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Siding Shopping Centre project gathers steam

Hilton, KZN Midlands

Earthworks on the site of the Hilton Siding Shopping Centre development. Pictures: Supplied

The Hilton Siding Shopping Centre development is gathering momentum and those who visit Hilton Railway Station nowadays will notice a hub of activity.

The developer, Shift Capital, is levelling and landscaping the area along the tracks to create a new community space.

Work is under way to transform the land alongside the railway line between Park Lane and Azalea Drive into a community green space. This forms part of the development of the shopping centre, which is set to open in December this year. One percent of the development’s building contract value is dedicated to community upliftment projects.

An artist’s impression of the public space which will include vendors selling casual food, coffee and so on.

Public picnic space

The area opposite the Station Stop Coffee Shop is being levelled and alien species removed. The next step is to plant grass and indigenous plants. Landscaping indigenous gardens and creating natural rock features is on the cards. The result will be a family-friendly lawn area, perfect for a picnic, to relax and get some fresh air in a safe and enjoyable setting. And this, right in the heart of the village.

More parking!

Shift Capital will also be creating 50 public parking spaces next to Hilton Railway Station, which is becoming an increasingly popular destination for good coffee, delicious food, local performances, events and markets.

Overhead view of the site of the shopping centre and work under way.

And lots more…

Along with the Hilton Siding Shopping Centre, Shift Capital is also working with the Hilton Steam Heritage Association (HSHA) to preserve and uplift the railway station’s natural heritage:

● One of the small diesel trains (once used to guide larger steam trains around the tracks) will be put back to work, possibly allowing people to ride the train to Cedara and back.
● Some of the other unused carriages will be converted into stalls and pop-up flea markets selling local products, craft beer, gin and casual food.
● Railway sleepers are being reused as public benches.

Want to catch an outdoor film in Hilton?

Read all about the Heritage Association’s work at the Hilton Railway Station here

A portion of the income generated from the stalls and train rides will be used to fund further community spaces, such as an open-air amphitheatre, an art gallery and a rock-climbing wall.

Visitors can also enjoy taking in the history and memorabilia at the railway station’s museum.

A safe and green mixed use space that is family friendly is sure to be welcomed by the community in this growing KZN Midlands town.

Minimising disruption

The major earthworks should be finished before children return to school. In the case of any delays, trucks will be timed to leave and enter the site during “off-peak” hours, the developers say.

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