Business News Wed, 22 Jan 2014

All set for West Hills Mall access interchange

Work on the interchange connecting the Accra-Cape Coast Highway to the West Hills Mall, the ultra-modern retail shopping centre which opens later this year, is ready to take off, officials of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) and Delico Property Development Ghana Limited (Delico), the project developer, announced in Accra today.

The disclosure was made at a stakeholder sensitization forum held at Weija in Accra West when a five-stage construction schedule designed to reduce traffic congestion in the area during construction was unveiled to residents and other stakeholders from adjoining communities along the highway.

West Hills Mall is a 27, 000 square metre plus shopping centre – a joint venture owned by Delico Property Investments Ghana Limited with 60% shareholding and Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), which has 40% ownership.

The project has generated considerable public interest because of its sheer size, its location and the variety of innovative add-ons, many of which are new to retail shopping in West Africa. West Hills Mall has an extended parking bay with capacity for 1,400 cars.

Located at Dunkonah in Western Accra just off the Accra-Kasoa-Cape Coast highway, the West Hills Mall development comes with a mix of local and international tenants and has two supermarket anchor tenants and some 65 line shops, a chain of restaurants and a five-screen cinema complex. Industry watchers have touted the new development as possibly the biggest retail shopping centre in West Africa on account of its massive rentable space.

Among tenants already lined up for business at the West Hills Mall when it is completed later this year are Shoprite, Palace, Edgars, Mr. Price, Woolworth, Jet, MTN, Stanbic, Barcellos, Foods Inn, Basillia, Tante Marie, Bata Pierre Cardin, Lufian, Truworth and Identity.

The developer, Delico, is a joint venture comprising Atterbury, a renowned South African Property Development and Investment Company and Nasek Limited, a Ghanaian Property Development and Investment company. The interchange, described as one of the most critical components of the West Hills Mall development, became necessary following stringent meticulous traffic impact assessment conducted respectively by the developer and the Ghana Highway Authority.

From the onset, the developers declared their determination to guarantee the free, safe and uninterrupted flow of motor traffic across the Accra-Cape Coast Highway and provide safe access to the mall for shoppers, pedestrians, mall tenants and delivery vans, without interrupting the smooth flow of traffic on the main Highway. The interchange is being built in close collaboration with the Ghana Highway Authority which approved its design and standard specifications.

Mr. Joshua Ayimbora, an engineering consultant on the project said the key component of the interchange is a bridge or a structure which will serve as an underpass from the highway to the Mall. He said this bridge will be constructed in five phases and to ensure that traffic flow is not unduly affected by the works, two diversions will be constructed with two lanes in both directions and motorists will be adequately and constantly guided by a set of signage, notices and alarms.

Explaining the design, Mr. Ayimbora said the interchange will have slipways which will enable motorists from Accra or Mallam to enter the service road for access to existing businesses and residential area to the North of the interchange while shoppers and visitors to the Mall may simply enter the slipway and continue through an underpass straight onto the Shopping mall’s car parking area while other commuters may be dropped off by busses and taxis at designated Bus Bays.

Shoppers from the cape coast approaching through the Kasoa end of the road will simply drive through the slipway and enter the shopping mall’s parking area while delivery vehicles from that direction will use the Service Road located west of the Mall.

Mr. Isaac Kyei Mensah, representing Delico Property Developments said the completion of the Mall will redefine the local community's business and recreational topography and open up the entire western part of Accra to a new world of opportunities.

The forum was attended by local residents, representatives from Ghana Highway Authority, the Ga South Municipal Assembly, The Weija District Police Command, Chiefs and Elders of neighbouring communities and the local Member of Parliament.

Construction of the interchange will take eight to ten months to complete.

Source: B&FT