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The Mall of Thembisa was selected as joint winner in the new retail development category of the RDDA’s. The winner of each category is then automatically entered into the Spectrum Awards.

Hosted by the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC), the Spectrum Awards celebrate retail excellence across all disciplines and sectors of the industry. The awards recognise innovation, creativity, vision and excellence.

The Mall’s anchor restaurant, Imbizo Shisanyama, was also awarded overall category winner for restaurant retail design.

The Mall of Thembisa opened in November 2020 and was developed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regional mall was constructed over a period of 18 months, and boasts 140 tenants including four major food anchors – Super Spar, Shoprite, Boxer and Roots. The 44 781sqm double level mall also offers access to the full banking gambit, all major fashion brands, Dischem and Clicks.

Every design element and decision pertaining to the mall was critically analysed to ensure connection to the area of Thembisa and its people. Developed by McCormick Property Developed (MPD) and designed by MDS Architecture, it has triple level, expansive voids that create a feeling of safe, well-ventilated, open-air space throughout the mall.

Five entrances are strategically placed to maximise natural cross-ventilation, with each entrance specifically tenanted for the sector of the market expected to use it. The mall is accessible for pedestrian traffic as well as those using private and public transport and on-grade parking on both levels have reduced the buildings footprint.

Natural elements like stone, timber and light characterise the building. Timber elements and finishes are used in the toilet areas and the main court to further provide warmth and texture to juxtapose the monochromatic design of the rest of the mall.

The Mall of Thembisa is home to MPD’s first pilot farmers’ market-gardens and the Kasi CoLAB. The CoLAB is a township designer’s emporium that allows local designers the opportunity to trade from a prime location for zero rental. Both of these projects were the first of their kind for MPD and add to the unique elements that make it a world class shopping centre.

“We have exceeded even our wildest expectations with the Mall of Thembisa, explains CEO of Exemplar, Jason McCormick. “It has established a new standard for rural retail development and we look forward to watching the landscape of this sector evolve even further in the years to come.” Exemplar is 50.1% owner of the Mall of Thembisa.

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