High praise for Cornubia Mall
Category Cornubia News
DURBANITES continue to flock to the newly opened Cornubia Mall at Blackburn Estate, a stone's throw from the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, and are loving the breezy, openplan setup.
The mall, which opened two weeks ago, is home to over 110 retailers and business has, so far, been relatively good.
"We are thrilled to see the mall completed after eight years in the making from acquiring the land until the doors opened. This has been an immense project," said the head of Investec Property SouthAfrica, Darryl Mayers.
"We have brought a number of firsts to KwaZuluNatal's communities from Bounce Trampoline Park, Cycle Lab megastore, Fives Futbol, Consol Glass and a sevenscreen Nu Metro cinema complex featuring 4DX, to being one of the only malls to offer all three large food retailers, Pick n Pay, Checkers and Spar".
Mayers said the indoor-outdoor mall was designed with activities and experiences for the whole family and offered worldclass shopping, entertainment and an outdoor lifestyle for an active community.
He added that they were also thrilled to have saved a 112yearold historic Natal Fig tree, which was incorporated into the mall, and that there was room for growth.
Plans are under way for a 20 000m2 expansion and the second phase will include a further 70 stores.
Mayers said the mall had brought infrastructure, jobs and skills transfer, and improved transport to residents within the Cornubia development and surrounding communities.
"We estimate that it will create about 1 100 permanent jobs, while at least 2 500 temporary jobs were created during construction. We encouraged the retailers to employ from the surrounding communities. To date, we helped 1 100 people with work readiness programmes and just under 300 people were hired."
Customers and best friends, Trudy Gopilall, 45, and Vanitha Moonsamy, 53, of Phoenix, said they liked that the mall was on their doorstep.
"It's situated in a convenient area and is easy to access. For business, things look promising," said Gopilall, a mother of two.
"Besides the convenience, it has really boosted our economy in terms of job creation," said Moonsamy.
Former foreman, Siva Pillay, of Verulam, liked the design.
"It's open plan is different to other malls in Durban. You don't feel boxed in. If you want to run into a store, it's a quick stop. You don't have to go through a huge mall just to get to one place."
Grandmother of two, Dorothy Moonsamy, of Mount Edgecombe, said she preferred Cornubia Mall as there was no need to take escalators or lifts.
"The design and layout of the stores is what makes it convenient. I like that it is also about promoting a healthy life style as we see with the gym Virgin Active and cycle store."
Pat Subramoney, 60, of Phoenix, added that the mall created muchneeded employment opportunities.
"I was curious to see what it offered and I was pleased it did not disappoint."
For retailers, months of preparing and stocking their stores has paid off.
The owner of Jayshrees Rivaz, Vishal Jetha, said so far business had been going well.
The new store, he said, had a private Eastern bridal lounge.
"It provides brides with a changing room to try on outfits and a seating area for family waiting to view the outfit."
Jetha said they had a heritage wall in the same area, documenting how the business started.
"It is a collage of mostly black and white pictures with the history of how we started, and where we are today"
Their store at the Crescent Shopping Mall, in uMhlanga, he added, closed after the lease expired.
Because they needed more space to showcase the garments, their current location was perfect.
Jayshrees Rivaz offers a variety of handpicked Eastern attire imported from India.
The area supervisor for spice shop Gorima's, Rooksana Ismail, said they opted to open a store at the mall as it brought their products closer to the communities of Verulam, Phoenix and Cornubia.
They have employed six staff from Phoenix and Cornubia. "We are pleased we could do our part in terms of job creation."
Author: Post - CHARLENE SOMDUTH