Pretoria - Menlyn Maine Central Square officially opened on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
The R1.8 billion development had most of the 84 stores open for the public, with only a few still vacant.
Minister of Public Services and Administration Ngoako Ramathlodi was also in attendance, along with MEC for Economic Development Lebogang Maile and Tshwane MMC for economic development Randall Williams.
“What we see here is a different type of mixed-use development. People will work here, live here and have leisure here. That is what the future is about. The future is different.
“We don’t want people travelling long distances from work to home; we want people to live much closer to where they work. Lifestyle is a very important aspect of this place,” Makhura said.
He said they had plans to expand the Gautrain by adding a route which would pass through Menlyn Maine to Mamelodi.
“Today marks a very important step in how working together can fast-track development, not just any development but development that represents the future - and the future is here.”
The mixed-use Central Square is 65 000m² and situated at the heart of the 315 000m² Menlyn Maine mega development.
Menlyn Maine is South Africa’s first green city precinct and the only one in Africa. It is one of 16 green cities being built in various countries. All buildings in the precinct are set to be rated 4 Green Star SA or higher by the Green Building Council of South Africa.
Some of the retailers on offer are Superspar, Woolworths, Sorbet and Tashas.
One of the main attractions, however, is the Virgin Active Gym in the classic collection, the first in Pretoria and one of four in the country.
“These clubs have been designed to create a highly personalised premium health and wellness experience,” said Virgin Active managing director Ross Faragher-Thomas.
He said the aim was to have people spend as much time as possible at the gym, in a home-away-from-home style. The equipment alone took up R24 million of the R100m investment.
Other features at Menlyn Maine will include a Sun International hotel and casino, a business hotel, a commercial business district and 400 residential apartments.