Design Quarter – Raising the Bar in Customer Experience

 

Johannesburg, 5 July 2022 – Launched in 2005, Design Quarter quickly established itself as the benchmark design, décor and lifestyle destination in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. Now, almost 20 years later, Design Quarter is leading the way as it upgrades and repositions itself as a niche lifestyle centre focused on home, dining, leisure and convenience.

“The expansion of marque retailers to a more holistic offering will provide customers with a shopping experience that is convenient, accessible, safe and enjoyable,” says Darryl Mayers, Joint Chief Executive Officer of Investec Property Fund, Design Quarter’s owners. “The ethos behind the upgrade has been to create a space that is carefully curated, bespoke and connected to Design Quarter’s clientele.”

The hand-picked tenants have been selected on their ability to bring an innovative experience to their customers.  Design Quarter is conveniently situated on William Nicol Drive, acting as the gateway to the greater Fourways node. It is located in a secure, access-controlled precinct and is an ideal work-and-play destination.

Design and décor have always underpinned the Design Quarter’s offering, and this category is expanding. Cielo, one of South Africa’s leading online furniture and homeware retailers, recently launched their flagship 1,300m2 store. @home will be growing, making their Design Quarter iteration the largest outlet within the group’s Gauteng collection. European high-end kitchen manufacturer Fabri, Iconomy Design Experience and the relocation of Mr Price Home complete the substantial category offering.

 

Dining options have raised their status on Design Quarter’s menu.The reconfiguration has facilitated the creation of a Food Street. The double-volume industrial design concept will create a buzzing food area that spills out onto an outdoor piazza strategically positioned alongside the recreational offering of The Golfers Club and TREK Bikes. This north facing, open-air zone is unique in the local shopping area and provides a perfect space replete with a child-friendly piazza. This will serve as the heart of the entertainment area with greater pedestrian access, landscaping, living sculptures and a water feature.

Boosting the dining options will be Bootleggers, one of Cape Town’s most recognised and exciting coffee and eatery brands. They will be offering the finest in sustainably-sourced coffees together with a comprehensive light menu. Existing restaurants will be migrating to the piazza precinct, including Lupa Osteria.

Convenience retailers round out Design Quarter’s offering, and include Checkers’ new concept store, Checkers’ Liquor and Checkers’ Petshop Science, along with a pharmacy offering, and Samsung who will showcase the latest in high-tech home appliances.

The first phase of the redevelopment is due for completion during August 2022 and the final project scheduled for completion mid 2023. Award-winning MDS Architecture, are bringing their expertise to the upgrade.

“Circulation and flow will be improved with greater accessibility and connection between the parking area and the stores,” says Sean Pearce, partner at MDS Architecture. “New  lifts and escalators have been strategically positioned to enable  shoppers direct access into the piazza and improving the flow and the experience for the customers.”

“This refurbishment could not have come at a better time. The trend towards home improvement gained traction during the Covid-19 lockdowns, providing the perfect context in which to revisit the roots of this landmark building. The updated design and carefully curated tenants will establish Design as a retail leader,” concludes Pearce.

About Design Quarter:

 Design Quarter is a design, décor and lifestyle destination in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs and was developed in 2005 with the intention of being the ultimate destination for design-centred products and services. The 24,570m2 mixed-use development, conveniently situated on William Nicol Drive within a secure accessed-controlled precinct, offers the perfect destination for work and play.

Owned by Investec Property Fund, Design Quarter is being transformed into a beautifully curated and convenient lifestyle centre, that bridges the gap between a super-regional mall and a regular neighbourhood centre within the Fourways, Magaliessig and Bryanston catchment area.

About Investec Property Fund:

 Investec Property Fund Limited is a South African Real Estate Investment Trust, having listed on the JSE Limited (“JSE”) in 2011 and obtaining REIT status on 1 April 2013. The Fund pursues a bi-regional investment strategy, focused on building scale and relevance in its core geographies of South Africa and Western Europe. IPF’s investment portfolio is currently comprised of R22.1 billion of direct and indirect real estate investments located across these regions. In South Africa, the Fund directly owns a sizeable and diversified portfolio of 85 properties in the retail, industrial and office sectors valued at R14.9 billion and a 35% interest in Izandla Property Fund Pty Ltd valued at R0.3 billion. c.45% of the Fund’s balance sheet is comprised of foreign investments, namely an effective 65% interest in a Pan-European logistics portfolio. This portfolio consists of 48 logistics properties that are located in the major logistics corridors of seven European countries, including the core countries of Germany, France and Netherlands, which together comprise c.80% of the portfolio. This provides the Fund with geographic diversification and exposure to quality real estate in the developed markets of Western Europe. In both regions, the manager has a presence on-the-ground with in-country expertise and therefore adopts a hands-on approach to managing the properties.

The objective of the Fund is to optimise capital and income returns over time for shareholders by investing in best of breed income-producing properties in the office, industrial and retail sectors in South Africa and in big-box logistics properties in Western Europe. Effectively, all rental income, less operating costs and interest on debt, is distributed to shareholders semi-annually. For more about Investec Property Fund please visit: www.investecpropertyfund.com