A lifestyle of community and convenience | Everything Property
21 August 2023

A lifestyle of community and convenience

Westown Square's open air high street


Westown, an exciting new mixed-use property and lifestyle development in Durban’s outer west, has just launched its first phase – Westown Square. A world-class retail experience, Westown Square’s open air high street is designed with community and convenience at heart

Durban’s outer west (Shongweni, Hammarsdale and Cato Ridge) will soon be home to Westown, a 100ha sustainable mixed-use development offering high-end lifestyle, retail and business facilities, and a variety of recreational activities. 

Situated just off the N3 between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, Westown’s first phase, the 50,000m² Westown Square, is now under construction. With its prime retail component set among green landscaped spaces, Westown Square leads the way to a beautiful lifestyle where community, connection and convenience take priority.

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Connection at the core

Following a thoughtful and intelligent footprint, Westown Square is designed to connect people with the various precincts, spaces and experiences that are all part of the greater Westown urban core. 

“The design is open, permeable and accessible, which encourages connection and interaction as part of the retail experience,” says Donald McGillivray, a partner at retail specialists MDS Architecture who, with Boogertman and Partners KZN, designed Westown Square for developers Fundamentum Property Group (Fundamentum).

“Westown Square is created as a high street environment that reflects a lifestyle approach and prioritises the movement of people,” says CEO of Fundamentum Carlos Correia. “It moves away from the ëmall conceptí by bringing together shopping, dining and recreation in a setting that reflects the natural beauty of Shongweni.” 

Walkways surrounded by lush plant life, seating under pergolas, landscaped gardens, large trees and planter boxes celebrate the outdoors and set the tone for Westown as a whole. “We included features like the town gardens and square, the amphitheatre, maze and children’s play areas,” says Correia. “Westown Square is a high-end retail space where you can truly immerse yourself in the beautiful natural surroundings.”

Adding to the sense of shared community is The Barn on the Square. This market-style offering will be the heart of local trade and include bespoke food, wine, produce and handmade craft experiences all housed in a light and bright double-volume two-level building that opens up onto the town square.

The first phase of Westown’s development

Shop at top retailers

For those people wanting access to a wide variety of top end retail brands and stores in one convenient location, Westown Square has it all. Here you can look forward to shopping at some of the country’s most popular and loved anchor outlets including Checkers Hyper, PicknPay, Dis-Chem, Edgars, Mr Price and Clicks.

“Westown Square’s anchor brands are the foundation of the retail experience and the base to which we will add our local brands. This is just the beginning, there are many more to come, that will complement our mix and create an aspirational retail destination,” says Correia. 

Homes for all generations  

With the adult population in the area having increased at a rate of 6.5% over the past nine years, there’s been a greater demand for apartments and townhouses offering top-end security, a range of family-friendly facilities and access to surrounding amenities.

Shongweni is viewed as a prime location to answer this demand due to its convenient location that has access to necessary facilities and services for current and future communities, its connection to existing residential areas and the availability of developable land.

As the prime piece of developable land, Westown offers opportunities across all age groups and income levels with new apartments and walk-up living that will be supported by retail and commercial activities and uses, and lifestyle-related activities, all part of an integrated, planned, and managed environment.

Growth spurt

KwaZulu-Natal is the second largest economic contributor to SA’s GDP after Gauteng. It has the second largest population and is home to SA’s busiest container and bulk cargo ports. Yet, as one of the eThekweni Municipality’s five main industrial areas, the outer west historically had the lowest share of contribution to GDP in the city. 

With this challenge comes the opportunity for growth, development, and investment for both the public and private sectors, to which Westown’s developers, Fundamentum,  responded.

Set to generate about R15bn in new investment over the next 10 to 15 years, both in infrastructure and top structures, Westown has approved development rights of about 520,000m² of bulk floor area. These rights have been activated by the retail core of Westown Square, which is supported by several interconnected precincts and facilities including The West Private Hospital, residential apartments, commercial and business activities, and a warehousing and logistics precinct.

Retaining the outdoor character of Shongweni is integral to its development. As such, Westown will not only integrate with existing outdoor and lifestyle activities and facilities in the area, but enhance them with the rehabilitation of sugar cane into an indigenous active green belt. As is the case with the whole of the Westown development, this node will fall under the management of the Westown Management Association.

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community and convenience

Easy road and pedestrian access is a key feature of Westown

Greater area benefits

Westown is the first development phase of the Shongweni Urban Development, a proclaimed catalytic project by the eThekwini Municipality supported by KwaZulu Natal’s economic development, tourism & environmental affairs department and National Government.

In addition to its investment value, Westown will also bring much-needed community and socioeconomic benefits to the outer west region including an upgraded road, water and power infrastructure, schooling and education facilities, running, cycling and equestrian trails, wetland rehabilitation and ongoing management, support of surrounding businesses and facilities for the collective growth of the area, 15,000 construction jobs and 8,500 permanent jobs, training centre and skills development programmes, public transport, local service support and long-term developer investment focused on revitalising the area.

Prime industrial node 

Westown’s warehousing and logistics opportunities are all strategically located with easy access to the N3 highway national corridor, which is only 1.5km away. Known as the National Strategic Integrated Project 2 (SIP 2), this logistics and industrial corridor between Durban, the Free State and Gauteng is defined as a route with investment and development opportunities in accessible nodes.

Keystone and Cato Ridge are two such developing nodes with Shongweni earmarked to follow – it is the closest new industrial development node to the bustling port of Durban. 

Available for occupation from the end of 2024, Westown’s warehousing and logistics opportunities include 80,000m² of platform area with a height potential of 22m available in tailored offerings, with bespoke solutions on fully serviced platforms.

community and convenience

Westown’s office parks and sectional title office units

New office and commercial units

Current market research related to the movement of the workforce in and around the outer west indicates that 41% of those living there commute out of the area for work purposes. 

With significant increases in population year on year within working-aged adults (6.5% per annum over the past nine years) and increased preference for selecting the outer west due to its residential and lifestyle benefits; there is a noticeable demand for associated new commercial offerings.

As a greenfield site, Westown offers opportunities not only for new office parks and sectional title office units but also for a host of retail and commercial activities and uses with supporting lifestyle-related activities. 

A progressive city

Westown offers investors, home and business owners the opportunity to do things differently – to be part of a city built with a progressive approach. For Westown developers, this means channelling all the disciplines involved in creating this new city towards delivering a sustainable and safe destination with social and economic value. 

It allows for the creation of spaces and experiences that respond to the needs of people and how they want to interact in and with them, which encourages positive user experiences, social integration and ownership of the place.

While these seem to be simple features, using them as the core principles when building a new city is not a simple process. It requires constantly aligning the various processes, needs and interests involved in this long-term journey and pushing a people-first approach.

To read more about Westown, click here

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