Another of South Africa’s biggest malls is up for sale

 ·11 Sep 2023

The biggest shopping mall in the Free State – Bloemfontein’s Loch Logan Waterfront – is up for sale by closed tender, Broll Auctions and Sales has announced.

According to the group, the retail centre is the biggest asset it has taken to market in its 40-year history, carrying a gross lettable area of 80,000 square metres.

Built in the early 2000s, Loch Logan is the largest shopping centre in Central South Africa with a “resilient and national” tenant mix across retail, entertainment, movies, fast food, restaurants banks, gym and medical rooms.

Norman Raad, CEO of Broll Auctions and Sales, said a tightly-held asset such as the centre did not often find its way to the market and that he expected the asset to interest the likes of pension funds and listed REITS.

“We are in talks with a number of serious buyers who are doing their due diligence on this versatile asset,” said Raad.

Building a new retail development such as this today would cost north of R3.5 billion, which makes this a strategic investment addition to any large portfolio.”

According to Broll, the mall carries approximately 125 tenants, including Pick n Pay, Pep Stores, Clicks, Vodacom, Wimpy, McDonalds, Ocean Basket, Exclusive Books, Browns, Woolworths, Mr Price and Cape Union Mart.

The highlight of the mall is a waterfront promenade that runs alongside Loch Logan, the group said.

It is also centrally located in the city, with close proximity to Vodacom Park rugby stadium, Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic, the Central University of Technology, Provincial government buildings.

The group said that the closing date for tenders for the sale is 12h00 on 29 September.

Other mega mall sales

Having another massive retail centre go up for sale follows the recent sale of the Eastern Cape’s biggest mall – Baywest Mall – for R1.3 billion.

Baywest and other retail centres were put up for sale as part of the Rebosis portfolio.

Rebosis is a JSE-listed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that entered into business rescue in August 2022, following years of deterioration in financial performance.

Retail centres have been hit particularly hard by severe drops in foot traffic over the last three years, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and various lockdowns.

While South African consumers have been venturing back to retailers over the last year, recovery has been slow and difficult with the ongoing power crisis and stagnant economy keeping budgets under extreme pressure.

Read: One of the biggest malls in South Africa just sold for R1.3 billion

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