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Name: Gugulethu Square
Use: Retail
Floors: ?
Status: U/C
Location: Gugulethu township in Cape Town


Community-centred approach to shopping centre design

29 Jul 2009 - eProp - BAI

Intro
Cape Town's newest shopping centre, Gugulethu Square, is scheduled to open in October and promises to redefine the shopping experience for the residents of the greater Gugulethu area

Construction is taking place on the site of the old strip retail facility known as the Eyona Shopping Centre in Gugulethu, a township 15 km from Cape Town. The N1 main route runs through the area and is close to the N2 bypass intersection. Gugulethu, along with Nyanga, was established in the 1960s due to the overcrowding of Langa, which was the only black residential area in Cape Town at the time. During the apartheid era, black South Africans were not permitted to live in the city of Cape Town and many people were removed to areas with poor infrastructure such as Gugulethu and Nyanga. Over time, there was growth and some infrastructural improvement but retail facilities have always been rather limited, necessitating residents to frequently shop in other areas.

The international commercial architectural firm of Bentel Associates International (BAI) were retained by the developers to design a practical yet upmarket shopping centre for Gugulethu while taking due cognisance of the local community and its culture and needs.

"This will be an exceptionally functional 25 000 m2 retail centre which will offer a diverse range of options to shoppers," says Stephen Roberts, BAI senior director and project architect. "The R350-million Gugulethu Square will be the first fully enclosed township mall in the city."

The developers of the Square, West Side Trading 600 Pty Ltd - a joint venture between Mzoli Properties; the IDEAS Fund - a partnership product between Old Mutual and Unity (a consortium of trade unions); Group Five, Khula Finance and a community investment scheme - have consulted widely with the local community to ensure a wide range of shopping options and the support of the local population. This consultation has involved a four-tier approach - initial stakeholder engagement, the formation of a project steering committee (PSC), public meetings and the appointment of a community liaison officer. The highly representative PSC's role is to provide a channel for the community to interact with and monitor the project.

The name 'Gugulethu' is a contraction of 'igugu lethu', which is the Xhosa word for 'our pride'. Roberts says that the architects have utilised this phrase as a theme in the design of the centre, which incorporates upmarket porcelain floor tiling, feature columns and precast concrete finishes with inscribed graphics and poetry related to the central theme.

The theme has been utilised to enhance a sense of locale and community and to engender local pride in the Square. The exterior of the building will be decorated with graphic panels featuring the handprints of Gugulethu schoolchildren, local artwork and community messages.

Gugulethu Square will offer a varied broader-based retail, dining and entertainment facility, thereby retaining valuable local consumer spend in the area. The surrounding areas such as Heideveld, Manenberg and Philippi will also benefit from the new centre.

"Part of the design brief was the requirement of top quality finishes so that Gugulethu Square could compete on an equal footing with other major shopping centres," explains Roberts. "The Square will have the shopping options and the look and feel of other large upmarket malls. The developers hope that valuable catchment area spend will be retained in the area."

The shopping centre consists of three blocks, each anchored by national tenants Shoprite, Spar and Cashbuild. Letting has been brisk and tenants include Jet, Ackermans, Pep, Identity, Truworths, Exact, Fashion Express, Legit, Mr Price, Foschini, Markhams, Total Sport, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank, KFC, Nandos, Spur and Ellerines. The developers have allocated 3000m² (12%) of the GLA for small traders to ensure the tenant mix includes local entrepreneurs.

"The external finishes are also high quality and include large buttress columns clad with natural stone, a roof parking deck over the central block with shuttered concrete and suspended decorative bulkheads and lighting. Eyebrow canopies extend around the entire building creating relief from the concrete and each large entrance will be identified with different colour tiling."

"The innovatively designed roof parking deck can be converted into a temporary outdoor venue with views of Gugulethu and Table Mountain. The developers are talking to various interested parties about the possibility of regular community events on the roof deck," says Sean Friend - Portfolio Manager of the IDEAS Fund, Old Mutual Investment Group.

The architects have ensured that the interests of the population of Gugulethu have been thoroughly considered. The Square has been designed with a direct connection to a well-organised pre-existing taxi rank that forms part of the development and is situated between the two main blocks. Existing informal traders have also been considered and will be given leased kiosks with roller shutters in a well-demarcated space facing the taxi rank.

The architecture of Gugulethu Square includes extensive natural lighting, eco-friendly materials, efficient use of space with roof parking, efficient artificial lighting and air-conditioning. All the materials from the demolition site were recycled. "We are also doing a huge amount of landscaping to integrate the centre into and improve the surrounding environment," says Friend.

The development has created numerous positive benefits for the residents of Gugulethu, especially in terms of job creation as a significant number of local residents were employed as construction workers. The developers’ commitment to draw 25% of the construction workforce from the Gugulethu community has been exceeded and a ratio of 37% has been achieved.

The PSC's community liaison officer was appointed to receive CVs and company profiles of parties interested in participating in construction and to undertake on-site monitoring of commitments to local employment by both the main contractor and sub-contractors. Vacancy advertising for retail jobs at the Square will be centrally coordinated as a service provided by the centre. This will ensure that participation by the community is maximised and that qualified local candidates that might ordinarily be overlooked get equal access to job opportunities.
 

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18 Aug 2009: Gugulethu Centre Setting 'Green' Pace

Gugulethu Square, the R350 million retail development due to open in Gugulethu, Cape Town, in November, may help shape the rating tool to be applied to shopping centres by the Green Building Council of South Africa.

