Mall construction still on the cards

GK CRONJE

22 September 2020

In January 2020, the Moolman Group was granted the go-ahead for the construction project. The Moolman Group has confirmed that the project is now codenamed Merino Mall, and planning have now been put in motion.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

In early 2015, residents learned with great excitement of a planned shopping center, Plateau Mall, which was to be built in Voortrekker Avenue, where the Showgrounds is currently located. The project would be managed by the Moolman Group, a well-known developer with many successful projects on their roster. This flagship construction project, touted as a 30,000m² development, would see a completion date of April 2020, and which would house many new chain stores, immediately made a big splash in the community. Unfortunately, over time, the excitement disappeared into the mist of uncertainty, after no indication of any building process was visible.

The community also abuzz with rumours of alleged political influence that played a role in the objections. However, the allegations could not be substantiated, and the dust settled over time. After the events, the planning was quietly swept under the rug by officials, hoping that the Plateau Mall would die a silent death. However, in 2019, a silent war still raged on the courtrooms between Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) and the Moolman Group. Hoping that the Moolman Group would abandon the construction, even though all legal channels and supporting documentation were in order, it turns out that the Moolman Group’s legal team still had a few aces up their sleeve.

After an extensive court battle, the Moolman Group emerged victorious after obliterating the faux obstacles and reasons for the disapproval of the project from MLM. In January 2020, the Moolman Group was granted the go-ahead for the construction project. The Moolman Group has confirmed that the project is now codenamed Merino Mall, and planning have now been put in motion. They have made great strides in improving their relationship with MLM. At this point in time, with the information available, the construction is expected to commence in mid- to late 2021, and will take an approximate 18 month period to complete. As the only location lacking a regional mall within its immediate vicinity, Ermelo residents are sure to rejoice when the Merino Mall finally comes to pass.

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