Residents of Gardenia Park are over the moon about the new shopping complex that is slowly nearing completion in their community. The new Gardenia Square, which is currently being redeveloped is set to open for business on 15 June 2019.
Resident Anna-marie Wiese, who lives just opposite Gardenia Square, said they are excited to have a shopping complex nearby again. “If we need bread and milk we can quickly go across the street, which is very convenient. We are a bit worried about the traffic as some drivers love using this road as their own speed lane late in the evening and having a shopping centre could add to this problem. But we are mostly excited.”
Domestic workers, Liza Links and Vuyelwa Tsosana, said that having a shopping centre nearby means they can do their shopping before getting onto the bus to go home. “This centre is closer, which will make our lives much easier as we don’t have to go far to buy things like airtime and electricity. And we can do our shopping quickly before the bus gets here in the afternoons. We are also looking forward to all the specials that come with the opening of a new store,” they added.
The list of available stores include Spar, Tops, Spar Pharmacy, Sweet Zone, Pizazz Pizza Shop, Handy in Hardware, Cell Care, as well as biltong shops.
The family-owned centre was bought by Dimitri Philippou and Harry Kleovoulou in 1989. Their dream was to redevelop the site and convert the shop that was previously there into a Spar. The size of the shopping centre is 2 500 square metres, with 150 parking spaces available on site.
“It has been 30 years in the making to get this all done. We initiated the project five years ago as a family and the fruition of it has now come to a point where we are able to finalise the development,” said owner Peter Kleovoulou.
Kleovoulou said they realised there was a big need for a community shopping centre, as the older structure was unfortunately falling apart. “Overall we have had positive feedback from the residents, who are looking forward to the centre being opened. And through this centre we are hoping to become a greater part of the community by being involved with the churches and the schools this area,” he added.
The centre also comes with its own interesting tale. “My father’s name is Harry, and in the middle of the shopping centre we found an H column. However, the architect and tenants asked us to remove the H as it had become a walkway problem since it was too low, so we had to demolish that H. This was a bit painful for me because of the sentimental value it had with regards to my dad,” said Kleovoulou.
“However, about two months after all this happened the engineer had to redesign another structure for the cold rooms. He was not aware of what had transpired, or that my father’s name was Harry, he rebuilt the H structure in the building,” he concluded. – Seithati Semenokane