The first phase of the catalytic Ntshongweni Urban Development region will be an 85 000 square metre regional retail experience. Aptly named the Mall of the West, the new retail offering will cater to Durban’s underserviced western suburbs and surrounding areas and kickstart the Ntshongweni Urban Development which is expected to significantly boost socio-economic development for the region. Development rights for the Urban Core, the first precinct, are already in place with the necessary preliminary infrastructure upgrades expected to commence early next year.
Located 30 kilometres west of Durban on the N3, the 2000 hectare Ntshongweni Urban Development, a Tongaat Hulett project, is the next logical urban precinct expected to unlock significant economic activity for the outer west sub-region. Capitalising on an impressive existing natural backdrop and integrating several local communities, the development will provide a pioneering framework for environmentally sustainable, community-centric and inclusive urbanisation with critical spatial, social and economic linkages. The Mall of the West comprises phase one of the development.
In keeping with the rest of the development in phases to come, the Mall of the West’s architectural aesthetic will use connected spaces that create a positive and symbiotic relationship between the built and natural environments. Fundamentum Asset Managers, developers of the Mall spokesperson, Nicola Muir says, “The Mall of the West will follow a concept plan like uMhlanga’s successful Gateway Theatre of Shopping and is at the forefront of building a whole new town to the West of Durban.” Correia expects development on the new mall to proceed in late 2019 with completion expected in early 2022.
Beginning with necessary road upgrades on Kassier Road Tongaat Hulett Developments’ Managing Director, Michael Deighton says, “The road upgrades are necessary to accommodate future growth to be followed by the Mall of the West which will simulate the original Gateway Theatre of Shopping in its ability to drive this new precinct’s urban and retail core.” The retail offering will form the heart of the town centre, evoking a unique lifestyle destination that seamlessly links indoor and outdoor spaces. Muir adds, “The mall will give residents and visitors a cutting-edge retail and entertainment facility that has a distinct emphasis on lifestyle-enhancing elements.”
Construction of the whole of Ntshongweni Urban Development will span 15 to 20 years and Tongaat Hulett anticipates that this catalytic development will create 35 000 permanent jobs and 400 000 short-term construction jobs. The project is also expected to generate R700 million in annual rates for the eThekwini Municipality and R5,1 billion in annual tax revenue.
Tongaat Hulett Developments will implement their comprehensive iThuba programme to ensure socio-economic benefits, skills and enterprise development initiatives reach the surrounding communities, ensuring inclusive local participation of local businesses and employees. “New destinations like Ntshongweni that facilitate considered, inclusive and integrated urbanisation to holistically uplift communities through meaningful development while at the same time preserving the integrity of the environment, make significant inroads into changing the country’s socio-economic landscape. Just months away from breaking ground, we look forward to working with our communities and partners in bringing this bold vision to fruition.” Deighton concludes.