Excitement is mounting in the village of Mahebourg on the island paradise of Mauritius, where Atterbury’s brand-new Bo’Valon Mall, which is being developed with EnAtt, is getting ready to welcome shoppers through its doors on 21 November. Development manager Pieter Olivier shares the latest details.

It has been a whirlwind of construction as the new mall took just about a year to build. What in your mind has been the most exciting/challenging phase of the project and why?
As with any retail development the last three months are usually the most challenging. During this period tenants commence with their shop-fitting installations and the work force on site increases dramatically. The main contractor rushes to be ready for the tenants and the opening of the mall which is then just around the corner. That is exactly how it has played out with Bo’Valon.

What still has to happen before the opening? Talk us through the last finishing touches.
As described the tenant installations are now in full swing. The main contractor is finalising the external works including the final touches to the parking areas, the landscaping and the back-of house-areas. Internally the final fixes to the building services are being completed. Final internal and external finishes are being applied and all systems are tested and commissioned. The mall management team take up their position in their new office and final preparations for the opening day are being rehearsed.

When we last spoke, in June, the mall was already 95% leased. Is it going to be a full house come end November?  And is it still 47 shops?
Yes, demand for space in the mall has been brilliant. At this stage there is still only one or two more shops to fill.

What in your mind is going to be the biggest benefit to local shoppers in having Bo’Valon Mall in this location?
Apart from the shopping convenience, variety and leisure options that our mall will offer to the local residents under one roof, I truly believe the Bo’Valon Mall turned out exceptionally well. This is a facility that the local shoppers will be very proud of.

What can you tell us about the name of the mall? Who (or what) is Bo’Valon named after?
The mall is situated in the village of Beau Vallon and the words literally mean “beautiful valley”.

The shops open on 21 November, with the official opening a week later – can you share some of the marketing plans for the opening?  Is anything special happening during that first week of trading?
Yes, there are big festivities planned! In the week prior to the opening we’re planning an interesting community participation event called “Laiss to Trace” where children from the community will be making hand imprints in a strip of concrete next to the mall. Then, on the opening day, one of Mauritius’s most popular artists, Zulu, is performing his original song which he wrote for us, about the mall. The following week is filled with various activations to keep the excitement levels high, up to the point where the official inauguration takes place on 27 November 2019.