Lifestyle Centre has had its fair share of obstacles. In 2017, an 80 000m2 regional mall opened over the road, claiming 40% of the Centre’s tenants. The Centre was redefined and redeveloped to offer beautifully designed spaces, unique stores and restaurants, and a vibrant local ambiance. Three years later, almost to the date, South Africa went into lockdown and the Centre and its tenants had to navigate another tumultuous year. Undaunted, the Lifestyle Centre team has progressed the plans that were put on hold during 2020, and has announced further exciting developments and new stores to be launched during the latter part of 2021.
Plans for The Studios, opposite Weylandts, unable to be brought to fruition due to the impact of the coronavirus and lockdown last year, are in the process of becoming reality. Reconstruction is currently underway to incorporate an eclectic mix of bespoke stores and personalised spaces to deliver an interesting and intimate shopping experience by the end of August. “Plenty of glass, steel and natural materials will provide a stunning backdrop to showcase a variety of interesting wellness and retail offerings,” explained Lifestyle Centre co-owner, Bruce Rencken.
A mixed-use mezzanine level will feature three health and fitness studios in a unique, modern and spacious environment. “We are wanting the energy of the mezzanine to be transferred into the retail space below, so that shoppers can enjoy the vibe and vitality that is generated from the exercise studios,” said Rencken. Tash B Pilates, currently operating temporarily from the old Katmandu site, will relocate to one of these studios in August. Local dynamo, Tash Barnard, together with Courtney Sharp, will also coordinate and manage a multidisciplinary fitness and exercise offering in the other two studios, hosting the best instructors in such disciplines as yoga, martial arts and various forms of dance.
New local lifestyle and fashion brand, ONE MBS, will anchor the retail offering at The Studios, joined by Cape Town-based leather brand, Rowdy, and a number of smaller, unique stores. The Coffee Lab will take pride of place in its newly designed space at the heart of The Studios, allowing customers to partake of their now-famous coffee and carrot cake while browsing.
As is the case with The Market and Eat Street, The Studios will provide another platform for small businesses and local operators to showcase their offerings in a handsomely constructed and interactive setting which will continue to add to the personality of Lifestyle Centre. “We are confident that this special new space will become another meeting point for Ballito and will create the connection that we have been missing in completing the flow of retail right throughout Lifestyle Centre,” said Rencken.
But this is not the only area of Lifestyle Centre that will see changes during 2021. Ballito locals can look forward to a number of new stores being introduced to other areas of the Centre too. In the retail spine between Woolworths and Lifestyle SUPERSPAR, Manolis are set to open a new store at the end of May. Rain Natural Skincare and Plettenberg Bay-based boutique fashion brand, French Kisses, are due to open by the end of August in the avenue between Lifestyle SUPERSPAR and Mica. Furthermore, come October, Outdoor Warehouse will launch a 500m2 store between Dis-Chem and Baby City, with its entrance being alongside the Mica Garden Nursery.
“Lifestyle Centre and all its tenants are grateful for the tremendous support we have received, and continue to receive, from the Ballito community,” said Rencken. “We have been in survival mode a few times during the last 5 years, but we have remained steadfast in our goal to offer Ballito top- class, experiential food and retail in a beautifully designed, al fresco shopping environment. We have managed to secure the sustainability of the majority of our fantastic tenants, and look forward to adding positively to life, the Ballito Way, for the foreseeable future.”