed back an extensive tenant mix that caters to the “fashion-conscious, experience-seeking consumer”, the property owner said.
Key tenants include Shoprite, Boxer, Woolworths, Clicks, McDonalds, Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank Capitec, FNB and OMF. Fashion tenants include Mr Price, Truworths, Markham and Totalsports, amongst others.
The mall has a strong community entertainment element, a recurring theme in Exemplar assets. An all-weather sports field for community soccer and netball lovers; an eventing court for weekly aerobics, local performers and community markets; as well as the next Kasi CoLab have all been added to the mix to help uplift and empower the community.
First opened at the Mall of Thembisa in Gauteng, the Kasi CoLab is a township retail incubator that allows local design entrepreneurs the opportunity to get to grips with the retail environment. A shared space for collaboration, members of the CoLab have the opportunity to expose their brand to a large customer base while getting to grips with aspects like shop fitting, window displays, marketing, stock management and customer service – all in a prime location, rent free.
The Edendale Mall Kasi CoLab will be the third in the portfolio and is planned to start trading in September, with the talent search for local entrepreneurs currently underway.
Vastly increased natural lighting, expanded walkways, elevated bulkheads and uniquely laid tiling all contribute to the updated image of the shopping centre.
“Now we rise to the challenge of our upcoming pipeline of developments. Our next 10 projects span 246,000m2 of retail space, serving 1,705 million people in the most under-serviced regions of the country. With Tshakhuma Mall opening in September, we are also focusing on our Dan City, Capital Mall, Leratong City, Vuwani Mall and Idutywa Mall developments. It is great to focus all of our energy on new builds again,” concludes McCormick.