There is a fresh breeze in the retail district of Tygervalley in the Western Cape, thanks to the new Willowbridge Shopping Centre.
This centre eschewed the conventional covered shopping centre model in favour of a truly open air lifestyle. A share of 50% of the shopping centre is owned by the listed Siyathenga property fund.
Conventional shopping centres are focused inwardly, but the open air centre has the feel of a European street with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and coffee shops on both sides of the road.
Willowbridge in Carl Cronjé Drive has a gross lettable area of 25 645 m², and is home to 90 shops. The anchor tenants include Pick 'n Pay, leasing 2 503 m², @home leasing 1 694 m², Dischem leasing 1 190 m², Whetherlys leasing 2 439 m², Osiers leasing 719 m² and Woolworths' new concept shop leasing 2 500 m² (one of only two in the country). This Woolworths offers a unique collection of home ware, a health spa, a food department and a restaurant.
The centre also houses a Barnyard Theatre for entertainment in unique surroundings.
At this theatre, members of the audience may bring along their own food or order take-aways from four restaurants.
According to André van Bülow, managing director of Siyathenga, Willowbridge is the ideal destination for fashion, decor and relaxation in surroundings where shoppers can breathe fresh air and see the sun.
Some of the fashion shops include Jenni Button's new Philosophy fashion shop, Daniel Hechter and Tommy Hilfiger, where shoppers can get the latest in European fashion. Men can pick and choose from the likes of Marlboro, Timberland and the new luxury outlet of Fabiani, which is regarded as one of the star features of the centre.
This centre is located in a retail district, directly opposite to the Tygervalley Shopping Centre. Attfund is currently erecting a new value centre of 16 000 m² on the adjacent property, which is expected to open on the 22nd of this month.
Willowbridge boasts 1 388 covered and uncovered parking spaces.
The centre's value on 1 December 2005 was R185 million