BROLL CONQUERING FROM BENEATH ...As Wernhil Park extension rolls on

IN compliance with its objective of maximising property potential for its client’s base, Broll Namibia, a leading and independent property services company awaits the completion of the 3rd phase of the Wernhil Park Development Project.

This massive N$185 million expansion project that commenced in May 2010 will be completed by June and is said to be on schedule.

Marco Wenk, Managing Director of Broll Namibia, says the extension will result in Wernhil Park becoming a regional mall within Namibia exceeding 38 000 square metres.

In addition to the extension of Wernhil Park Shopping Centre, Wenk says, Broll Namibia embarked on and completed two projects in 2010, the Alexander Forbes House and Pick’n Pay Centre in Walvis Bay totalling N$90 million.

Broll Namibia was founded in 2003 and is a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies through a strategic partnership with Broll South Africa. Wernhil Park’s 12 000 square metre extension project was embarked upon to strengthen the shopping centre’s competitive leverage in the retail sector. The overall development includes the retail extension onto the existing southern parking deck of approximately 4000 square meters.

An additional 8 000 square metres retail extension above the existing taxi rank facility as well as 750 additional parking bays will make the extensions towards the northern side of the centre.

“The northern taxi rank will be upgraded to offer proper facilities which include stalls for the informal traders, cleaning facilities for their produce as well as upgrading the toilet facilities.”

According to Wenk, half of the additional 12 000 square metres has been taken by Edgars Stores making it the biggest retail shop in Namibia and a major investment by a South African firm. Other new shops that will come to town include Mr Price Sport, DFX as well as a new restaurant. Foschini and its sister companies Fashion Express, Total Sport and Sterns will also move into the new extension.

Truworths will treble its size from the current 500 square metres to 1500 square metres, a testimony that Wernhil Park provides a strong trading environment for its retailers. Wenk further revealed that almost a million people pass through the mall every month and the upgrading of the taxi rank is to facilitate the swift movement of taxis in and out of facility.

“The quicker the taxis can move in and out the more people will be able to access the centre to support our retailers,” Wenk says.

Mr Price Home is already trading from its new premises. The idea to embark on the 3rd phase expansion programe of Wernhil Park followed substantial interest shown by both local and prominent national retailers. The mall currently has an over subscription in terms of tenants wanting to move in and occupy space in the existing centre.

Broll says by April, most tenants occupying the southern part will have commenced trading whereas the northern part will be completed by June/July 2011.

Broll Namibia has project managed all three major projects it embarked on, and has also done all leasing deals to date. Going forward, all three properties will be managed by Broll Namibia to ensure that the day-to-day operation runs smoothly.

In September last year, Broll Namibia officially opened the refurbished Carl List Mall and Alexander Forbes House. Wenk says the Alexander Forbes House refurbishment was the most difficult of the three projects it embarked on to date to the age of the building.

In addition to this; the renovations were done while tenants continued trading and these challenges made it the most rewarding in terms of the objective achievement. Alexander Forbes House houses the headquarters of Alexander Forbes as well as O & L.

It is also home to prime exclusive local retailers with no foreign operators accommodated here. The Carl List House was built in the early 60s and just minor improvements were done to the building since then. Its upgrade included a new outside façade of the building, the replacement of all steel windows with aluminium windows, centralised air conditioning and a new entrance/retail mall that links the courtyard area with Independence Avenue.

All residential flats were converted into prime A-grade office accommodation. A handful of new retailers were added to the existing tenant mix on the ground floor serving the office user as well as the local and tourist markets.

In Walvis Bay, the old Seagulls Mall was upgraded at a total cost of N$20million and renamed to Pick ‘n Pay Centre.

“The centre was old and needed a proper face lift and the upgrading as well as extensive tenant mix probably makes it the strongest retail centre in the coastal town’s central business district, if not the entire coastal area,” thus Wenk.

Pick’n Pay, the largest retail outlet in the centre, also spruced its image and added a coffee shop.

“We have earned a formidable reputation for delivering quality, effectiveness and value. The ability to cross reference information from an enormous database compiled from years of experience and systematic market research enables us to provide unique, cost effective solutions to our clients. Focused team work and specialised skills ensure that we provide the optimum service delivery to match set output targets,” says Wenk.

Broll Namibia’s head quarters are in Windhoek, with several Windhoek based satellite offices located in strategic properties under management. With a current staff complement of 23, Broll Namibia undertakes property management, project management, shopping centre management, retail leasing and consulting, office broking and back of house services.

Broll Namibia’s aim for 2011 is to ensure that it grows its strategic property services and to continuously improve on the value of its clients’ properties. The company was voted the top performer within the O&L Group of Companies in 2010, “An achievement we are extremely proud of,” Wenk says. PF