SA Developer to build three Shopping Malls

South African property developer Atterbury plans to build three shopping malls in Mozambique, a company executive said on Friday, joining a slew of real estate developers responding to the lure of Africa´s fast-growing consumer markets.

Speaking at Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Johannesburg, Atterbury Africa Fund´s managing director, James Ehlers, said the properties – which would blend residential and commercial uses – would be in Mozambique´s second-largest city, Beira; the port city Pemba; and in a third town, Nacala. He did not say how long the projects would take.

Atterbury is owned by listed South African property funds Hyprop Investment Ltd and Attacq Ltd , both of which say they want to invest in real estate in the poor but fast-growing continent.

Ehlers said his company was also looking at Kenya, east Africa´s biggest economy, for opportunities. The company is already expanding its mall in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, and planning a second mall in Kumasi, he said.

Developers are rushing to build malls to meet growing demand from retailers such Shoprite. The retailers have laid out aggressive plans for store openings across the continent, where consumer spending it is expected to double to $1.4 trillion by 2010.

Even so, retailers say developers have not been able to keep up. That has forced the likes of Massmart and Shoprite to set up their own standalone stores.

Woolworths Holdings, an upscale South African retailer, told the summit this week that its expansion in the continent could be faster if more of the prime retail space it favors were available.

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