The new R1.8 billion vibrant mixed-use 65,000sqm Central Square opened on Wednesday, 21 September, at the heart of the iconic 315,000sqm Menlyn Maine decentralised green city mega-development. It is designed to have positive impacts on both the environment and people who use it.
Menlyn Maine is South Africa’s first green, mixed-use city precinct. As a partner of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Menlyn Maine is one of 16 green cities being built in various countries, and the only one in Africa. In line with Menlyn Maine’s exceptional sustainability benchmarks, all buildings in the precinct are set to be rated 4 Green Star SA or higher by the Green Building Council of South Africa. It is also targeting a LEED ND certification for the precinct.
In an industry first for South Africa, Central Square at Menlyn Maine has achieved a Green Star SA Custom Mixed Use rating from the GBCSA.
Central Square is co-owned by joint investors Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) represented by the PIC.
It will introduce a compelling offering of 30,000sqm of exceptional boutique-styled mall development with over 50 hand-picked retailers, restaurants, and entertainment experiences. The perfect place for daily convenience shopping with a difference, many of Central Square’s tenants share its sustainability ethos.
Henk Boogertman, Architectural Director of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd says: “Many of Central Square’s retailers and restaurants are likeminded in prioritising sustainability, including our large grocery stores, Spar, Pick n Pay, and Woolworths. With sustainability leaders coming together in a single green city, Central Square has become an exciting platform for collaborative environmental innovation. This has exponential positive impacts.”
Boogertman adds: “People can shop, dine and unwind at Central Square in full confidence that by choosing Menlyn Maine for everyday activities they are being kinder to our fragile planet while enjoying a world-class experience. The design of Central Square articulates the Menlyn Maine vision to create a modern, New Urban city precinct, where everything is right on one’s doorstep and people can live full, balanced, responsible and exciting lives in a well-secured environment.”
SPAR at Central Square is unlike any other store and is designed to fulfil its customers’ needs in a way that no one else can.
Peter Arsalides, the owner of the new Spar, explains: “The store has an exceptional range of fresh offerings, from sushi to pizza, and a fantastic selection of artisan breads and baked goods. Yet, it will still offer our customers a solid grocery range to satisfy their household shopping needs.”
“The developers have focused on minimising the environmental impact of the centre with the latest innovations for water and energy efficiencies. This is an important undertaking and I feel it is critical for future developments to follow similar examples to preserve our environment for future generations. This was an important motivator for me, as well as the SPAR brand, in choosing to be part of this milestone development,” reports Arsalides.
Central Square SPAR uses only the latest imported LED lighting – the entire store lighting consumes less electricity than one oven. Its refrigeration uses the latest world standards in refrigerants and condenser technology, cutting its electrical consumption by an incredible 67%.
SPAR at Central Square also uses heat pumps for hot water generation and circulates this water in a ring main throughout the store. This reduces the cost of generating hot water and, in addition, the ring main offers instant hot water from the moment the tap is opened, reducing water waste while waiting for water to warm up.
Woolworths Food at Central Square will offer customers everything they have come to love and expect from this leading brand, including fresh cut flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables that are ‘farming for the future’ certified, its ‘good to go’ range – a great lunchtime solution, and delicious hot pies or rotisserie chicken for a quick easy dinner.
“Woolworths is passionate about the environment and doing the right thing, and so Central Square does feel like the perfect fit for us,” says Woolworths.
Woolworths Central Square’s refrigeration uses a 100% natural gas system that has zero impact on the environment. In addition, its food market has an underfloor heat reclaim system that recycles gas to keep the store warm.
Woolworths will save energy in its Central Square store by using LED lighting throughout – even in its freezer and cold room doors. It saves water by using online water metering, timer taps, heat pump geysers and dual flush toilets.
The Central Square Woolworths Food store also has an online electricity metering system to help manage energy consumption more effectively. “We’ve installed a real-time energy display screen to help promote energy consumption awareness inside the store,” says Woolworths.
Pick n Pay at Central Square is a next generation store, offering its exciting new format that has been rolling out across the country. This means Pick n Pay at Central Square will give customers the ultimate convenience and enjoyable experience with its new layout, easy navigation, product innovation and overall look and feel.
Adrian Naude, Marketing Director of Pick n Pay says: “We are really looking forward to being part of Central Square at Menlyn Maine and welcoming customers to our new store. We are particularly excited about the all-new Fresh Hall, the signature of Pick n Pay’s next generation stores, which offers larger product range with improved in-store technology that ensures faster replenishment. This means customers will always get the freshest possible produce, no matter what time of day they choose to shop.”
To offer consumers sustainable alternatives, it will provide a range of organic, free range and Fairtrade products– Pick n Pay currently stocks the largest range of Fair Trade products in SA.
“In fact, when it comes to sustainability, Central Square was an obvious choice for Pick n Pay,” says Naude. As a leading retailer, Pick n Pay is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and encourages suppliers and customers to do so too. Its efforts are guided by a climate change and food security strategy.
“We focus on improving energy-efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint, decreasing the waste we produce, recycling, and being water-wise. To minimise energy consumption, we change behaviours and use new technologies, especially in-store with refrigeration, lighting and air conditioning,” says Naude.
Its other in-store initiatives include collection points to recycle light bulbs, batteries, plastic bags and ink cartridges, and enterprising recycling initiatives, many of which create opportunities for employment. Pick n Pay is also a longstanding core funder and sustainable seafood partner of WWF-SA and the first retailer in Africa to commit to stocking only sustainably sourced seafood.
Wellness Warehouse at Central Square offers a wide variety of health, skin, and body care and food choices with exclusive ranges and its own Wellness label that only uses quality ingredients. It also features a Wellness Café that serves up refreshing smoothies, healthy juice and guilt-free treats. All this comes with the friendly and knowledgeable service of the Wellness staff.
“Opening Wellness Warehouse at Central Square was a golden opportunity for us,” says Dr Sean Gomes, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wellness Warehouse. “We felt it was important to align ourselves with a centre that will have the first Custom Mixed Use Green Star SA rating. Its convenience, prime location and mixed-use infrastructure are all successful features we wanted to be part of. We strongly believe in a healthy mind, body and environment and, more importantly, we believe that Wellness is a lifestyle. Being part of the first green city development is a perfect fit with our brand.”
Putting this passion into action, the Wellness on-the-go Café uses takeaway packaging that is environmentally friendly and biodegradable where possible. Wellness Warehouse also inspires communities to adopt a holistic approach to health with its 360 approach to wellness. It is committed to learning about what makes living life well possible and to sharing this knowledge with its customers.
“Being in Central Square – at the heart of Africa’s first green city in the making – means we will be open to a customer base that is actively involved and concerned about the environment and the benefit of healthy living,” says Gomes. “With an open mind, clear vision and knowledgeable past, we are committed to offering the very best in health and wellness.”