Zille re­launches Lib­erty Prom­e­nade

Mitchells Plain shop­ping cen­tre of­fi­cially re­opened af­ter two-year, R500 mil­lion up­grade

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

LIB­ERTY PROM­E­NADE Shop­ping Cen­tre was re­launched last month by Western Cape Premier He­len Zille fol­low­ing a R500 mil­lion ex­pan­sion project that turned the Mitchells Plain com­plex into the sec­ond-largest shop­ping cen­tre in the prov­ince.

The l aunch event in Lib­erty Prom­e­nade’s new food court was hosted by Lib­erty Prop­er­ties chief ex­ec­u­tive Samuel Ogbu and the gen­eral man­ager of coastal re­gions at Lib­erty Prop­er­ties, Thea Marx.

Lib­erty Prom­e­nade is one of the largest shop­ping cen­tres in Lib­erty Prop­er­ties’ R24 bil­lion 1.5 mil­lion square me­tre port­fo­lio. The port­fo­lio also in­cludes Sand­ton City, Nel­son Man­dela Square and East­gate shop­ping cen­tre in Gaut­eng, Lib­erty Mid­lands Mall in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg and Greenacres in Port El­iz­a­beth.

In the past eight years Lib­erty Prom­e­nade has es­tab­lished it­self as the cen­tre of a di­verse and fast­grow­ing com­mu­nity, and at­tracts one mil­lion vis­i­tors a month.

Zille said if in­vest­ments such as Lib­erty Prom­e­nade flour­ished they cre­ated a “vir­tu­ous cy­cle” that could push back neg­a­tive de­vel­op­ments in South Africa.

“In South Africa the good news al­ways out­weighs the bad news. And Cape Town is on a roll, hav­ing been voted the top global tourist city by Tri­pad­vi­sor, World De­sign Cap­i­tal 2014, and one of the 10 hippest cities in the world – mean­ing it at­tracts young tal­ent that want to build a fu­ture in Cape Town, sig­ni­fy­ing a re­ver­sal of the brain drain Cape Town saw 10 years ago.

“Ta­ble Moun­tain has been voted one of the seven nat­u­ral won­ders of the world, and Cape Town is rated in the top 10 study abroad des­ti­na­tions.

“But the cherry on top is when big in­vestors such as Lib­erty Prop­er­ties come to Cape Town. We are very en­cour­aged by Lib­erty Prop­er­ties’ as­sess­ment that Cape Town, and Mitchells Plain, are great places to in­vest. We will not rest un­til we are among the top 10 in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions in the world.”

Z i l l e s a i d i nve s t o r s we r e at­tracted to places where the govern­ment was seen as more or less cor r up­tion- f ree, where t hings worked and where there was eco­nomic growth.

She was pleased that Lib­erty Prom­e­nade had cre­ated 1 200 per­ma­nent jobs for lo­cals in the past few years and this had boosted the lo­cal econ­omy.

Ogbu said: “This is an in­vest- ment not only Mitchells Plan and Lib­erty can be proud of, but that South Africa can be proud of.”

“In­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices is key to im­prov­ing qual­ity of life and an es­sen­tial part of up­lift­ing ar­eas such as Mitchells Plain, which pre­vi­ously did not at­tract their fair share of in­vest­ment cap­i­tal.”

Lib­erty Prop­er­ties bought the cen­tre from its de­vel­op­ers in 2004 with re­tail space of 42 000m but the cen­tre’s in­stant suc­cess called for rapid ex­pan­sion. By Septem­ber the fol­low­ing year a sec­ond phase of de­vel­op­ment had been com­pleted, adding 11 000m To­day, with the ad­di­tion of a new en­ter­tain­ment wing and food court, an­other 24 000m2 – equiv­a­lent to five foot­ball fields – have been added to Lib­erty Prom­e­nade.

The shop­ping cen­tre is the sec­ond largest in the prov­ince and the largest in a high- den­sity ur­ban neigh­bour­hood, at about 86 000m

Ogbu said: “We have con­ducted ex­ten­sive re­search into the mar­ket and our ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that if you present an of­fer­ing of sus­tained qual­ity, the peo­ple of Mitchells Plain will sup­port you. We take a very care­ful ap­proach to these things be­cause we rep­re­sent hundreds of t hou­sands o f o r d i nary South African savers and pen­sion­ers.

“The ex­ten­sion and re­fur­bish- ment has en­trenched the cen­tre’s sta­tus as the pre­ferred shop­ping desti­na­tion of the Mitchells Plain and Khayelit­sha com­mu­ni­ties.”

Marx said: “Our R500m in­vest­ment di­rectly ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity, as 67 per­cent of the ex­pan­sion project’s gen­eral work­force were e mp l o y e d f r o m t h e b r o a d e r Mitchells Plain, Khayelit­sha and Philippi ar­eas.

“The in­vest­ment is also ben­e­fi­cial to the lo­cal com­mu­nity, be­cause eight of the sub-con­trac­tors em­ployed to as­sist in the con­struc­tion project were lo­cal to the area, en­sur­ing that the in­vest­ment went di­rectly into the pock­ets of those that the cen­tre was built for.”

Marx said lo­cal busi­nesses and schools also re­ceived do­nated re­us­able items that were sal­vaged from the con­struc­tion project.

The cen­tre now houses 185 tenants. In ad­di­tion to the 1 200 jobs cre­ated, the main shop­ping cen­tre is also cre­at­ing room for se­lected lo­cal en­trepreneurs who pre­vi­ously traded in­for­mally in the Mini Mall and earned a place in the main build­ing.

“Not only has the cen­tre cre­ated many jobs, but it has be­come a safe, clean and en­ter­tain­ing gath­er­ing place for the com­mu­nity. Com­mu­nity up­lift­ment is an im­por­tant part of Lib­erty’s plan, and on this project we have worked closely with the lo­cal coun­cil on the Mitchells Plain ur­ban re­newal ini­tia­tive,” Ogbu said.

Com­muters also ben­e­fit from a re­fur­bished and cov­ered taxi rank, and shop­pers with cars are as­sured of in­creased se­cu­rity with the ad­di­tion of CCTV in the park­ing area and the ap­point­ment of additional se­cu­rity per­son­nel out­side.

On top of en­ter­tain­ment and shops, the cen­tre also of­fers a med­i­cal cen­tre.

Lib­erty Prom­e­nade i nvests R250 000 in the com­mu­nity an­nu­ally. Do­ing busi­ness by the slo­gan “All to­gether bet­ter”, Lib­erty Prom­e­nade’s cor­po­rate so­cial in­vest­ment projects in­clude the Gen­er­a­tion Green Cam­paign t o en­cour­age schools to think green, the Mitchells Plain night mar­ket, the Back to School Cam­paign, Se­nior Cit­i­zens Christ­mas, the Women’s Day Craft Mar­ket, the Christ­mas Shoe­box Project, the Christ­mas Street Mar­ket, Drug Aware­ness Day with the South African National Coun­cil on Al­co­holism and Drug De­pen­dence and the Depart­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, an Easter Egg Drive and other ad hoc do­na­tions.

Lib­erty Prom­e­nade is run­ning a com­pre­hen­sive safety cam­paign this fes­tive sea­son. The cen­tre is work­ing closely with all law en­force­ment agen­cies and has em­ployed ex­tra se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

WEL­COME: Samuel Ogbu and Thea Marx (Lib­erty Prop­er­ties) greet He­len Zille out­side the re­vamped Lib­erty Prom­e­nade Shop­ping Cen­tre in Mitchells Plain.

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