Sandton, South Africa: The construction on Redefine Properties’ Kwena Square on the West Rand is progressing well and is expected to be completed on schedule during May 2022. The JSE listed diversified real estate investment trust intends to open the shopping centre to the public during mid-2022. Located centrally in Little Falls, Roodepoort, it features over 10 000m2 of convenience shopping space.
The centre gets its name from the Sotho meaning for crocodile, koena (kwena) which accentuates the abundant natural beauty within the Little Falls, Strubens Valley and surrounding areas. The Crocodile River also has its source in the Witwatersrand Mountain range, originating in Constantia Kloof, Roodepoort, which is near the current site.
Developed at a cost of R210 million, Kwena Square will house 23 stores anchored by national retailers like Checkers, Checkers Liquor, Clicks and boasts one of the country’s first drive-thru RocoMamas besides other restaurants and coffee shops. Parking bays to accommodate 407 cars at any time have been provided. Already over 60% of the centre has been pre-let to tenants who represent a diverse line of local and national brands.
An array of rooftop solar panels will generate as much as 25% of the electricity required by the centre, a key feature which will reduce the load on the main grid.
Redefine recently unveiled its Moonshot Strategy setting a target to deliver the smartest and most sustainable spaces by the end of this decade and has since been focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy to help it to reach its goal. In 2022, Redefine will focus on executing its strategic priorities having introduced a climate resilience framework, striving for more sustainability interventions across its operating environment and investing strategically.
Leon Kok, COO, Redefine Properties says, “We are ready to put the efforts in towards meeting our commitment to convert all buildings in our portfolio to net zero carbon, water and waste by 2050. The process has begun with our newer projects and demonstrates our ongoing focus to reduce our carbon footprint. We have an overarching ambition to be a force for good.”
A new study by MSCI shows that some areas of retail like convenience shopping centres are seeing a rise in sales and visitors with trading densities exceeding pre-Covid levels. Thanks to time-pressed consumers juggling work-from-home and making quick stops for groceries to avoid crowds, the need for convenience became paramount during Covid-19.
“Kwena Square entrenches the trend we first identified on the re-emergence of convenience centres, a shopping format most favoured during the pandemic for its ease of use and open ventilation enhancing safety. The completion of the project during a pandemic reflects our commitment and our tenants’ confidence in the project and the neighbourhood,” adds Kok.
“A convenience centre like Kwena Square addresses changing shopping habits and is positioned to efficiently meet evolving demands of shoppers.”