R200m facelift for veteran Pinetown mall
31 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915625
THE new-look Pine Crest shopping mall, has relaunched after a R200-million, 14-month multifaceted refurbishment by owners Vukile Property Fund.
Known for most of its life as Sanlam Centre, it opened in the late 1980s to become the first shopping centre in the town, and it is still the biggest retail centre in Pinetown CBD. In 2017, Vukile acquired 100% of the centre and began planning its next chapter.
The major revamp, which began in January 2018, included an upgrade, an expansion that created an entire new floor of retail beneath the original centre, and a stylish overall redesign.
Itumeleng Mothibeli, Vukile MD South Africa, said, “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.
An upgrade highlight involved a portion of Pine Crest’s ground-level parking being converted into a new retail level with a pedestrian-friendly entrance opening onto the bustling Kings Road, which links to nearby taxi facilities.
The conversion also added an indoor-outdoor food court that the owners say is unique in Pinetown. It features eight eateries, plenty of seating and a children’s play area. The food court links directly to an 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.
The mall has also been rebranded with a new name, new logo and a fresh look, inspired by Zulu symbology, but also connected to the future, according to Andy Stalman, CEO of TOTEM, a leading branding company.
“Pine Crest’s new brand is culturally connected and future-focused. It uses traditional techniques to tell contemporary stories, and vibrant colours link it with local culture. By creating a truly revitalised experience we start the next chapter of Pine Crest retail and leisure as an aspirational and inspirational experience,” Stalman said.
Anchor stores Pick n Pay, Game, Dis-Chem and Woolworths are complemented by one-stop variety with food, banking, fashion, health and beauty, services and electronics, and major apparel brands Foschini, Truworths, Edcon, Pepkor and Mr Price.
Among 20 new brands at the mall are Hi-Fi Corporation, OK Furniture, Roots Butchery, Power Fashion, Tekkie Town, Beaver Canoe, Skipper Bar, Soviet, Side Step, Cross Trainer, Ideals, Street Fever, Old Mutual, Torga Optical, City Max Home Wear and Beauty World.
New eateries include Spur, Steers, Fishaways, Roots Grill, Pedro’s Chicken, Ocean Deep, and Shawarma Express. Galaxy Bingo adds to the entertainment.
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. An air-conditioning upgrade means gentler environmental impacts and greater cost efficiency.