ofConstruction has begun on the new West Coast Mall that is scheduled to open in Vredenburg on the Cape West Coast in March 2009. The R365 million project is being developed by Retail Africa and promises to bring a boost to economic growth in the West Coast area. Building contractors, Basil Read are using 750 skilled workers and sub-contractors in the fulfillment of this project. The completed West Coast Mall will be the size of four rugby fields with 110 shops on two levels, providing significant employment opportunities for the surrounding communities.Retail Africa director, Etienne Eyenberger, says that the development has been driven by demand from both the residents of the area and national retailer enquiries. The 30 000 square kilometer mall is likely to attract local shoppers from the West Coast, but also from as far afield as the Swartland and Olifants River areas. In addition, the mall is expected to attract visitors who frequently holiday in these areas. Key tenants include; Game (3300m2), Woolworths (including food – 2500m2), Checkers (3300m2) and Edgars (2500m2). Other significant tenants include Foschini, Truworths, Ackermans, PEP, Clicks, Exclusive Books and Cape Union Mart.Set against a backdrop of boulders and indigenous vegetation, the West Coast Mall has been sensitively designed in response to the environment. Architects, Bentel Associates International (Pty) Ltd, are incorporating historical elements and materials typical of the local architecture into the contemporary design. The heart of the mall is a double-volume atrium which is filled with natural light, landscaping and water features. The Mall also affords far-reaching views of the surrounding area. Indigenous vegetation on the site has been carefully transplanted and will be reintroduced into the landscaping later.