Sandton City

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Sandton City
Sandton City Logo New.jpg
Sandton City's logo as of 2011
Location Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa
Opening date September 12, 1973
Developer Rapp and Maister
Owner Liberty Holdings Limited/Liberty Two Degrees
Pareto Ltd
No. of stores and services close to 300
Website [1]

Sandton City is a shopping mall situated in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. It was founded and owned by the property development company Rapp and Maister, in partnership with brothers Hilliard and Eli Leibowitz, and was later taken over by Liberty Life (now part of Liberty Holdings Limited). The centre opened to the public on September 12, 1973 and has a gross leasable area of 128,000 m2 (1,380,000 sq ft) of retail space. The office space combined with the Sandton Sun Hotel increase the total area to 215,000 m2 (2,310,000 sq ft). Together, Sandton City and the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square (formerly Sandton Square) form one of the largest retail complexes on the continent of Africa with shops such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and other exclusive boutiques--the "richest square mile in Africa".[1] It is the focal point of an area around which Africa's richest square mile-and-a-half was built.


Sandton City was built as a twenty-one storey, concrete block shopping centre that opened in late 1973. It is an example of the Brutalist architecture that was common in South Africa in the early 1970s, which is often referred to as "Apartheid Architecture" because of its austerity and scale, and because the Apartheid government used this style in most administrative and state buildings at that time. The architecture is also seen in the Golden Acre (Goue Akker), a similar shopping center built in Cape Town before the construction of Sandton City, the International Terminal at the airport in Johannesburg, the Carlton Center, new Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg), and the JG Strijdom (since renamed the Hillbrow Tower) in Hillbrow, Central Johannesburg. Most of these buildings were conceived in the late 1960s.


Sandton City opened in 1973 with 120 stores on two levels, and added two additional levels of parking for 2,500 cars and outside parking. It was also the first of its kind in Johannesburg. Upon opening, the scale and depth of the center revolutionized South African and Johannesburg retail.[citation needed] The outer plaza to the east housed offices, branches of Nedbank and Barclays (later to become First National Bank), medical suites, and a steak house. A bridge connected the outer plaza to what was then Sandton Library, a medical clinic, and the Sandton Council building. In its early stages in the 1970s, the small lower floor housed a post office, and a Ster-Kinekor cinema complex that is still there today.


According to the Sandton City website,[2] there were 240 stores and 8000 parking bays while the five-star towers were launched, and 44000 square meters of space added. The Sandton Sun Hotel was built in 1984 as part of the complex.


During this time, Sandton City underwent major refurbishment of common areas.[3] The area in front of the Sandton Library was developed into a new shopping centre, Sandton Square, connected by a sky-bridge.A pyramid-shaped roof was added in the 1990s and provides the distinguishing architectural feature of Sandton City.


In 2001, stores were increased to 295 while parking bays were boosted to 10,000. A new food court and giant video wall were also constructed. The Home Living retail level was developed in 2002, and the cinema complex received a refurbishment in the same year.


In 2013, the Twin Towers office section of Sandton City was completely re-clad with a contemporary glass shell (these are now called Atrium on 5th). In 2014, the office tower received a complete external revamp, with new cladding applied over the original concrete structure. A new wing was also added to the mall, joining the Edgars and Woolworths Courts. A major refurbishment of the entertainment areas and adjoining stores commenced in 2017 and will be completed in 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sandton City. "History of the center - Sandton City". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "History of the Center, Sandton City". Sandton City History. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "History of the Center, Sandton City". Sandton City History. Retrieved November 27, 2014.

External links[edit]

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Coordinates: 26°06′30″S 28°03′15″E / 26.10833°S 28.05417°E / -26.10833; 28.05417