Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment, through its investment company Changing Tides 91, has acquired 50% of Musina Mall from Investec Property Fund.

The transaction has resulted in Flanagan & Gerard and Moolman Group becoming 50/50 co-owners of Musina Mall, extending their long-standing association. Moolman Group, Musina Mall’s lead developer with Investec Property Group, previously owned a one-third stake in the mall which it has increased to a 50% holding.

Paul Gerard, MD of Flanagan & Gerard, says, “We are proud to partner with Moolman Group again, and thrilled to acquire a 50% stake of this quality three-year-old retail asset from a property investor of the calibre of Investec Property Fund. Musina Mall meets all our investment criteria — it is reporting excellent trading and is dominant in its trade area where it has very little competition. We are pleased to count Musina Mall in our portfolio of quality shopping centres.”

Investec Property Fund joint CEOs Andrew Wooler and Darryl Mayers commend Flanagan & Gerard Property Investment and Development in their acquisition of Musina Mall. “While it is difficult to let go of such a quality asset, we believe that the sale is necessary to de-gear our balance sheet as we look to provide further capital funding for the Pan European logistics real estate and UK Fund strategies. Investec Property Fund has shared and exemplary partnership with Moolman Group following an extension of Musina Mall in 2017, and look forward to seeing their collaboration alongside Flanagan & Gerard. We strongly believe in the class of the asset given the heritage rich town of Musina and walk away proud after eight years of holding the mall within our portfolio.”

Pieter Lombaard, CEO of Moolman Group, comments, “The initial acquisition and redevelopment of Musina Mall, formerly The Great North Plaza, has been incredibly positive and rewarding.  It has outperformed our expectations since its relaunch and continues to show significant growth, even in the tough times of late.  Our relationships with both Investec Property Fund and Flanagan & Gerard have always been collaborative, progressive, and respectful.  We are looking forward to the continued journey ahead and further unlocking the potential of this shopping mall.”

Musina Mall is in the heart of the heritage-rich town of Musina in the Vhembe District of Limpopo, which is SA’s northernmost major town. It is a mere 10km from the Beitbridge border post into Zimbabwe, which is the second biggest port of entry into the country and a gateway to other SADC countries. Offering superb access, the mall is situated on the N1 from which it enjoys direct access.

It is also located within the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone, which is rich with mineral resources, including diamonds.  The zone is intended to accelerate economic growth, and President Ramaphosa has identified it as being a focus in SA’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

The redeveloped Musina Mall first opened its doors in March 2017, incorporating the site’s original development, The Great North Plaza. With 35,000sqm of retail space, the mall houses almost all the area’s recognised national retailers and popular brands.

Musina Mall is anchored by Checkers and Shoprite and offers Woolworths, Clicks, Mr Price, Foschini, Ackermans, Truworths, and Pep, and much more. It is also home to all five major banks: ABSA, Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB and Capitec. Dis-Chem is opening in the mall in September 2020.

The mall’s retail is differentiated from the shopping available in the Musina CBD, and the two nearest competing shopping centres are a distant 100km and 200kms away respectively.

“Musina Mall is in high demand for shopping and trading opportunities by residents of this prominent business, social and tourist node, for whom it offers unparalleled convenience, and it also attracts many customers from over the Beitbridge border in Zimbabwe and beyond,” adds Gerard.

The Flanagan & Gerard portfolio comprises nine retail centres with Musina Mall. It develops and invests in mostly dominant regional shopping centres which can maintain their market positions over time.  Flanagan & Gerard’s quality portfolio of retail assets includes Vaal Mall (co-owned with Growthpoint Properties), Middleburg Mall (co-owned with Moolman Group), Springs Mall (co-owned with Vukile Property Fund, Murinda Investments and Blue Crane Eco Mall), Mall of the North (co-owned with Resilient REIT and Moolman Group), Highveld Mall (co-owned with Resilient REIT, Mogwele Investments and Retraction Props), Ballito Junction Regional Mall (co-owned with Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings), Thavhani Mall (co-owned with Vukile), and Morningside Shopping Centre (co-owned with Grapnel Property Group).