Flanagan & Gerard and Vukile take ownership of BT Ngebs City in R800 million deal

Flanagan & Gerard and Vukile take ownership of BT Ngebs City in R800 million deal
Architects perspective of the BT Ngebs Mall

BT Ngebs City in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, has transferred into the skilled hands of its new retail property specialist co-owners, Flanagan & Gerard Property Group and Vukile Property Fund (JSE: VKE). The process for the R800 million acquisition began in 2022 and has now been finalised, with each owner holding an equal share in this regional shopping centre.

The transfer also signals the green light to commence with major refurbishment plans to bring the mall in line with the high standards of the new owners, while improving the overall retail experience for customers from this community and its surrounds.

The redevelopment of the regional mall will bring significant improvement in its dynamics, flows and synergy with the neighbouring Mayfair Hotel and Casino. The introduction of escalators connecting the basement carpark directly to the retail level will streamline flow and interaction, create ease of access and shopping convenience. Mall lobbies will be introduced to the basement parking level, connecting the new escalators to key tenants on the retail level above. Tenant signage will be vastly improved giving customers a sense of direction and comfort with the mall layout. Major upgrades are planned for the main mall entrance, bringing theatrical elements and a vibrant atmosphere to strengthen the connection with the adjacent Casino and Mayfair Hotel. The combination of new owner-operated restaurants, thoughtful landscaping, and an enhanced overall vibe will contribute to the revitalization of this precinct, offering a more engaging and appealing experience for visitors from the region.

The mall’s retail mix will also be energised, bringing new retailers to the centre. Additional retailers focusing on first order goods will be introduced in conjunction with an additional pharmacy. This will bolster the current tenant mix which includes the likes of Pick n Pay, Checkers, Woolworths and Clicks. In addition, its popular selection of fashion brands, including Truworths, Foschini, Edgars, Mr Price, Ackermans, Refinery, Archive, Timberland, Fabiani, G-Star Raw, Spitz, Soviet and Bogart Man will be expanded with an even wider array of offerings. Both Queenspark and Pick n Pay Clothing have recently joined BT Ngebs City.

Paul Gerard, MD at Flanagan & Gerard, comments, “BT Ngebs City has all the ingredients to be an exceptional retail asset in our portfolio. Its great location, access and visibility make it a popular shopping destination. We are excited to work with Vukile to unlock the mall’s potential and performance and offer shoppers a wider choice of attractive retail.”

Itumeleng Mothibeli, MD SA at Vukile, remarks, “BT Ngebs City serves a crucial customer base within the South African retail sector and expands our existing investment in high-performing township and rural malls. It is an asset with excellent potential. Vukile’s investment and active asset management, together with that of Flanagan & Gerard, will continue the positive social and economic influence of BT Ngebs City for customers and communities in Mthatha and the region.”

Flanagan & Gerard and Vukile have collaborated on various award-winning retail property initiatives, and they are now joint owners of three property assets. Their other co-owned assets include Thavhani Mall in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, and Springs Mall in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.