Nedbank funds new R1.7bn mall in Port Elizabeth

By Roy Cokayne Time of article published Jun 20, 2013

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Roy Cokayne

Nedbank Corporate Property Finance will be providing funding for the development of a new R1.721 billion regional shopping mall in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

The 87 500m2 Bay West Mall, located on the western side of Port Elizabeth, is to be developed by a joint venture between the Billion Group and Abacus Asset Management.

The development forms part of Port Elizabeth’s 2020 growth plan and the area is earmarked as a vital development node. A R300 million upgrade forms part of the development plans, which will enable the road network to link various suburbs to the Bay West Mall and act as a significant catalyst for continued long-term investment in the city.

Ken Reynolds, the regional executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, said the value of the finance agreement for the mall was the largest property development financing deal ever approved by the bank. He said the finance approved would fund the first phase of the Bay West Mall, which was central to the greater Bay West city precinct development.

“The sheer size of this development deal meant that approval had to be made at board level. However, given that Sisa Ngebulana [the Billion Group chief executive] and Jaco Odendaal [the chairman of Abacus] represent two of South Africa’s most respected and successful property development companies, and the obvious potential Bay West Mall has to inject sustainable benefits and growth into both the Port Elizabeth and Eastern Cape economy, we knew Nedbank had to be involved,” he said.

The Bay West Mall development is expected to generate up to 5 000 direct and indirect job opportunities in Port Elizabeth and the surrounding region. More than 70 percent of the lettable space available in the mall has already been secured.

The mall has obtained commitments from major retailers and will be anchored by Checkers Hyper, Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Game together with leading fashion and entertainment tenants, including Edgars, Truworths, Platinum Group, Pepkor and Ster Kinekor.

It will be built over two levels and offer the latest technology in terms of design and green building principles. An innovative elliptical design will ensure smooth flow throughout and provide convenient access to 3 500 covered parking bays.

Reynolds said providing the funding for the development of Bay West Mall was an opportunity for the bank to be involved in the types of property developments that would “make a real contribution to the economic future of South Africa”.

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