Malls popping up all over Mangaung Metro

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Bloemfontein Lifestyle Centre opened in November 2015 but was only operational for a brief period.

It’s no secret that development in Mangaung is on the rise. Shopping malls and centres are popping up all over the metro as more and more people demand malls closer to their homes. In the past few years shopping malls and centres have been developed and opened in residential areas, moving away from the CBD.
Mangaung spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, said the development of these centres is essential to the development of the metro. “They contribute to the metro’s revenue as well as to growing the economy of the city. They also help to curb unemployment.”
The more recent malls that were opened are the Lemo Mall in Heidedal and the Botshabelo Mall in Botshabelo. Khedama said this is an indication of how the municipality is working towards not only bringing services nearer to people but also helping to develop townships to the level of suburbs. “The major role in the development of shopping centres is that the areas being targeted for these developments should not only focus on providing a service closer to townships but should also give a thought to the look and feel of the city,” said Khedama.
Khedama added when planning a new development, property developers should also consider the aesthetic value it will add to the metro. “The new developments should help give the city a developed aesthetic point of view,” he said.
However, not all developments are successful from the get-go. A recent example is that of the Bloem Lifestyle Centre at the corner of Rudolf Greyling and AW Louw Avenue in Estoire, Bloemfontein. The centre was opened in November 2015 with a few stalls rented out to various businesses but is currently non-operational. When enquiring about this Courant was told that the owners had decided to redevelop it.
Khedama said it is always important for property developers to conduct thorough research before starting a new development. “Property developers have to do their part in terms of research, and they have to do it well. It doesn’t mean all of them will thrive.”
He added that malls close down because of improper research and changes in economic conditions. “Before developers start a new development, they should conduct a proper study and understand their market in order to predict the potential the development might have. It is also very important they can provide a forecast of the next 20 years and more of their developments.”
Whether these new developments thrive or fail, residents of Mangaung can look forward to new developments that will not only enhance the image of the city but also provide much needed services closer to the people. – Seithati Semenokane
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za