The Central Square development within the Menlyn Maine green city mega project puts a new spin on convenience shopping.

The R1,8 billion mixed-use Central Square development within the Menlyn Maine green city mega project in Pretoria is envisioned as the focal hub of the 315 000m² development, according to Henk Boogertman, architectural director of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

“When Central Square opens on 21 September 2016, it is set to become an exciting new public square and gathering place for the people of the capital city and visitors alike, offering niche and convenience shopping, leisure and entertainment. It will be the buzzing hub at the heart of Menlyn Maine,” he said at the leasing launch in May.

The 60 000m² Central Square development will include 30 000m² of boutique retail around a piazza, a 213-room apartment and conferencing hotel, 14 500m² of commercial offices, a public park and the only Virgin Classic Gym in Pretoria. It is intended to be a point of first call for convenience shopping, featuring a Pick n Pay, Woolworths Food and SuperSpar, while the piazza is set to be a unique public and meeting place with top-end restaurants, beauty and pampering outlets, as well as other service offerings.

“It will complement rather than compete with the neighbouring Menlyn Park super-regional shopping centre,” comments Patrick Flanagan, executive director of Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment group. Flanagan & Gerard has been appointed as the retail leasing consultants to achieve a singular retail mix at Menlyn Maine Central Square.

The square will be pedestrianised with direct street access to Sun International’s R3 billion Time Square Casino, a five-star hotel and an 8 000-seater multi-purpose arena, which will also form part of the Menlyn Maine precinct. It will also have about 1 800 basement parking bays and 300 open parking bays, enhancing its ease of access, convenience and pedestrian linkages into the surrounding precinct.

Menlyn Maine is South Africa’s first green, mixed-use city. As a partner of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Menlyn Maine is one of 16 green cities being built in various countries, and the only one in Africa. All buildings in the precinct are set to be rated four Green Star SA or higher, and it is also targeting an LEED ND certification for the precinct.

Kgosientso Ramokgopa, executive mayor of the City of Tshwane, welcomed the fact that Menlyn Maine is a landmark green city development in light of the city also targeting a low-carbon growth strategy.

“As the City of Tshwane, one of our biggest infrastructure projects currently underway in the area of public transport is our multi-billion rand bus rapid transport system. As a key node, Menlyn will become one of the hubs of the system, which is our very own version of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya BRT system. It will offer quality public transport and support developments such as Menlyn Maine,” added Ramokgopa.

Developed by co-investors Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd and the Government Employees Pension Fund, which is represented by the Public Investment Corporation SOC Limited (PIC), construction began in November 2014 with Central Square set to open to the public in September 2016.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Menlyn Maine Central Square for the information given to write this article.

Central Square in a nutshell:
–    A 60 000m² mixed-use development within Menlyn Maine, which includes 30 000m² of boutique retail.
–    A unique public piazza.
–    A 213-room apartment and conferencing hotel.
–    A 14 500m² office tower.
–    A public park.
–    The only Virgin Classic Gym in Pretoria.
–    About 1 800 basement parking bays.
–    A total of 300 open parking bays.
–    Pedestrian access to the Time Square Casino, hotel and arena.
–    Pedestrian linkages into the surrounding precinct.