DURBAN - La Lucia Mall is undertaking a major upgrade that aims to modernise and re-imagine its retail space.
The centre said it had undergone eight extensions and five major mall upgrades since it first opened its doors in 1974 in order to be at the forefront of retail trends.
Its most recent major upgrade was in 2003.
The mall said its refurbishment this year would set the bar for contemporary mall design trends and position it confidently into the future.
Owned by Growthpoint Properties, La Lucia Mall is a key property in REIT’s core retail portfolio.
“La Lucia Mall has proven a strong asset and we are pleased to undertake this well-appointed upgrade. We are confident in the future of the mall and its well-defined loyal market. This upgrade will ensure the longevity and success of La Lucia Mall for years to come,” said Neil Schloss, Growthpoint’s head of Asset Management: Retail.
“La Lucia Mall has a great tenant mix that is specifically curated and constantly refined to meet the needs of its unique shopper base. This welcome cosmetic upgrade will ensure that our retail experience is superbly showcased,” said La Lucia Mall Centre manager Vanessa Blevins.
WBHO is the main contractor for the upgrade and Bentel Associates International is the architect. Bentel first designed La Lucia Mall in 1972 as a 12000m² shopping mall and has been involved in each of its expansions, taking it to its current size of 40000m². “La Lucia Mall is in our blood and we are happy once again to be giving this grand centre a new facelift, both inside and out, to create a more contemporary, yet timeless, aesthetic,” said Stephen Roberts, the chairman of Bentel Associates.
Externally, a neutral colour palette has been chosen to enhance the building. The entrance design is being simplified to make entry points to the mall easily identifiable and the entrances will exude a feeling of lightness and permeability. Feature signage walls have been introduced and placed strategically to optimise the visibility and legibility of retailers’ signs.
For the interiors, the aim is to enhance the shopping experience with a seamless design using fluid lines and the understated elegance of a neutral colour scheme. The traditional marble floor is being replaced with a patterned porcelain tile to create interiors that are subtler and visually less structured. New timber ceiling elements will also add warmth and texture.
La Lucia Mall’s refurbishment will also be eco-friendly, with all its lighting replaced with more energy-efficient fittings.
The mall’s new public toilets have received thoughtful attention, and will have a more inviting atmosphere that provides both comfort and privacy.
“Our new bathrooms will feel spa-like and include facilities for families and for disabled visitors,” says Blevins.
The upgrade began in January and is scheduled to end in October.