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News from Johannesburg: Design Quarter l Raising the bar in customer experience

Launched in 2005, Design Quarter quickly established itself as the benchmark design, décor and lifestyle destination in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. Now, almost 20 years later, Design Quarter is leading the way as it upgrades and repositions itself as a niche lifestyle centre focused on home, dining, leisure and convenience.

“The expansion of marque retailers to a more holistic offering will provide customers with a shopping experience that is convenient, accessible, safe and enjoyable,” says Darryl Mayers, Joint Chief Executive Officer of Investec Property Fund, Design Quarter’s owners. “The ethos behind the upgrade has been to create a space that is carefully curated, bespoke and connected to Design Quarter’s clientele.”

The hand-picked tenants have been selected for their ability to bring an innovative experience to their customers.

Design Quarter is conveniently situated on William Nicol Drive, acting as the gateway to the greater Fourways node. It is located in a secure, access-controlled precinct and is an ideal work-and-play destination.

Design and décor have always underpinned the Design Quarter’s offering, and this category is expanding. Cielo, one of South Africa’s leading online furniture and homeware retailers, recently launched its flagship 1,300m2 store. @home will be growing, making their Design Quarter iteration the largest outlet within the group’s Gauteng collection. European high-end kitchen manufacturer Fabri, Iconomy Design Experience and the relocation of Mr Price Home complete the substantial category offering.

Dining options have raised their status on Design Quarter’s menu. The reconfiguration has facilitated the creation of a Food Street. The double-volume industrial design concept will create a buzzing food area that spills out onto an outdoor piazza strategically positioned alongside the recreational offering of The Golfers Club and TREK Bikes. This north-facing, open-air zone is unique in the local shopping area and provides a perfect space replete with a child-friendly piazza. This will serve as the heart of the entertainment area with greater pedestrian access, landscaping, living sculptures and a water feature.

Boosting the dining options will be Bootleggers, one of Cape Town’s most recognised and exciting coffee and eatery brands. They will be offering the finest in sustainably-sourced coffees together with a comprehensive light menu. Existing restaurants will be migrating to the piazza precinct, including Lupa Osteria.

Convenience retailers round out Design Quarter’s offering and include Checkers’ new concept store, Checkers’ Liquor and Checkers’ Petshop Science, along with a pharmacy offering, and Samsung who will showcase the latest in high-tech home appliances.  

The first phase of the redevelopment is due for completion in August 2022 and the final project is scheduled for completion in mid-2023. Award-winning MDS Architecture is bringing its expertise to the upgrade.

“Circulation and flow will be improved with greater accessibility and connection between the parking area and the stores,” says Sean Pearce, partner at MDS Architecture. “New  lifts and escalators have been strategically positioned to enable  shoppers direct access into the piazza and improve the flow and the experience for the customers.”

“This refurbishment could not have come at a better time. The trend towards home improvement gained traction during the Covid-19 lockdowns, providing the perfect context in which to revisit the roots of this landmark building. The updated design and carefully curated tenants will establish Design as a retail leader,” concludes Pearce.

About Design Quarter:

Design Quarter is a design, décor and lifestyle destination in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs and was developed in 2005 with the intention of being the ultimate destination for design-centred products and services. The 24,570m2 mixed-use development, conveniently situated on William Nicol Drive within a secure accessed-controlled precinct, offers the perfect destination for work and play.

Owned by Investec Property Fund, Design Quarter is being transformed into a beautifully curated and convenient lifestyle centre, that bridges the gap between a super-regional mall and a regular neighbourhood centre within the Fourways, Magaliessig and Bryanston catchment area.

Issued by Transform Marketing



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