By Hilary Mare
ACCORDING to Broll, the Wernhil Park Shopping Centre is expected to record a footfall of approximately 1.4 million people per month, upon completion of its phase four extension.
The mall, managed by Broll, currently measuring 37 000 square metres, will expand to 55 000 square metres, once the phase four extension is complete in May 2019, making it the largest mall in Windhoek.
“Average trading densities at Wernhil Park are higher, when compared to what some South African malls of a similar size are trading at, and these are expected to remain robust,” says Vicus Bouwer, Divisional Director for Broll Retail Leasing Africa.
Bouwer explains that currently footfall at the mall exceeds over a million per month and this is expected to reach 1.4 million per month, while putting the “pulse back into the city”.
He notes that a recent report reveals that Wernhil Park has a 49 percent share of the central business district (CBD) retail market, which is substantial and indicates the strength of the centre within the CBD.
Robust trading densities
Furthermore, the CBD currently accounts for 30 percent of the total Windhoek retail market potential, and as such, the robust trading densities at the shopping centre indicate that Wernhil Park continues to strengthen its share of the market.
Bouwer says the Windhoek CBD is a vibrant commercial district and home to many office occupiers.
As a result, the retail sector is doing well, despite the fact that new malls have opened outside of the CBD.
The first part of the phase four extension is scheduled to open in June 2018, and the second part and balance of the extension will be opened in 2019. Once complete, this will increase the number of stores to over 130, from 80 currently.
“The extension is already 70 percent let, indicating the demand for CBD presence and overall market potential,” adds Bouwer.
In July, Broll Namibia launched the construction of Wernhil Park phase four, where more than 1 000 permanent jobs are expected to be created.
This massive investment will result in Wernhil Park adding 19 000 square metres of prime retail area, which adds up to more than 50 additional retail shops.
The expansion of the popular mall will also see the addition of 800 parking bays and another public transport facility, which will culminate in a total development area of nearly 50 000 square metres, spanning over more than one hectare.
The gigantic project is expected to be fully completed by mid-2019 and the construction of the new phase will, according to Broll Namibia Managing Director, Marco Wenk, ensure that Wernhil Park will exceed 55 000 square metres of prime retail space, allowing it to compete head-on with other regional malls located in Windhoek’s ever-expanding retail landscape.
At a cost of over N$450 million, Wernhil Park phase four will be developed in two sections. Section one will entail the conversion of the current upper parking deck, located on the southern side of Wernhil Park, into prime retail shops, and is expected to be completed and open for trade by the beginning of June 2018.
According to Wenk, section two will entail the bulk of the development, consisting of retail, parking and an additional taxi rank facility, on the current Cashbuild and Fruit & Veg site, as well as a bridge link to be constructed over Fidel Castro Street, connecting sections one and two.
“Wernhil Park has for many years been a crucial catalyst for Windhoek’s CBD growth, and today, regardless of the retail expansion in Windhoek over the past three to five years, it still stands as one of the preferred shopping destinations for many Namibians. Over the years, Wernhil Park has seen several stages of growth, which included three phases having been added to the original mall, since 2005. This falls in line with Broll Namibia’s commitment to enhancing the shopping experience and keeping the experience on par with international standards,” said Wenk, at the launch in July.
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