In the world of retail and leisure, trends come and go, but one topic that is here to stay is placemaking. In recent years shopping centres have become much more than simply a place to browse through all of your favourite shops, they are now beacons of retail, leisure and entertainment that focus on the experience above all else. Here, RLI will shine the spotlight on this rising trend and the increasing importance of it.
A much discussed topic of recent times, in keeping with terms like ‘omni-channel’ and ‘the Internet of things’, placemaking has become a talking point of the current generation. Put simply, placemaking is an attempt to attract people to a place by creating compelling reasons for them to visit. According to CBRE’s ‘Retail and Placemaking: What is the role of retail in placemaking’, purists might argue that placemaking is predicated on the presence or development of public realm, but this does not have to be the case.
In the current age, people still enjoy and prefer to shop in store, however they have become more demanding and alongside all the functional aspects of a shopping trip, people want an experience, they want something that they will remember after the money is spent, and they want something they can come back to. Shopping centres in 2019 need to be more than simply a one-stop destination, they need to be everything a modern shopper looks for when considering their next family day out. There are many examples of such places and the below highlights just a sample of them: GICSA, the developer and marketer of multiple real estate projects in Mexico, will focus its efforts on opening ten ‘mega malls’ in the country that highlight commercial and entertainment offerings under the Malltertainment concept by the end of next year. Under this new concept, the first three places that GICSA will open are Explanada Puebla, Isla Mérida and Paseo Querétaro, which are all due to open this year, with each project creating 2,500 jobs, both direct and indirect. Next year malls are expected to open in Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi and two or three other locations.
Opening in March next year, Commercial Bay is set to become the most transformational project Auckland has ever seen. Owned and under development by NZX listed Precinct Properties, the Commercial Bay project will completely reshape the waterfront area bounded by Britomart, the Viaduct and the CBD, along with resurrecting the location’s original name. At the heart of the scheme will be a stunning new 39 level office tower that will transform Auckland’s skyline. The project will also feature 18,000sq m of retail space that will highlight Commercial Bay’s position as the largest mixed-use development in Auckland.
Cosmopolitan, open and urban – southern Überseequartier will be a one-of-a-kind place. Designed as an integrated district and central part of the HafenCity in Hamburg, it connects places to live and work with attractive cultural offers and leisure facilities as well as innovative retail and entertainment concepts. An additional highlight will be the state-of-the-art cruise terminal. With this mixed-use development, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will develop the lively essence of the contemporary Hamburg, and connect future-oriented models for urban living with the historically developed Hamburg identity. The goal: a vibrating meeting place for people from Hamburg and tourists from abroad.
Caselle Open Mall is set to be an innovative place which is unique in Italy once completed by developers Aedes SIIQ. Highly appealing, thanks to its real town feel of indoor and outdoor spaces, it will be an 114,000sq m venue with 230 shops where visitors will be able to enjoy an authentic shopping experience when it opens in Q3 2021. Painstakingly designed, the mall combines contemporary hi-tech elements with natural stone walkways, facades and light, airy porticoes subtly reminiscent of classic Turin streets and squares. The project’s green heart is underlined by pedestrian and cycle paths, ample green spaces, green roofs and electric vehicle charging stations.
Overlooking the Oslo fjord, Oslo S Utvikling (OSU) is developing large parts of the city’s Bjørvika area. At 900,000sqm, it is Norway’s largest urban redevelopment project in modern times and is set to become the next hotspot of Oslo with its intricate mix of offices, residential and strong retail element. Over the last ten years, OSU has demonstrated its ability to develop iconic mixed-use projects that play a big part in reshaping the city of Oslo and set it on track for the future. OSU aims to capitalise on this recognised experience when developing Bispevika South, which will comprise 72,600sq m of which 10,000sq m will be retail with a special emphasis on food and beverage, culture and leisure. Bispevika South will be completed by spring 2025.
Cora Alpha has announced the construction of Elysium City in Extremadura and it will be the first major smart sustainable city project in Europe that will be planned and built from scratch. The construction in Castilblanco (Badajoz) of the most ambitious leisure and hospitality destination project in Spain will be the largest of its kind on an international scale. Phase one of Elysium City will boast an 18-hole golf course, a football stadium with capacity for 40,000 spectators, three and five star hotels, a casino, a small marina, an adventure water park and a theme park among other amenities. It will create around 15,000 jobs and phase two will introduce more hotels, residential towers, floating islands, a larger marina, a convention centre and a Formula One track. The long awaited rebuilding and redevelopment of Istanbul’s Galataport cruise ship terminal by Dogus Group is targeting a March 2020 opening, in time for the summer cruise season. The complex will include a 52,000sq m retail complex boasting 250 units for food, beverage and general retail, 43,000sq m of leasable office space as well as underground parking for up to 2,300 vehicles.
The project also involves extensive renovation and landscaping of a further 30,000sq m of the historic Tophane district adjacent to the port. It will also see the welcome return of the ground-breaking “Istanbul Modern” art gallery, opened in 2004 in a then disused maritime warehouse and moved to temporary premises nearby two years ago, pending the completion of Galataport in 2020, which will see it return to a new bespoke gallery complex. Edinburgh St James, being developed by Nuveen will be a world renowned, retail-led, mixed-use destination for the future. Boasting a world-class retail, leisure, hotel and residential offer and injecting over £1bn of investment into the city, the scheme will strengthen Edinburgh’s global standing by transforming the city’s east end. The project will ensure Edinburgh becomes an inspiring, attractive and vibrant destination for people to live, shop, experience and play. The scheme will feature 850,000sq ft of prime retail, food and leisure space and 85 retail units over five levels.
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is the government body tasked with the great responsibility of developing and promoting Sharjah’s diversified cultural and investment virtues to the world. Recent placemaking projects from Shurooq include the UAE’s first and only five-star luxury Al Bait Hotel, Kalba Eco-tourism project and the Sharjah Collection, which encompasses: Al Faya Lodge at Mleiha, Kingfisher Lodge at Kalba and Al Badayer Oasis in the natural dunes of the famous Badayer desert. The government body will continue to work on ongoing projects mainly encompassing heritage preservation, waterfront developments, retail, commercial, and residential offerings in Sharjah.
Currently under construction by Indigo Property, Tunis Garden City is a concept that imagines a district that is well connected to the rest of the city, yet combines the essential components of a self-contained community, thus making Tunis City Garden as a ‘city within a city’. The new city of Tunis will be served by a number of facilities including office and residential buildings, a museum, an entertainment and leisure, a hotel/service apartments and retail components. However it is the retail and leisure offering, situated at the heart of the community, which makes this development exceptionally unique. This retail and leisure area integrates perfectly within its immediate sustainable urban context, consisting mainly of residential, entertainment and office buildings.