The Fountains Mall - more than simply retail

Retail component nears completion in visionary Jeffreys Bay mixed-use development

South Africa, Johannesburg - August 2008: The Fountains Mall, a 40 000m2 regional shopping complex in the Fountains Estate in Jeffreys Bay, is nearing completion and is scheduled to open in October this year. The ideally situated Mall, with high visibility and direct access to and from the N2, is a R330 million project and forms part of the first phase of the development of the mixed-use Fountains Estate.

There is a current global trend towards mixed-use development. Developers and property owners want to maximise the value in their properties and increasingly look for developments that support a variety of lifestyle amenities in a secure environment. The concept has proved to be successful, especially when designed to produce considerable synergy between the various components.

The Fountains Estate is a unique and very comprehensive version of the mixed-use concept. The project is the brainchild of visionary developer Oswald Buchner, founder and CEO of Buchner Propvest, a privately owned company that develops urban mixed-use estates in South Africa. With considerable expertise in creating a special sense of community, the company has been responsible for the development of some of the county's most original, aesthetically pleasing and functional mixed-use and residential developments.

Buchner Propvest specializes in creating distinctive master-planned, mixed-use communities that emphasize a balanced approach, quality of life, environmental sensitivity and recreational opportunities. These principles are embodied in the Fountains Estate where Buchner Propvest's commitment to healthy living and smart economic growth are fundamental aspects of the overall design.

The Fountains Estate will incorporate the regional shopping mall, a value mart, a commercial zone with motor vehicle showrooms and a light industrial zone, a business park, professional suites, a medical clinic (a first for the area), a retirement village, a residential component (single dwellings, clusters, apartments and sectional title units), recreational areas, and an equestrian park. The Estate will also incorporate fully integrated telecommunication, video, security and multimedia services.

The development caters for a diverse target market, which includes holiday investors, permanent residents and commercial operators. On completion, the Fountains Estate will be the quintessential mixed-use area - creatively combining many of the necessary and pleasurable elements of daily life - shopping, working, living, dining, entertainment, recreation and exercise - in a carefully designed and secure 600 ha setting.

An integral part of any successful design is a cognisance of and a respect for the surrounding environment. Buchner Propvest approach every site with a view to integrating it responsibly into the surrounding areas. The aesthetics of the estate are of paramount importance - the development will include superior finishes throughout and extensive landscaping with open green spaces and parks, courtyards, fountains and trees, recreational areas, waterways and vehicle restricted zones, bridle paths, cycling and jogging trails, and a country club with sporting facilities and a swimming pool," says Buchner

Jeffreys Bay, 75 km west of Port Elizabeth, is a sought after residential, holiday and tourist destination; it has a number of ecologically diverse and protected zones and is internationally renowned for 'Supertubes' - one of the finest point break waves in the world. The town hosts international surfing competitions including the South African leg of the Professional Surfers Tour.

The area has experienced rapid and sustained growth in recent years is currently one of the fastest growing areas in SA. "The identified medium term need for 80 000m² of commercial rights is based on a conservative estimate of 5% growth for Jeffreys Bay, despite the actual historical annual growth rate being 10%," says Buchner. "A need was also identified for a regional shopping centre with a good tenant mix and a comprehensive range of facilities. Retail facilities in the existing CBD were not keeping pace with the rate of development in the area. Up until now, existing shopping facilities have been merely functional; a limited range of goods, traffic and parking issues have resulted in many people doing the bulk of their shopping in PE."

The fully air-conditioned Fountains Mall with 120 stores and parking for 2 400 vehicles will be the largest shopping centre within a 65km radius. One stop shopping, easy accessibility and the strategic location is expected to draw shoppers from the greater Jeffreys Bay area including surrounding towns such as Oyster Bay, Hankey, Cape St Francis, Humansdorp, Patensie and Kareedouw.

The Mall will introduce new retailers to the region which will create a broader-based retail, restaurant and entertainment offering, ensuring valuable consumer spend is retained in the Jeffreys Bay area. "The influx of the big national brands to the Fountains Estate is indicative of the economic growth potential of the Kouga region," said Buchner.

The developers have ensured that the tenant mix is based on the needs of the local community and the Mall will boast an 80% national tenancy with four anchors (Woolworths, Pick 'n Pay, Edgars and Game) and various other retail elements including Truworths, Foschini, Mr Price Home, Mr Price Sport, Cape Union Mart, Ackermans, Pep, Clicks, Milady's, Exclusive Books, CNA, McDonalds, Mugg&Bean, Clicks, Musica and Billabong. A wide range of restaurant and entertainment components will complete the strategically designed mix.

Buchner said that the Fountains Mall is being developed by a consortium comprising Atterbury Property, Retail Africa, Prosperito, Orange and Vuwa and that Retail Africa would be managing the leasing aspects.

"The project is becoming a major catalyst for regional growth and development," Buchner added. "The Fountains and the Mall will enhance the local economy through job creation, empowerment and skills development and will reduce unemployment in the area."

"We have also been involved in financing local infrastructure and services which were previously severely strained. In negotiations with the Kouga Development Agency, we committed to a R47-million investment in infrastructure and services to support the surrounding town, including R12-million on roads, R10-million on sewage, R10,4-million on electrical infrastructure and R8-million on bulk water supply.

The Fountains Estate is expected to considerably enhance Jeffreys Bay as a tourist destination and a retail and recreational mecca. Aesthetically pleasing and functional, the Fountains Mall will boast an array of unique features designed to enhance the shopping experience and establish the complex as a leading retail and entertainment destination. More importantly, it should prove to be an integral and sustainable part of the lifestyle of the residents of the wider Jeffreys Bay community.

For further information, visual reference or interviews, please contact:

Buchner Propvest - Glen Buchner Cell: 083 308 2755 Tel: 011 442 7071