A look at South Africa’s new R210 million mall – that includes the first Rocomamas drive-thru

 ·4 Jul 2022

Redefine Properties has launched its new Kwena Square shopping mall on Johannesburg’s West Rand.

The centre gets its name from the Sotho meaning for crocodile, koena (kwena) which highlights 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, the developer said.

Developed at a cost of R210 million, Kwena Square will feature 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.

An array of rooftop solar panels will generate as much as 40% of the electricity required by the centre, a key feature which will reduce the load on the main grid.

Integration of the local community was a central driver behind the construction, leasing and provision of business opportunities for local subcontractors. Local tenants, showcasing the best SA has to offer, include Benita’s Food Emporium, Neo Vision, My Krafts Brewery, Quello Deli, Nossa Casa Portuguese Restaurant, Suggeee Bar, Uncle Joe Florist, and Fresh House Butchery.

Leon Kok, chief operating officer of Redefine Properties says the centre comes just as demand for convenience shopping rises.

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.

“The fact that our centre is so aesthetically pleasing is a major plus factor, together with its strong focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG), while offering ease of use, open ventilation, and safety. The completion of the project during the pandemic was notable and reflects our commitment and our tenants’ confidence in the project.”

“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,” said Kok.

“A convenience centre like Kwena Square addresses changing shopping habits and is positioned to efficiently meet evolving demands of shoppers.”

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