Original Article: Ballito Lifestyle Centre
In 2017, when faced with what seemed like an insurmountable obstacle in the form of an 80 000m2 regional mall opening over the road, the executive team at Lifestyle Centre took the decision to differentiate and create unique and special spaces in order to retain its position as the heartbeat of Ballito.
Fast forward 3 years and it’s fair to say that they have achieved that, primarily through the highly successful mix of offerings in The Market and the beautifully designed Eat Street with its selection of great restaurants. The intersection of beautifully designed spaces, unique offerings and live music with the traditional anchor tenants of SUPERSPAR, TOPS, WOOLWORTHS FOOD, DISCHEM and MICA in a convenient, easily accessible location, has resulted in success in the face of what may have appeared to be insurmountable odds.
But there is more to come!
An area that has not yet been redeveloped is the line of stores opposite Weylandts, at the Dis-Chem end of the centre. 2020, however, is the year in which that takes place. Aptly named The Studios, this area has been designed to incorporate an eclectic mix of boutique stores and personalised spaces to deliver an interesting and intimate shopping experience.
According to Bruce Rencken, co-owner of Lifestyle Centre, “One of our key strategies is that retail has to be experiential. We want Lifestyle Centre to be the place where locals meet and connect, where everyone feels comfortable and enjoys a unique shopping experience. The aim is to provide another area within the centre for the discerning customer in which to browse for exceptional products that are presented in a beautifully designed space with incredible attention to detail. Plenty of glass, steel and natural materials will provide a stunning backdrop to showcase a variety of interesting retail offerings. This will be a space in which you spoil, indulge, pamper, treat and appreciate yourself.”
A key part of the thinking behind The Studios is the mixed-use mezzanine level which features two health and fitness studios in a unique, modern and spacious environment. “We are wanting the energy of the mezzanine to be transferred into the retail space below, so that shoppers can enjoy the vibe and vitality that is generated from the studios,” says Rencken.
As is the case with The Market and Eat Street, The Studios will provide another platform for small, individual businesses and local operators to showcase their offerings in a handsomely constructed and interactive setting which will continue to add to the personality of Lifestyle Centre.
“The reality for retail in Ballito is that there is a significant oversupply of retail space in the Ballito area and there is no question that business is tough for everyone, so we have to continue to differentiate and develop new nodes within the centre responsibly. We are confident that this special new space will become another meeting point for Ballito and a great new addition to living life the Ballito way!” says Rencken.
With plans approved and designs finalized, construction is due to start in March and the space is in the process of being tenanted. The aim is for The Studios to open early in the third quarter of 2020.