R600 million retail boost on the cards for PE’s Boardwalk precinct

R600 million retail boost on the cards for PE’s Boardwalk precinct

Architectural perspectives of the upgraded Boardwalk Mall.

Flanagan & Gerard Group and Moolman Group have signed an agreement with Emfuleni Resorts, a subsidiary of Sun International, to extend and upgrade the retail area at Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World in Port Elizabeth, in a R600 million redevelopment project.

Boardwalk Mall will include the latest shopping and leisure trends. Made for locals, the development will more than double the retail space in the Boardwalk Precinct when it opens in 2021.

Flanagan & Gerard and the Moolman Group are combing their expertise to drive the delivery of Boardwalk Mall. Award-winning MDS Architecture is designing the development. Work is planned to commence in early 2020.

Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World is already one of Port Elizabeth’s most prominent landmarks. A short walk from the Blue Flag awarded Hobie Beach, it is a prime tourist location distinguished by exceptional entertainment and attractions, including the only licensed casino in Port Elizabeth and one of only two cinema venues in the city. The precinct currently comprises a 6 000m2Boardwalk Casino, 140 key five star Boardwalk Hotel, conference facilities, 11 800m2of existing retail and a five-screen Nu Metro cinema complex.

Building on this strength, the Boardwalk Precinct’s retail component will increase to 26 000m2. In addition, the project includes a substantial upgrade and reconfiguration. It will amplify leisure and retail options by integrating more shops, restaurants, family fun and the spectacular new Sun Park Square designed to host major events.

Anthony Leeming, chief executive of Sun International says: “We are delighted that the Boardwalk mall development is back on track. When it is complete, the new and expanded mall will complement the Boardwalk’s other leisure offerings, and further serve the needs of surrounding communities. We view the new mall to be an essential component of the broader Boardwalk precinct, which was identified and earmarked by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as an important growth node. We are confident that it will accelerate the metro’s economic growth, job creation and increased returns to the province.”

Paul Gerard, managing director of Flanagan & Gerard, says: “This is a scarce, strategic and exciting development opportunity in the present South African retail real estate market. We are thrilled to be working with visionary partners of the calibre of Emfuleni Resorts and Moolman Group to create the magnificent Boardwalk Mall.”

The mall will cater to an under-served immediate trade area of upscale neighbourhoods where there is good demand for quality convenience shopping. Superbly accessible for residents of some of Port Elizabeth’s most well-established leafy suburbs – Summerstrand, Humewood, and Walmer – as well as its CBD, Boardwalk Mall will offer a bespoke curation of brands, services and experiences, all hand-picked for local shoppers.

Being at the heart of a celebrated leisure node on the city’s hotel-lined beachfront, entertainment will be key to its mix, making it an appealing destination for weekend and holiday shoppers too.

It is also central to a cluster of education institutions, including Nelson Mandela Bay University, Business School and Drama School as well as several primary and high schools.

Pieter Lombaard, chief executive of Moolman Group, says: “For some time now, there has been a recognised need to reposition Boardwalk’s retail offering to meet the needs of its immediate consumer. Specialist research undertaken by Fernridge strongly supports this development.”

The planned Boardwalk Mall retail mix includes two supermarkets, one speciality food store, two pharmacies and two or more major banks. An appealing variety of restaurants, coffee shops and fast food options will be complemented by health and beauty, home and décor, cellular and electronics, gifting, sports and speciality shops. Everyday services and essential fashion will also feature.

With 17 ha of land available for the redevelopment, Boardwalk Mall is only the first phase. There are plans to add even more variety in future, which could include additional hospitality, medical suites, big-box retail and a health club.

As part of the development, R11 million will be invested in upgrading surrounding roads. Second Avenue will be widened into four lanes, and it will include a new entrance into Boardwalk Mall, with another on Marine Drive.

The Boardwalk Mall project will also boost local employment and opportunities. A development of this kind typically creates about 3 100 jobs during construction and roughly 1 000 permanent posts afterwards. In keeping with the team’s commitment to economic development, local contractors and materials will be used wherever possible. The developers will work with a local community liaison officer to ensure optimal positive impact.