Richmond Corner shopping centre opened in Cape Town introducing some 6,500m2 of sought-after convenience retail and uplifting its community.

The fully-let centre was officially opened on Thursday, 23 July by Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform in South Africa, Mcebisi Skwatsha represented by Dr. Wayne Alexander Chief Director: Western Cape of the Land Claims Commission. Chairperson of the Richmond Park Communal Property Association, Danny September, and Atterbury’s Western Cape head of operations, Gerrit van den Berg, also spoke on the occasion of Richmond Corner’s launch.

Richmond Corner has become a new landmark on the busy corner of Plattekloof and Tygerberg Valley roads, right at the N7 highway off-ramp.

The centre is a landmark in more ways than one. It is also part of Richmond Park, an 84ha site that is part of a milestone land restitution settlement. The land is owned by the Richmond Park Communal Property Association (CPA) – a group of 401 families representing 5,300 people spanning five generations – who were forcibly removed from it between 1972 and 1984. In 2014, the land transferred back to the CPA. The Richmond Park Community leased the land to the Richmond Park Development Company and has a shareholding in the development company.

Richmond Park is among the largest property developments in Cape Town with 300,000m2 of greenfield mixed-use development rights. Its major shareholders are Atterbury, Old Mutual Properties, the Richmond Park CPA as well as Qubic 3 Dimensional Property, Bethel Property and Atlantis. All of Richmond Park’s shareholders attended the launch event, and were joined by members of the Richmond community.

Atterbury is rolling out the multibillion Rand Richmond Park development on behalf of the shareholders. For more than 26 years, Atterbury has delivered excellent tailor-made development solutions including property development, investment and asset management in SA and internationally.

Van den Berg says: “Everyone involved in this project has gone above and beyond to get Richmond Corner ready for its shoppers and community. The opening of any shopping centre takes meticulous planning and heaps of hard work. Achieving this during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, and doing so safely, is an exceptional achievement and we’d like to thank everyone who has risen to this challenge, especially our consultants, contractors and partners. We are incredibly proud of the result and excited to showcase our beautiful centre and its powerful retail mix. Richmond Corner, together with the entire Richmond Park development, is a symbol of confidence in South Africa’s future.”

The centre was initially scheduled to open three months earlier, but its final preparations were delayed with South Africa’s COVID-19 hard lockdown. With the economy opening up, Richmond Corner has become Atterbury’s first South African shopping to open after the lifting of construction restrictions.

At the opening ceremony, van den Berg said, “May we draw a little hope and inspiration from this successful land restitution, and the opening of a fully-let centre in the middle of a global pandemic. May we wake up every morning with a fire in our bellies to make a difference to this beautiful country. May we not be derailed by incompetence, complacency and corrupt agendas designed to divide us.”

Putting safety first while creating a sense of occasion, the centre responsibly handed out giveaways as part of a shop-and-win competition to reward its first-ever shoppers, and it shared social distanced fun with stilt walkers.

Richmond Corners’ shopper appeal includes its great offering, location and easy accessibility, and, above all, its convenience – each element is designed to fulfil a valuable role in its community. And, with the national COVID-19 response, access to local retail has become even more critical.

Richmond Corner’s central location means an effortless shopping trip for everyone working in the park, those in its immediate Richmond neighbourhood and just around the corner for commuters living in nearby Bothasig, Richwood, Burgundy, Plattekloof and surrounds.

The centre offers a selection of 22 stores, focused on modern, convenient family shopping. It is anchored by Pick n Pay, Woolworths Food, Clicks, complemented by a variety of convenience stores and takeaway options.

Takeaways and treats include Calamari Fisheries, Famous Kalahari Biltong, Pizza Perfect and Vide e Caffe. These delicious options will be joined by a KFC Drive-Thru on 30 July, and a Burger King Drive-Thru in October this year.

Pick n Pay at Richmond Corner will also be joined by group brands Pick n Pay Clothing and, opening when permitted, Pick n Pay Liquor. Keeping shoppers healthy and beautiful are Clicks, Sorbet, The Barber’s Range and Spec-Savers. Adding to everyday convenience are Absolute Pets, All Fix, Dry Cleaning 4U, Unique Tailor and The Crazy Store. It also features ATMs from FNB and Standard Bank.

In the spirit of community, several of these retailers have been particularly mindful to employ people from the Richmond community, and so too has the precinct’s cleaning contractor.

Designed to be modern, minimalistic, and aesthetically appealing, Richmond Corner features accents of textured wood and cement. But this centre isn’t only good looking; it is also designed to operate in a way that is good for the environment. Its structure includes built-in rainwater harvesting, it has environmentally friendly and sustainable waste management, and has been built to house its own solar farm in future.

To start with, Richmond Corner will open at 9am daily, and trade until 6pm on weekdays, 5pm on Saturdays, and 3pm on Sundays and public holidays. The centre offers 24-hour security with free parking, including specially demarcated disabled and moms-and-tots bays.

Of course, COVID-19 safety protocols are firmly in place at the new centre. Face masks are compulsory, 2m social distancing is necessary at all times, the number of people is appropriately limited, sanitizer is available for use, and the centre regularly deep cleans common areas.