With three months until Boardwalk Mall’s official opening, the development is comfortably on track to open fully-let, bringing the best shopping, leisure and entertainment South Africa has to offer to Gqeberha.
The construction of the 24,000sqm single-level Boardwalk Mall is 80% complete and forging ahead. After preparing to commence work in February 2020, demolition and bulk earthworks were finally able to get underway from February to April 2021, and construction began in May 2021. True to the development’s deep commitment to creating local employment and opportunities, 87% of the labour on site is local.
Boardwalk Mall in the Eastern Cape is a major development by Flanagan & Gerard Group and Emfuleni Resorts, a subsidiary of Sun International (JSE: SUI). The R500-million project builds on the success and strong community roots of the landmark Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World. Boardwalk Mall is an extension and upgrade of the Boardwalk Precinct and is more than doubling the retail space in the precinct. The first phase of Boardwalk Mall opened on 24 March 2022, and the grand opening is on track for the 22nd September 2022.“Boardwalk Mall is a retail and lifestyle powerhouse,” says Paul Gerard, MD of Flanagan & Gerard.
The mall is introducing the first Checkers, Woolworths Food and Dis-Chem stores to the Summerstrand area while also providing all the convenience and choice of a Pick n Pay and Clicks and the very latest cinema upgrade from NuMetro.
Patrons can look forward to style from Sportscene, Totalsports, Ripcurl, Queenspark, Senqu, American Swiss, Exact, Refinery, Legit and Side Step. Boardwalk Mall will also serve up the much-loved menus of Spur, Steers, Debonairs, Fishaways, and Wimpy. Its McDonalds Drive Thru will also open on 22 September. Boardwalk Mall’s banking line-up includes ABSA, Capitec, FNB and Nedbank.
The Boardwalk Mall philosophy is all about keeping it local. Providing a small taste of its signature style, the first phase of the mall spotlighted local independent retail talent when it opened in March this year. Already well supported by the community, local concepts include Hello! It’s Me, Bem Vindo, Friesland Milk Bar, Shark Rock Tattoos, Village Hardware and Paco Taco. Hombakazi and Larpelo Eyewear are local fashionistas who have both opened in the mall to complement their established countrywide online presence.
More local and independent retail highlights are coming in the mall’s main phase, including home-grown labels MaXhosa with their South African branded high-end fashion, BohoGirl and Obriani. Proudly independent South African brands joining the mall include the brother-and-sister duo making new food-waves in the city, including The Balkan Burger & Deli, Gussies Stationers for independent stationery, homeware from @home, gifting as well as the Cape Town brand Yokico, for unique and funky children’s school accessories.
Main phase retailers are already preparing their Boardwalk Mall stores to welcome customers. The mall is 98% let, with only five shops available to lease, earmarked for retailers in categories including camping/outdoor, kids accessories, high-end dining, toys, and electronics/tech.
“Unique in many ways, Boardwalk Mall offers guests so much more than its retail and restaurants because it is located in the Boardwalk Precinct and connects seamlessly with the city and its beaches,” notes Gerard.
Boardwalk Mall links with the Sun International Boardwalk Casino and the 5-Star 140-room Boardwalk Hotel. It is right on the beachfront, and shoppers can step out onto the beautiful promenade running along the incredibly popular Blue Flag Hobie Beach. It is also near the MSC cruise ship dock in Port Elizabeth Harbour, making it a must-visit for tourists.
“We are delighted by the reaction to the launch of phase one of the project, and the impact it has had so far. We are also extremely pleased about our joint venture with Flanagan & Gerard and the work done to date, and look forward to an exciting opening in September,” says Graham Wood, Sun International Group COO for hospitality.
Get ready for excitement levels in Gqeberha to rise: a new 2,500sqm events arena is being built at the Boardwalk’s heart – the Sunpark Events Arena. The Sunpark Events Arena will add to the lifestyle and entertainment activities on offer and provides an exceptional quality Eastern Cape venue for the legendary events that Sun International hosts around the country.
On opening weekend, Boardwalk’s Sunpark Events Arena will host its first of many rugby events, Boks in the Park, broadcasting all the live action of South Africa v Argentina game on its amazing big screen.
“The major investment that goes into a shopping centre like Boardwalk Mall has exponential and multi-layered benefits for its community. With so many everyday needs taken care of under one roof at Boardwalk Mall, and so many new and special attractions for locals and tourists alike, we’re excited to welcome everyone to a great place where our community comes first,” says Gerard.
Boardwalk Mall officially opens on 22 September ’22.