FLANAGAN & Gerard Group and Emfuleni Resorts, a subsidiary of Sun International, have confirmed that they will go ahead with the planned extension and upgrade to the retail area at Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, in Port Elizabeth.
Construction of the R500-million redevelopment project is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2021.
Flanagan & Gerard MD Paul Gerard said the development is expected to more than double the retail space in the Boardwalk precinct, which will be tenanted with retailers to the local market, and ready to open in 2022.
The planned Boardwalk Mall retail mix includes two supermarkets, two pharmacies, specialist food retailer and major bank representation. A variety of restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food options will be complemented by health and beauty, home and décor, cellular and electronics, gifting, sports and speciality shops. Everyday services and essential fashion will also feature.
In a joint statement, the project partners, which also include Sun International and Emfuleni Resorts, said they believe that the Boardwalk Mall redevelopment had become “more relevant for its community than ever” and that their approach to the development “includes a sharp focus on creating positive opportunities in the local market. The entire project has been designed to be “very positive” for the local economy and job creation, which will be significant in both the construction phase and after opening”.
The developers will work with a local community liaison officer to ensure optimal positive impact.
Gerard said a development of this kind typically creates about 2,000 jobs during construction and roughly 1,500 permanent posts thereafter. “In keeping with the team’s commitment to economic development, local contractors and materials will be used wherever possible.”
As part of the development, there will be significant investment in upgrading surrounding roads. Second Avenue will be widened into four lanes, and it will include a new entrance into Boardwalk Mall.
The precinct currently comprises the 6,000sqm Boardwalk Casino, the 5-Star Boardwalk Hotel, conference facilities, and 11,800sqm of existing retail including a five-screen Nu Metro cinema complex.
With the addition of the new Mall, the Boardwalk’s retail space will be increased to 23,000sqm, and enhanced with an extensive upgrade and reconfiguration. “More leisure and retail options will be added, with even more shops, restaurants, and family fun. And, among the many highlights that guests can look forward to is the spectacular new Sun Park Square which designed to host events,” Gerard said.
Anthony Leeming, CEO of Sun International, said the hospitality group was excited about the many synergies between the different elements of the new Boardwalk precinct. “The retail, leisure, casino and events will all complement each other, and create an amazing experience for guests. Its different uses will also appeal to a wide range of people and ensure the precinct is activated around the clock and throughout the week. Sun Park Square will also be able to host events that cater to local lifestyles, such as the Iron Man,” Leeming said.
Bongi Siwisa, Chairperson of Emfuleni Resorts, said, “As long-standing partners of Sun International and investors in the Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, including its current retail, Emfuleni is pleased to extend our investment to the new Boardwalk Mall. We believe it is going to be a great asset for ourselves and its community”.
Gerard said that with 17 hectares of land available for the redevelopment, Boardwalk Mall is only the first phase of the redevelopment, with plans for additional hospitality, medical suites, big-box retail, and a health club in the pipeline.