01 Sep

For many years, Hillcrest Centre, which runs along 500m of Old Main Road, has been sorely neglected but, thankfully, there is work underway to create an exciting new artisan food and decor destination

All too often, we have heard the cry of local residents, disappointed by the state of Hillcrest’s main road. Now, we are very happy to report that a large section of it will receive a much-needed makeover. Hillcrest Centre, which runs from the iconic stone tower in the south to BP in the north, has been bought by local developers Keal Property Group. The company has been responsible for more than 30 shopping centre upgrades and refurbishments, including The Colony and Sandy’s Centre in the Highway area, and built “Six Abrey”, which houses their offices, and quickly became a landmark along the M13 with its living arch.

“We always keep the community ethos in mind when developing a centre and aim – first and foremost – to meet their needs,” says Grant Walker, Acquisitions and Leasing Manager for Keal Property Group.

“This will be a six-month project, which will modernise the façade of the 4 900m² centre and dramatically increase its visibility. The facelift will include a completely reconfigured shop layout and tenant mix. The parking will be brick paved and reorganised for more efficient traffic flow, both in front and behind the centre. New large shop fronts will be fitted, prominent entrance towers will be built, and new signage panels will be standardised to create a consistent, contemporary aesthetic.

“A section of the current building will be demolished to make way for a modern high-volume shop, which will become a feature along Old Main Road. This will house a flagship store.”

The shops in the revamped centre, which already enjoy a 500m-long direct frontage on to Old Main Road, will be further enhanced, giving retailers and restaurants additional support. The back of the centre, which has been largely neglected, will receive a boost, with enhanced shop fronts giving tenants better visibility and providing greater convenience to shoppers.

The careful selection of tenants is a hallmark of Keal Property Group’s success, as can be seen at the recently rejuvenated Village Mall and The Quarry Centre, both in Hilton. “A number of the existing tenants at Hillcrest Centre will remain, with a focus on owner-managed businesses to promote the community feel that has always made Hillcrest such a great place to live,” Grant continues.

New tenants will include exciting restaurant offerings, with the aim to create a cafe society feel, like you would find in uMhlanga or Cape Town. “We are looking to give visitors to the centre something different – a lively, secure space where they know they will find good food and decor options at good value.”

Established in 1988, Keal Property Group invests in and develops neighbourhood shopping centres, with a portfolio including 14 centres in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, and four in Australia. Architectural work has been done by Andrea van Dam of Avid Architecture, who has worked closely with Keal Property Group on a number of their most successful projects.

Work is underway and is anticipated to be completed in February 2018. All tenants will continue to trade during the upgrades, which have been planned to cause minimal disruption.

Grant Walker 084 242 2894




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