Metal sheeting cordoned off a large mid-section of the Pepper Grove Mall parking lot this week as construction began on an undisclosed commercial building project. Anger is rising as the construction inconveniences shoppers, while speculation swirls on social media about the purpose of the new building.
Text originally published on activateonline.co.za on 5 September 2014
By Petru Saal
Beer Properties have recently been inundated with complaints from residents saying that the construction site at Pepper Grove Mall is disruptive and inconveniences shoppers. Business owners and customers alike are up in arms saying that the 23 parking bays that have been cordoned off for the first phase of construction is disrupting the general functioning of the mall.
In a letter sent out to Pepper Grove tenants, Rob Beer from Beer Properties asked residents to be patient while the upgrade to the mall is still in construction. Referring to rumours that Spec Savers, Crazy Store and Mugg & Bean are the shops that will be opening in the mall, Beer said that no confirmation has come through yet. “I am not at liberty to disclose, at this stage, which new shops are entering the mall.” Beer said that there were four new shops, all of which “will be of benefit to Rhodes students.”
Customers need not worry over lack of parking space when the new stores open in 2015. Beer properties have acquired the adjoining property to the mall and this will be solely dedicated to parking, Beer said.
According to Beer the municipality has taken more than a year to approve the sub-division of this property which in turn has put a lot of pressure on the start to the construction of the new shops.
“It is very difficult adding shops to an existing mall without causing disruption. There are 342 parking bays in the mall. Since just 297 are required to meet Municipal regulations there are 45 surplus bays” Beer said. For the first phase of construction 23 parking bays have been cordoned off leaving an extra 22 from the 45 surplus bays. The construction is set to be completed by March 2015.
During the week of 31 August to 5 September, Pick n Pay apologised to customers in their shop, on social media as well as in Grocotts Mail for the inconvenience caused by the construction. They asked their customers for feedback relating to the construction. Here are some of the responses:
Despite the negative comments, a few locals managed to keep their sense of humour in the face of adversity:
Finally, one online commenter summed up what a lot of people were probably thinking while reading through some of the more frenzied responses: