Press Office

HYPROP DIVERSIFIES INTO LIFESTYLE RETAIL WITH NEW R450 MILLION DEVELOPMENT

07 November 2005

Hyprop Investments Limited, the leading listed retail property fund boasting a national portfolio of regional shopping centres, has diversified its retail mall focus with the recent acquisition of 17 hectares of land from AECI division Heartland Properties, to develop a lifestyle retail centre. The 60 000m2 Greenstone Lifestyle Centre in Modderfontein east of Johannesburg will cost around R450 million to develop.

The centre, which was conceived and will be developed by leading SA developer Abland, will complement the neighbouring 75 000m2 Greenstone Mall currently under construction. Abland will further, on completion of the development, own 10% of the centre with Hyprop holding the majority 90% stake.

Hyprop currently owns Canal Walk in the Western Cape, Southcoast Mall in KwaZulu- Natal and The Glen, Hyde Park and the Mall of Rosebank in Gauteng. Managing Director Pieter Prinsloo says of the move from conventional shopping malls to a lifestyle centre that “lifestyle centres are a new trend experiencing rapid growth overseas, particularly in the USA”. He adds that lifestyle centres are less expensive to build and to operate than conventional malls and at the same time attract strong consumer spend.

Lifestyle centres’ family-oriented shopping environments encompass family entertainment, open-air shopping and health facilities such as national fitness centres. Lifestyle centres also typically accommodate convenience and home décor stores – at the Greenstone Lifestyle Centre these will include anchor tenant SuperSpar, a DIY national home improvement retailer, Linen Warehouse and a range of furniture stores such as Furniture City, Appliance City and Wetherlys, amongst others. Greenstone Lifestyle Centre will further house a separate outdoor retail component with tenants including Outdoor Warehouse and Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Prinsloo emphasises that Modderfontein has the critical mass to create a powerful retail node. “The Longmeadow/Modderfontein area had long been excluded from development until 2000 when AECI began releasing tracts of land for development. The area has since developed quickly with the sprawling Longmeadow Business Estate now feeding into residential development”. While the affluent area is already home to more than 200 000 residents, 4 000 new residential units are planned to be built in the next five years.

Prinsloo points out that the combination of the centre’s optimal location, distinct lifestyle tenant mix and family shopping environment are key factors for success. Construction is set to start as soon as the design and feasibility studies are completed and pre-letting activities, managed by Abland, have already begun. The centre is due to open in 2007.