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Hangar 18 Takes the Helm of Eastern Cape's Retail Giants, Baywest and Hemingways Malls

Published March 20, 2024
2 months ago

In what can be described as a significant shift in the Eastern Cape retail landscape, Hangar 18, a prominent South African property company, has officially taken ownership of two of the province's largest shopping centers - Baywest Mall in Nelson Mandela Bay and Hemingways Mall in Buffalo City. The acquisition, valued at R1.3 billion for each property, represent a strategic move for the company and a considerable investment in the regional economy.

These purchases were finalized after the malls, which had been placed under business rescue in 2022 due to financial difficulties, were sold in September 2023. The transition is now complete, and with it comes a promise to not only preserve jobs but also improve the shopping experience for customers.

Hangar 18's co-founder and joint CEO, Marc Edwards, highlighted the firm's commitment to forging strong relationships with tenants, which is anticipated to be the cornerstone of their management strategy. The deals were not simply transactions but also the safeguarding of more than 50 direct jobs and preventing the potential unemployment of numerous indirect workers, including those employed by tenants and service providers.

Baywest Mall, boasting 90,000 square meters of retail space, has been an essential retail destination since it opened in 2015, and Hemingways Mall, slightly smaller at 74,000 square meters, has served its community since 2009. Hangar 18 now aims to revitalize these hubs of commerce, bringing in new energy and creative strategies aimed at fostering an enriched shopping environment.

The acquisition's significance extends beyond economics. It forms a part of broader development plans, especially for the residential area surrounding Baywest Mall. Hangar 18 sees potential for further development and increased foot traffic as a beacon of growth for the local economy.

With their longstanding reputation in the property sector, Hangar 18 brings to the table strong relationships with financial institutions, national tenants, and real estate investment trusts. Their hands-on approach to property management is expected to harness these connections to ensure successful and sustainable operations of both Baywest and Hemingways Malls.

Edwards outlined the new owners' immediate focus will be on mastering the fundamentals, aiming to create an inviting and memorable shopping atmosphere for both local residents and visitors. As part of their comprehensive vision for the malls, Hangar 18 announced plans to gradually improve each property's aesthetic appeal and functionality, tailoring these revamps to better serve the needs and preferences of each mall's individual community.

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