South Africa has adapted the Australian Green Star rating system to assess buildings for their energy and resource efficiency and environmental friendliness, says a spokesman for the developers, Mzoli Ngcawuzele, of Mzoli Properties, part of a consortium comprising the IDEAS Fund, a partnership product between Old Mutual and Unity (a consortium of trade unions), Group Five, and Khula Finance.

“As only the office rating tool has been developed at this stage for South Africa, the design team has applied a combination of this and the Australian retail tool to the development of Gugulethu Square,“ he says.

“The rating system identifies measures that can be taken to produce a green building in the areas of management, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation. It sets targets to be achieved for the different measures, awards points for the achievement of targets, totals the points and then awards a rating on the basis of the score. “

Ngcawuzele says energy-saving alternatives applied to Gugulethu Square included an energy efficient water cooled air conditioning system, a rainwater system, intelligent lighting and tilt-up concrete façade construction requiring no external painting and less transport.

Other measures were the use of on-site material for backfilling, re-use of

4 000m² brick paving from the site on which the centre has been developed, salvaging of demolished material for community use, and the introduction of operational waste management systems.

“The former Eyona Centre on which Gugulethu Square has been developed was not demolished conventionally, “he says.”It was dismantled at a higher cost so that materials and components from this building, with a value of

R300 000, could be donated to and recycled by the immediate community.

“Apart from salvaging brick paving from Eyona, demolished concrete was set aside for re-use under roads and for some concrete work. Recycling crushed concrete in to bricks specified for the project also meant reduced waste to landfill and less new materials.”

Ngcawuzele says the use of a concrete additive as a waterproofing agent eliminated the additional application of bitumen, acrylic or epoxy coatings, a layer of screed with either paving or tarmac.

“This meant fewer trades and materials and also reduced future costs of maintenance and replacement of material.”

He says the water-cooled air conditioning system cost 21% more than an air cooled system, but its energy consumption was 30% less.

Better working and shopping conditions would be produced by an air conditioning monitoring system which converts to an economy cycle when external conditions are favourable.

“This will mean more fresh air circulating around the building, a clearing of carbon dioxide build-up after hours, and a reduction in thermal build-up.”

Ngcawuzele says reduced energy consumption and air conditioning requirements will flow from the use of efficient light fittings to curb heat loads and sensors controlling light activation.

Gugulethu Square will also supply all irrigation for its landscaping from its own rainwater and grey water tanks.

It was also aiming to reduce the amount of waste transported to landfill sites through waste separation by retail tenants and collection of recyclable material by service providers.

Ngcawuzele says Gugulethu Square’s offering as a major retail centre will mean less transport and time spent on shopping by residents.

“Also, since the centre accommodates most of its parking requirements on the main roof, less valuable land at ground level is dedicated to parking. Direct contact between the street and the centre will encourage foot traffic and make for a safer environment. “

“The introduction of bicycle racks and facilities for people working at Gugulethu Square is intended to reduce vehicle trips, make it economical for them to commute and give them a healthy alternative.”
 

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a socialy responsible township mall, whats next ANC election promisies from 1994 actually happening
 

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Well, it's open :)

http://www.eprop.co.za/news/article.aspx?idArticle=11886

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One-stop shopping for new Gugulethu Square mall
28 Oct 2009 - I-Net Bridge -

Intro
The R350m Gugulethu Square, the largest shopping centre in Cape Town’s townships with 30 000m² of space, opens for business tomorrow.
THE R350m Gugulethu Square, the largest shopping centre in Cape Town’s townships with 30000m² of space, opens for business tomorrow with major retailers planning special offers to mark the opening of the biggest single investment in Gugulethu.

The centre has been funded by a consortium comprising the Ideas Fund, a partnership product of Old Mutual and Unity, a consortium of trade unions, Group Five, Khula Finance and Mzoli Properties.

Mzoli Ngcawuzele, of Mzoli Properties, says Gugulethu Square will be officially opened on November 28 when all signed retail tenants will have been able to settle into business. “But many retailers are geared to trade as soon as possible, and the earliest date is after tomorrow, when the contractors will formally hand over the development.”

Ngcawuzele says Gugulethu Square will provide a broad-based retail, restaurant and entertainment offering, ensuring that valuable consumer spend is retained in the township. “In addition to providing jobs and ownership opportunities, Gugulethu Square will offer local residents excellent one-stop shopping facilities on their doorstep, thus curbing the need for long-distance travelling.”

Ngcawuzele says residents will have access to national chains as well as local businesses. The tenant mix includes doctors and businesses that previously traded on the development site. Apart from smaller traders, the two full-service anchor tenants are Shoprite and Spar.

Other tenants include Cashbuild, the Post Office, Jet Mart, Ackermans, Pep, Identity, Truworths, Exact, Fashion Express, Legit, Mr Price, Foschini, Markhams, Total Sport, Clicks, Capitec Bank, Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Old Mutual, KFC, Steers, Spur, Debonairs, Morkels and Ellerines.

Ngcawuzele says there has been a good take-up of space, with 95% leased and the remaining area under negotiation. “As with many shopping centres, Gugulethu Square will act as a central location for socialising and community events. The rooftop parking area, which has more than 600 bays, is an additional venue for outdoor events.”

Ngcawuzele says retailers have responded most effectively to initiatives by the developers to draw their workforce from Gugulethu residents to ensure maximum participation of the locals. “During construction, we achieved a ratio of 37% of the workforce from the Gugulethu community, well ahead of a commitment for 25%,” he says.

Ngcawuzele says retail centres are often a catalyst for further development. “The intention is to use the centre as the first step towards the establishment of a Gugulethu central business district. Discussions have been held around further retail development, hotels and additional community facilities.

“If these initiatives are successful, the development of offices would be the next step, further accelerating the township’s integration into the formal economy,” he says.

Source: Business Day
 
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