Gateway Delta, a Mauritius based firm has bought Metroplex Shopping Mall, property agent Knight Frank Uganda has revealed. According to Knight Frank, the company will immediately start redeveloping the mall.
“The major redevelopment of the Metroplex Shopping Mall will commence shortly with the intended reopening of all phases of the development in April 2020,” Knight Frank said in a statement. The redevelopment, according to Marc Du Toit, the head of retail at Knight Frank, will cost an estimated $21 million (about Shs 77bn).
Toit told this publication that the deal would have gone through earlier but was delayed by uncertainty about the Land and Tenants Bill 2018 that sought to restrict rents in dollars.
In a report last week, Parliament rejected the proposal, which gave investors assurances. The mall was previously owned by Metroplex Mall Ltd, a company owned by a host of Indian families.
The mall has let table area of 13000sq meters. The area, however, had struggled to attract clients with Shoprite closing its outlet there in 2015. Still in 2015, the Metroplex Shopping Mall Limited sued Shoprite for terminating the tenancy agreement. The case went in favour of the mall.
Cineplex cinema still offered life to the mall that was once touted as one of Kampala’s one stop shopping complexes. An employee at Knight Frank Uganda described the state of the mall as “[it] has been dead.” It only had the cinema and the South African clothing retailer Woolworth as the only worthy clients.
The sale comes after a French supermarket Carrefour announced that it will open an outlet there in February 2020. Knight Frank says it will be the primary shopping and entertainment hub within the areas of Naalya, Kiwatule and Namugongo.
The new owner is also expected to put a new access road off Kyaliwajjala-Naalya road to ease accessibility from all corners. Gateway Delta is a private real estate development company. The amount paid for the mall hasn’t been disclosed.
There are unconfirmed rumours that Omar Mandela, the proprietor of the popular Cafe Javas chain restaurant may also open up an outlet there to cater for the neighbourhood.