JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Redefine Properties' (JSE: RDF) welcomed shoppers to the new revamped Benmore Centre, Sandton's popular neighbourhood shopping destination when it officially opened during end August. Redefine had started work on the ZAR252 million refurbishment programme during late 2016 and was completed on schedule.
Established in 1964, Benmore Centre is one of the oldest malls in Sandton's commercial neighbourhood, often dubbed the richest square mile on the continent.
The updated look and feel includes an iconic skylight which allows natural light to flood all levels of the mall significantly enhancing the architectural language of the existing building. Furthermore resource efficiency has been built into the centre with energy efficient lighting, water saving taps and flushers.
The centre has also installed a "green living wall" outside the new parking entrance by Woolworths and is one of the biggest of its kind in Sandton. The wall is a visual feast of lush greenery and contributes to the new look while improving air quality. This living feature wall is hydroponically irrigated and provides a landscaped entrance to Woolworths.
The entire second floor was remodelled to create a "services" level by removing redundant office space to accommodate the Post Office and banking institutions like ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank. The two new entrances off the first and second floors will provide seamless access from the parking area to shopping levels on these floors.
The revamped Benmore Centre has 22 820sqm of gross lettable area (GLA) of retail space anchored by Pick ‘N' Pay group with 5 331sqm and Dis-Chem with 1 845sqm. Food retailer Woolworths has already relocated to a new space in the centre covering over 3 330sqm and have added Woolworths Café to their offering.
Tenants that were relocated include Step Ahead, Kozi Kids, Post Net, Rain, Ala Juliette and Handmade by Bev. In its new avatar, the centre will play host to some 70 retailers with Exclusive Books, Big Blu, Wellness Warehouse, Zifferelli, Birkenstock, Motherland Coffee, Miladys, The Bagel Zone and Sorbet Man debuting for the first time in the centre.
Another notable change on Benmore Centre's dining front is the new under cover seating areas for Mio Col'cacchio, Nando's, Simply Asia and Fourno's.
Nashil Chotoki, Retail Asset Manager at Redefine Properties says, "We are confident that this refresh will enhance the overall shopping experience for our customers and boost the trading environment for our tenants."
"Our efforts at revitalising the centre are aimed at positioning Benmore Centre for convenience to the surrounding offices and residential, offering shoppers a new, varied experience at their doorstep," says Chotoki in conclusion.