“The retail tenants of the much-anticipated Park Square development on the Umhlanga Ridge are going to change the way the locals see convenience.” This is a big statement from Park Square’s Ken Reynolds, Nedbank Property Finance Divisional Executive, property expert and Director of Nedport Developments, a subsidiary of Nedbank and Park Square developers. As one of the key members behind this important development, Reynolds reinforces Park Square’s focus on keenly bringing together work, leisure and convenience and given his track-record, he knows what he’s talking about. With an offering as attractive and unique – aesthetically and financially – as Park Square, Nedport have absolutely nailed their concept with the acknowledgement that the right retail and commercial mix is vital to the success of any urban hub.
Dedicated to servicing the needs of their commercial residents in addition to the burgeoning surrounding residential suburbs, this prestigious and on-point development is paving the way for Spar to be an anchor tenant in the nearly complete building – and this important tenant will be a game-changer for the greater Precinct. Mark Anderson, who has earned a solid reputation of delivering world-class retail environments (if his magnificent uMhlanga Rocks Superspar – is anything to go by) says, “Park Square is both an ideal environment for us to grow our vision to bring to market the very best concept retail offerings in KwaZulu-Natal, if not the country.” The financial viability of the developments’ location and a concept is one that has made the investment particularly appealing and exciting, Anderson also confirmed.
Park Square is set to fulfil the core vision of the development, which will offer seamless integration for a work-play lifestyle. With its considered mix of restaurants, shops and coffee bars, Park Square will offer a connected work culture incorporating a unique leisure offering seamlessly linked to a vibrant and open urban square. The term ‘top-tier’ is not often used to describe a grocery store, but like Ken Reynolds, uMhlanga Rocks Superspar Owner, Anderson believes his new Spar, the retail anchor tenant of Park Square, will reshape how locals view their daily shopping experience. The Park Square Spar franchise will occupy up to 1 500 square metres of space, of which 150 square metres being a TOPS. Using the reference of the uMhlanga Rocks Superspar, consumers are set to be enchanted and delighted by the offerings Spar Park Square has in store.
Walking through the uMhlanga store, one is impressed with the attention to detail that has gone into the planning and daily operations of the store. At every corner, you are bound to see someone sweeping, mopping or tidying up. It’s no wonder that Mark can confidently say, “I have the cleanest store in the world.” What is clearly evident when you meet the owners of the soon to be Spar Park Square, is his passion and dedication to creating a destination for the consumer that is not only entertaining but well considered. “Our driving force is to exceed our consumer’s expectations. People no longer want to merely shop, they want an experience. This is what we are offering to them here – and more.” Great service, convenience and a variety of offerings are the foundation of what will likely be the most talked about store in South Africa. Consumers will have plenty to choose from, from general merchandise, gifting, imported goods and home replacement meals. The home replacement meal section will offer quick, healthy and freshly made food options suitable for an array of dietary needs including but not limited to gluten-free, banting and vegan dietary needs.
With convenience in mind, Anderson is working on an App that will allow tenants of Park Square to order their food, pay online and pick up at the end of the day. Once the App proves successful, it will be open for uMhlanga Rocks Superspar consumers too. However, they are not solely focused on health products, but will also have a delicatessen, a pizza, burger and pita bars. Word on the street is that there will be an exclusive whiskey tasting area for the connoisseur – but this is one secret that is still under wraps for now. “We are giving the consumer the ability to choose. Spar Park Square will be a shop within a shop,” Mark adds. Designed around an aviation theme, Spar Park Square will boast interesting features such as a rickshaw from India and a reception desk made from an airplane cockpit, making it arguably one of the first retail grocery stores in the world to have an official reception area.
Following in the footsteps of Park Square’s 4 Star Green Star rated development, Spar Park Square, will have fridges with doors allowing for an estimated saving of up 30% on electricity but most importantly, the temperature of the fridges will be kept more constant which helps to prevent bacteria. “But retail is not just about being functional,” he adds. “The global trend is to have mixed-used development with residential and retail centred around an engaging and multi-dimensional square and this is just what Park Square offers, as the perfect complement to the thriving business hive of the uMhlanga Ridge Town Centre, making it a fully operational hub, servicing all needs,” says Anderson.
“We want people to come here because there is something to see. The visibly appealing Park Square will bring beauty and vibrancy to the area too.” Mark adds, “Customers no longer want to do a grocery shop in large centres due to the long walks. They want the convenience of parking, walking straight in, shopping, and walking out.” The covered on grade retail parking bays allow for this convenience x-factor and the location and access planning of Park Square make for easy accessibility for all customers, with Park Square’s close proximity to the IRPTN bus route as well as the Chris Saunders Park. “Based on the concept and location,” a confident Anderson concludes, “we’ll have everything for tenants and the greater upper uMhlanga neighbourhood, and our opening on the 1st of November this year, can’t come soon enough.”