Baywest Mall now open (See Video)

MAY 21, 2015

The wait is over as Port Elizabeth’s new shopping centre, the R2 billion Baywest Mall, opened on Thursday morning – also surpassing Hemingways Mall in East London, to become the Eastern Cape’s biggest mall at 90 000m².

On Wednesday night, around 4 000 workers raced against time to ensure the grand opening went ahead and ready for the masses of shoppers who descended on the mall in search of opening day specials.

Baywest Mall officially opened to the public at 10 am following a VIP launch that was also attended by Eastern Cape Premier, Phumlo Masualle, who stated that the opening had the potential to change the provincial landscape.

“This [opening] is a reflection of the hard work put in over time. In our State of the Province Address, we made the point that winds of change are sweeping through the province that would help banish poverty and underemployment.

“Today, this development is an example of the contribution made that could change this city and province for the better, “Masualle said.

Developed as a joint venture between Abacus Asset Management and the Billion Group, the mammoth mall boasts some 250 stores, restaurants and entertainment attractions such as an Ice Rink, 8-screen Ster-Kinekor Cinema complex with an IMAX screen, a tenpin bowling alley, hi-tech games arcade and indoor dodgem cars offering.

“I will be bold enough to put my head on the line to say this is the most leading-edge, world class shopping development in South Africa. It’s arguably the most innovatively designed mall and differentiates itself by being one of the most compact super-regional shopping centres,” says Gavin Tagg, managing director of Retail Network Services (RNS) – the full-service retail leasing and development specialist leading the leasing at Baywest Mall.

Baywest Mall is located on the western side of PE along the N2 national highway. It is the catalyst and first phase in the development of the multi-billion rand greater Baywest City Precinct, which is being undertaken by the Billion Group and Abacus Asset Management.

The 320 hectare Baywest City Precinct will be mixed-use, encompassing retail, office parks, residential nodes, private schools with associated sporting facilities, hotels, a hospital complex, a motor city, a light industrial node and a lifestyle centre. It is a greenfields project and is estimated to be fully development over the next 15 to 20 years.

“Baywest Mall is ground-breaking and while it will cater for the underserved PE retail market and for up to a 90km radius, the Baywest City development is certain to become a key part of its market and growth over the next decade,” says Tagg.

To coincide with the opening of Baywest Mall, a new interchange over the N2 and other road infrastructure to the tune of R250 million will be ready, which will allow for direct access to the mall and future Baywest City Precinct. The road infrastructure, which will also alleviate traffic congestion experienced in the area, is jointly financed by the developers and national roads agency, SANRAL.