La Lucia Mall set for R12m expansion

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Originally built in 1974, La Lucia Mall has grown and evolved with its community and retail trends to remain a relevant and exciting shopping attraction, frequented by over six million shoppers each year.

Now, it is set to grow again in 2015 with a R12 million expansion by owners and managers of Growthpoint Properties.

La Lucia Mall is a 36 389 square metre small regional centre in the heart of the upmarket residential and commercial estates in the northern suburbs of Durban.

Vanessa Blevins, Centre Manager of La Lucia Mall, says they are excited to celebrate La Lucia Mall’s 40th birthday, and especially on such a high note. She says their turnovers grew by 10 percent in 2013 and are showingdouble-digit growth in 2014. She says they also continue to attract leading retailers.

Chairman of Bentel Associates International, Stephen Roberts, has been with the company for 38 years, and has witnessed La Lucia Mall’s growth since its first expansion.

He says it has been an exciting journey to be part of the growth of this mall and to have worked with the many different people that have contributed to its success. “The mall, like a woman, began life young and pretty, and with the passing years has become more beautiful with each new expansion, and has now matured into a sophisticated lady worthy of respect and admiration.”

Poetry is set to open at La Lucia Mall, the third Cape Union Mart Group store to open in the mall in recent months.

He says as architects, they can only provide the shell designed along well-planned principles - it's what happens to fill the shell and keep it running that makes it a success, and Growthpoint management and its team have done an excellent job in keeping the mall as a prime retail destination.

Nazrana Premlall, leasing consultant for La Lucia Mall, recently secured the tenancies of leading retailers Mr Price Sport, Ackermans, Wimpy, Kauai Juice and Vida e Caffè, which have all opened their doors at the mall.

Poetry is also set to open at La Lucia Mall, the third Cape Union Mart Group store to open in the mall in recent months.

Brian Murphy, chief operating officer of Cape Union Mart, says they’re excited about the new Poetry store that they’re opening in La Lucia Mall and are particularly pleased to be able to share in the mall’s ‘40 years of shopping’ milestone.

Murphy says as a business, they see great opportunity to grow their retail brands Cape Union Mart, Old Khaki and Poetry in KwaZulu-Natal and their new and upcoming developments in La Lucia Mall are evidence of a thriving and important strategic partnership with Growthpoint Properties. He says if the success of the Cape Union Mart store in La Lucia Mall is an indication of the likely success of the Poetry brand, they have great prospects in Umhlanga and the surrounding areas.

Last month, the mall also opened Woolworths’ first JTOne stand-alone store. JTOne is Woolworths’ fresh, flirty and forever young brand and its new La Lucia Mall store exudes sexy energy.

Cecile Froehling, head of lingerie for Woolworths, says JTOne is a well-loved and supported brand among young South African women, who love the bright, fun, fashionable lingerie and sleepwear the brand offers. “The new JTOne store at La Lucia Mall will offer shoppers the full JTOne experience, with an even wider selection of the products they love.”

And there’s even more to come at La Lucia Mall. The centre’s 2015 expansion will deliver a larger Woolworths department store for customers. Woolworths is expanding by 800 square metres.

The centre also continues to attract unique, specialist line stores such as The Tea Merchant, which will open its first Durban store in March 2015.

Aecom is the project and cost manager for the La Lucia Mall’s expansion. Aecom Executive Program and Project Management for Africa, Darroll McKeown, says La Lucia Mall is a Durban success story and an example of how effective retail nodes can become community centre points and add real value to the surrounding social, urban and residential landscapes. He says at Aecom they are proud of their successful relationship with La Lucia Mall and its dynamic management team. The new Woolworths expansion project will bring shoppers even more choice and quality within this prestigious shopping centre, he says.

McKeown says La Lucia Mall is unique in its offering, style and accessibility which secures it as a bankable asset that will continue to evolve and stay relevant in the future just as it has for the last 40 years. He says Aecom look forward to a long and successful future with this iconic Durban centre as it leads the way in modern high-end retail.

As a flagship shopping centre in Growthpoint’s retail portfolio, La Lucia Mall makes a positive contribution to the performance of South Africa’s largest JSE-listed REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust).

Stephan le Roux, Divisional Director of Growthpoint’s Retail Portfolio, says over the past 25 years, La Lucia Mall had to adjust and adapt to competition from newer and bigger shopping centres. He says the centre has established itself as a convenient, unique shopping destination through an ongoing process of change, ensuring that it remains relevant to its discerning market. He says they wish to thank their loyal customer base for their continuous support

Author: Property 24

Submitted 26 Sep 14 / Views 4008

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