Although mixed use, the major portion of the Cornubia development will be residential, with 25,000 housing units ultimately being developed. Cornubia is a national pilot project of the Breaking New Ground policy launched in 2008.
Roughly half the size of the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Investec Property is developing a differentiated product in terms of tenant mix and design with two supermarkets, and 1,630 on-grade parking bays and 1,608 basement bays. The mall is located near the Umhlanga/Mount Edgecombe interchange and is adjacent to the Cornubia Town Centre where a few stands are available.
“This forms part of a holistic spatial development,” explains Karen Petersen, development director of Tongaat Hulett Developments, which has made the land available for the project. “The shopping centre is one of the key amenities that will be provided to the 1,200 hectare mixed-use development which stretches from Umhlanga towards the King Shaka Airport. Construction began in March 2016 and, with six cranes in action, has already moved to the second level.
“Boasting an innovative design by Bentel Associates, the shopping centre is 80% let, with key national retailers as anchor tenants,” comments Darryl Mayers, joint head of Investec Property. “We are delighted to be able to announce that the major food retailers Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths will have a presence in the centre as well as key clothing retailers, including Edgars and Truworths.”
For fitness enthusiasts, the mall will also feature a Virgin Active Gym, a Cycle Lab mega-store and trampoline park BOUNCE. Other tenants which have been secured for the mall are Nu Metro, Outdoor Warehouse, Dis-Chem, Clicks and Bakos Brothers.
“The mall has been designed with families in mind and maximum convenience,” notes Mayers. “At its heart, there will be an open air ‘town square’, comprising al-fresco style restaurants, tapas bars, coffee houses and fast food outlets as well as double-level concept stores. In addition, the mall will offer a mix of fashion, lifestyle and sports outlets, all integrated into an outdoor, family-orientated shopping destination.”
The mall design incorporates the convenience of a retail park combined with the sophistication of a mall with differentiated retail experiences, each unique in their architectural language and style and interconnected by landscaped walkways, bridges and sidewalks. In addition, the road network is integrated as part of the development so that shoppers can park and shop with ease.
“We do not see this as competing with Gateway,” adds Petersen. “We envisage the two centres being complementary to each other, creating a massive super-node between them. In the same way, we see the Umhlanga Town Centre and the Cornubia Town Centre as having a paired utility. Access between the two will be greatly enhanced by the bridge currently under construction over the N2 linking Cornubia Boulevard with Umhlanga Ridge Boulevard and forming part of the Go!Durban integrated rapid public transport network.”