We all make New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of every year – to lose weight, eat more healthily, cut out bad habits – to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. This year, Blue Route Mall’s resolution was just that – to be the sleekest, most sophisticated, most modern version of itself that it could possibly be; one that people would want to engage with again and again.
More often than not, our resolutions tend to quickly fall by the wayside, lost or forgotten as life gets in the way. However those involved with Blue Route Mall’s particular resolution were determined to maintain the momentum necessary for success. Which is why, on 29 March 2012, Southern Suburbs shoppers saw their much-loved centre’s dreams of grandeur realised in spectacular style with the grand reopening of the new-look Blue Route Mall.
Of course, this was no quick fix with a few splashes of paint here and there. This was a comprehensive redevelopment, reconstruction and rebuilding project from the ground up; one more than two years in the making. Some would question the necessity and expense involved in such a gargantuan undertaking – why an entire redevelopment when a simple makeover could just as easily suffice? To answer that, we need to go back to the beginning – back to the inception of Blue Route Mall itself.
Situated in one of the most picturesque areas of the Western Cape, just minutes from Claremont and the Constantia Wine Route, Blue Route Mall has long been a shopping venue of choice for local customers, its popularity dating back to its humble beginnings in the early 1970s. While it has continued to expand over the years in order to keep up with demand and progress, a marked shift in the surrounding community’s levels of affluence and sophistication made it increasingly crucial for Blue Route Mall to adapt even further – to fully connect with this new mindset and spending power and improve its ability to meet the changing needs of its customers.
Realising that this fundamental change would need to happen sooner rather than later, Fountainhead Property Trust, as landlord, began its initial research into the development that would be needed to bring Blue Route Mall to a level above that of its competitors. Taking the infrastructure of the current mall into account, it was agreed that the centre was structurally incapable of meeting modern demands, and that its area of 48 000m² would need to increase substantially.
This decision in turn led to Blue Route Mall’s architectural philosophy being radically altered, with plans put in place to see it not merely renovated, but reconstructed from the ground up in order to mirror the considerable changes in the residential community. And after years of intensive research, planning and deliberation, Blue Route Mall’s now-legendary redevelopment project began in earnest in April 2010 with Phase 1’s demolition – the first step in the mall’s evolution into becoming the premier retail and lifestyle destination of the Southern Suburbs.
Two years and two million man hours later, here we are – with Phase 2 of the project complete, and the doors to the new-look Blue Route Mall open at last. If you missed the opening celebrations that started on Thursday 29 March and continued right through the weekend, then you may want to skip this part – the part where we tell you that it was no ordinary opening. What it was instead was a grand launch celebration marked by special offers, exclusive promotions and non-stop excitement provided by crowds of eager shoppers.
Once the new mall’s doors were open on that red-letter Thursday, the public flooded in with all the excitement of children on Christmas morning – and that initial frenzy and exhilaration has yet to subside. Streams of shoppers are still pouring into the new Blue Route Mall, eager to see what the fuss is all about, and to see if the centre has lived up to its promise of being the Southern Suburbs’ leading shopping destination.
And has it? This is the part where we invite you to judge for yourselves – to pay a visit to Blue Route Mall and determine whether the hype lives up to the reality. Take a turn off the M3 the next time you’re in the neighborhood and take a look at what the new mall has to offer. First you’ll find free undercover parking, situated conveniently underneath the redeveloped shopping centre, with additional open air parking just outside. (Phases 3 and 4 of the development will encompass the demolition of the old mall and the construction of further parking to accommodate the newly increased number of visitors.)
Once you’ve parked, take a trip up the new escalators and into shopping mecca, with two full floors of retail delight, and easy lift and escalator access to your favourite Woolworths, Edgars, Mr Price, Queenspark, Foschini, Jet and Truworths stores. You’ll soon find that no matter what your interests, hobbies or browsing tastes, you’ll find the store to suit you, tastefully designed in keeping with the sleek new look of the mall.
A fashionista? Try Guess, Forever New, Aldo, Monsoon, Jay Jays or any of the other brand-new clothing stores available. More of an outdoor lover? Cape Union Mart or Due South is where you need to be. And if you’re a techie, you’ll love the all-new Dion Wired and Incredible Connection too. With all these, a Dis-Chem, La Senza, Checkers Hyper, and 100 more stores to choose from, you’ll never run out of shopping venues to explore at Blue Route Mall.
But Blue Route Mall isn’t just about shopping – it’s about relaxation as well. Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content, you’ll be able to take a break in the brand-new food court, home to a variety of much-loved fast casual eateries, and panoramic views of the Constantiaberg Mountains. It is here that renowned Victoria Wharf architects, Louis Karol, truly chose to breathe new life into the mall, making plentiful use of the beauty of natural light, and employing ceiling-high windows as a showcase for the breathtaking display of the surrounding landscapes. Sit down for a quick bite and you may never want to leave. But when you finally do, and if you’re in the mood to relax a little more, try the comfy seats in the all-new Ster Kinekor cinema complex, newly enlarged to accommodate 8 big screens with 3D capability as well.
The changes don’t stop there however. In addition to a new design, Blue Route Mall now incorporates new conveniences as well. From increased seating throughout the mall to extended shopping hours, wheelchair access to lifts and escalators, every customer’s needs have been taken care of in order to ensure a shopping experience that’s more rewarding than ever.
So here it is – your official invitation to take in the sights, sounds and stores of the new Blue Route Mall, whose resolution to change for the better is in fact a recommitment to the community to keep on growing and evolving to meet their needs. And while this much-loved establishment has undergone a significant transformation, it has still kept what truly matters the same – its dedication to offering the very best in quality and service, no matter what the cost.
Blue Route Mall is open from 9am to 7pm Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 3pm on Sundays and public holidays. Call Centre Management on 021 713 2360, visit www.blueroutemall.co.za for more information or visit their Facebook fan page.