The trendy suburb of Melville is set to play host to the country’s first retail development created entirely with shipping containers
Construction on the country’s first non-traditional brick and mortar retail development is expected to begin in Melville next week. Inspired by London’s Box Park, the 2 400m² space dubbed 27 Boxes will house 78 shops including non-conventional fashion retailers, an art studio and gallery, a micro-brewery, an amphitheatre, children’s playground and a boutique garden centre, Moneyweb reports.
The project has been in the pipeline for over two years and will be rolled out by property management firm Citiq, the same company responsible for refurbishing the grain silos in Newtown into student residences earlier this year. The iconic retail centre, which comes with an estimated R12-million price tag, will be located in the heart of vibey Melville at the Faan Smit Park on 3rd and 4th Avenue.
Paul Lapham, Citiq CEO, told Moneyweb that the “bespoke” shopping centre was designed to reflect Melville’s hip character. “27 Boxes will not be a normal development,” he said.
“Shipping containers have long been associated with pop-up malls and temporary exhibition stands. They have also provided the basic building blocks for a number of internationally acclaimed retail developments. Box Park in London, and a retail park in Christchurch, New Zealand, are both examples of what can be achieved with the humble shipping container. We look forward to providing residents and tenants with a shopping experience that will spearhead the revival of Melville,” Lapham was quoted saying on Skyscraper City.
With small retail shops, averaging 14m², and rentals ranging between R1 600 and R2 000 per month, Lapham believes that the new development lends itself well to catering for the needs of small business owners, creative entrepreneurs as well as food lovers.
“27 Boxes will provide an ideal environment to attract shoppers and encourage visitors to linger and enjoy what’s on offer from the eclectic mix of tenants,” he said.
The development will also include an underground parking lot to accommodate around 200 cars and the plan is to compliment permanent tenant shops with week-long pop-up stores to “constantly evolve” the shopping centre’s tenant mix.
If all goes according to plan with no glitches or delays, construction on the development is expected to be completed by the end of January next year and officially opened for business in February.
Sources: Moneyweb, Skyscraper City