The construction of Villa “ghost” mall east of Pretoria might be eventually be finished in three years’ time – if all goes according to plan.
“A property group is at an advanced stage of negotiation with a potential investor about possibly completing the building,” local ward councillor Daryl Johnston told Rekord.
This follows a recent meeting between Johnston and the CEO and chairman of the property group about the mall’s future use.
The construction of the R3.5-billion mall was halted in 2010 when developer Capicol ran into funding problems.
The enormous mall has stood unfinished since attracting the moniker ghost mall.
“The property group seems confident of concluding an agreement. They also indicated that hopefully three years from now, the residents will no longer have an incomplete building standing on the corner of Delmas Road and De Villebois Drive.”
Johnston said the property group indicated that the building was structurally sound and the primary structure complete.
“I was shown excerpts of what was an engineer’s report on the condition of the building.
“They also informed me that they have a certificate confirming the building is 75 percent complete.”
He said progress had been hampered by ongoing litigation.
“They were not prepared to divulge any further details regarding the investor or the final purpose for which the building would be used.
“However, it was indicated that due to the oversupply of retail space, and since this is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, the development would be a mixed-use one.”
He said there has been a commitment to keep the metro informed of progress as and when it happened.
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa told Rekord that the incomplete structure was “an eyesore” and it owed the municipality rates and taxes which the metro was handling as a legal matter.
“Moving forward, it might be important to engage the private developers to discuss the way forward for the mall and its future use and options.”
He confirmed Johnston and developers had been working on finding a solution for future alternative use for the structure.
“There is a potential for job creation if the mall is revived,” said Mokgalapa.
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