DURBAN - The renovated new Pine Crest was launched after an innovative R200m, 14-month multifaceted refurbishment by owners Vukile Property Fund.
Pine Crest which served the community of Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, for nearly 30 years has become the first shopping centre in the town, and it is still the biggest retail centre in Pinetown CBD. In 2017, Vukile acquired 100 percent of the centre and began planning its next chapter.
The revamp, which began on January 2018, including an upgrade, an expansion that created an entire new floor of retail beneath the original centre, and a stylish overall redesign. Combined, this has sculpted a world-class experience that gives its shoppers more reasons to visit and to stay.
Itumeleng Mothibeli, Vukile MD South Africa, says, “Pine Crest’s upgrade is focused on the people of this great community; their expectations and the experiences that they enjoy. The redevelopment of this asset has been delivered using a customer-centric market space value design to ensure that the product will appeal to the entire community and the broader Pinetown ecosystem. We hope that this approach will result in the enhanced user experience for our most valued stakeholder, the shopper.”
Internally, the entire mall has a new fresh look, more retail brands and better customer flows as well as additional space of approximately 4 000m².
During the construction, there were between 550 – 600 jobs created and 24 new stores added to the centre with an approx. staff employment figure being in the region of 100.
An upgrade highlight involved a portion of Pine Crest’s ground-level parking being converted into a new retail level with a friendly entrance that is perfect for pedestrians using the bustling Kings Road, which links to nearby taxi facilities.
The conversion also added an indoor-outdoor food court that is unique in Pinetown. It features eight eateries, plenty of seating and a children’s play area. The new food court celebrates Pinetown’s glorious weather and is designed to be the heart of the centre.
The food court also links directly to a greatly improved open-air parkade that is set to include the western terminus for Phase 1 of the eThekwini Municipality’s newly introduced GoDurban bus route.
Pine Crest has been rebranded with a new name, new logo and a fresh look that is more engaging for shoppers.
An exciting architectural project, the overall design concept for the reinvigorated Pine Crest creates a neutral, clean, crisp and elegant space that emphasises movement and textures, and showcases its retail brands superbly.
Pine Crest’s powerful anchor retailer line-up of Pick n Pay, Game, Dis-Chem and Woolworths are enhanced by major apparel brands from Foschini, Truworths, Edcon, Pepkor and Mr Price.
Customers can now also enjoy 20 new brands at the mall including Hi-Fi Corporation, OK Furniture, Tekkie Town, Soviet, Ideals, Street Fever, Old Mutual and Torga Optical.
New eateries at Pine Crest include Spur, Steers and Fishaways and Galaxy Bingo adds to the entertainment.
An eco-friendly, energy-saving equipment has been added to the centre in the project. Escalators and lifts were replaced with modern, energy-efficient models. The mall is now illuminated with the latest low-energy lighting systems. It air-conditioning upgrade means a cooler mall in all senses -- improved air-conditioning, gentler environmental impacts, greater cost efficiency, and a better overall experience.
Mothibeli concludes, “We want to thank everyone involved in the project, and especially our wonderful retailers and loyal shoppers. We invested in a better, brighter future for Pine Crest because we believe in the future and the people of Pinetown. Pine Crest has been transformed into a real asset for its community and something that we can all be tremendously proud of.”
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