After a devastating 18 months that has seen turmoil across the globe, many markets are now taking the first steps on the road to recovery following the pandemic, and retail real estate developments are once again under construction and opening their doors. Across the next few pages, RLI puts the spotlight on some of the key developments in major markets around the world.
The MIPIM event in Cannes on the 7-8 September at the Palais des Festivals is set to be one of the biggest live events that has taken place since the onset of Covid-19 and perfectly highlights people are eager to start coming back and meeting and networking face-to-face once again rather than connect through a zoom call.
Ahead of the one of the first major global events in the retail real estate calendar, RLI highlights below a selection of some of the most important developments that are looking to draw people out of their homes and back into social spaces.
Projects Around the World
With one of the most interrupted timelines of any mall development in recent years, the American Dream shopping and entertainment megamall in the New Jersey Meadowlands has now been open and operating for a while now, and it is moving forward with its long delayed luxury wing and it has a definitive opening date, and it is later this month on 17 September. The luxury wing, named The Avenue by American Dream’s developer, Triple Five, will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue. Some 20 other retailers along with an upscale restaurant, Carpaccio, and Brut, a champagne bar, are also scheduled to open that day, according to American Dream. The mall, however, is still working to fill empty spaces in the wing caused by the bankruptcies of marquee tenants that dropped out during the years while the project was under construction.
Work is continuing on the massive mixed-use community set for Dupont and Dufferin Streets in the west end and new renderings and details offer a glimpse at what the project, which will stand where the now-demolished Galleria Mall once stood, will look like once completed. The masterplanned community, called Galleria on the Park by developer Elad Canada, will feature eight residential towers in the midst of the pedestrian-oriented district, with 2,846 units of different types and sizes in the pipeline. The community is also set to host roughly 300,000sq ft of retail space for boutiques and shops, a large portion of which will be located inside the 31-storey residential tower Galleria III. Outdoor patios with seating and umbrellas will also be available to pedestrians walking through the area, and a nearby Privately-Owned-Publicly accessible Space (POPS) called Points Plaza will be the main focal point of the development.
Located at the eastern gateway to Perth’s CBD, across a 6ha site on the banks of the Swan River, Waterbank will include a mix of residential, commercial, retail and circa four hectares of public open space. A collaborative effort between the WA State Government’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and Lendlease, the vision for Waterbank is to create a new wellbeing precinct: a social place that reflects the cosmopolitan Perth of today. At Waterbank, everything will be on your doorstep. Situated on the banks of the Swan River in East Perth, Waterbank provides easy access to free public transport and is a short walk to Perth’s vibrant CBD. Relaxed, accessible, tactile and distinctly Western Australian in its design and identity, Waterbank balances its urban character with a strong connection to nature. The first stages of the project are currently due to open in 2021.
Opening throughout this year, The Londoner Macao by developer Sands Retail evokes the excitement and charm of the Victorian era. Bringing together the very best of this iconic city from spectacular recreations of world-famous landmarks to uniquely London-inspired public spaces, accommodation, restaurants, retail and entertainment, The Londoner Macao is set to be the third themed destination at Sands Resorts Macao where visitors will feel like they are visiting a European country. The upcoming site will feature authentic recreations of classic British landmarks, with an exterior façade modelled on the world-famous Palace of Westminster and Houses of Parliament complete with a 96m tall Elizabeth Tower. The interiors will offer a combination of grandeur and comfort, with luxurious British design extending to the spacious Crystal Palace atrium centrepiece, restaurants, retail offers and entertainment. The resort will also feature two new hotels – Londoner Court with approximately 370 luxury suites and The Londoner Hotel with approximately 600 suites.
Sungang MixC Market Hall, China Resources’ new mixed-use development is under construction in Shenzhen, China with anticipated completion in 2022. Located on a former industrial zone, this retail-gastronomy destination will provide an immersive gastronomic experience under one roof. Being designed by 10 DESIGN, MixC Market Hall will accommodate 78,890sq m of retail and F&B dining space, with two office towers above providing 102,320sq m of workspace. As part of the regeneration of the district, the overall masterplan will also include residential and serviced apartment towers, resettlement housing, and public amenities, providing a holistic redevelopment. Jointly led by two design partners, Ted Givens and Chin Yong Ng, the concept for this new development is to break away from the conventional shopping mall design and instead draw inspiration from a more traditional market square, creating a central meeting place for public enjoyment. This will result in a series of spaces created at different scales all interconnected.
City of Dreams Mediterranean, the first integrated resort in Cyprus and the biggest in Europe and the wider region, is advancing well towards completion. Construction is progressing smoothly by developer Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus Consortium, with the site set to open in summer 2022. Upon completion, the pioneering project, located in Limassol, will become Europe’s largest and premier integrated resort. It will feature a sixteen-storey, five-star hotel with more than 500 luxury guest rooms and suites, approximately 10,000sq m of MICE space, an outdoor amphitheatre, a family adventure park, and a variety of fine-dining outlets and luxury retail. Its interior design will be based on Melco’s international luxury standards, specifically customised for the Cyprus integrated resort, while the exterior design will feature distinct Mediterranean influences. The resort at Zakaki, Western Limassol has direct access to the main highway network through an existing four lane road. The location is only 40 minutes from Larnaca airport and 30 minutes from Paphos airport.
Therme Group has revealed plans for Germany’s largest wellbeing resort. They have teamed up with Wund Holding to create the new resort in Bad Vibel, Frankfurt. Therme Group and Wund Holding will operate as ThermenGruppe Josef Wund for the Frankfurt project, the latest location in Therme Group’s global development programme. Located by the Nidda river, the upcoming project will be home to water-based activities and wellbeing treatments, as well as art, nature and technology. The experience includes activities for children, adults and seniors. The resort’s family area will boast more than 30 waterslides, while relaxation areas will include thermal and mineral pools. Construction on the wellbeing resort in Frankfurt is due to begin within a year, with the opening set for 2023. More than 1.3 million guests are predicted to visit the new site annually.
As the first outlet developed at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Tbilisi Outlet Village is set to be the number one outlet in Eastern Europe. Located close to Georgia’s 1.2 million population capital, it will ultimately include 110 units spread across 20,000sq m GLA. It has been designed by L35, Europe’s leading outlet architects who were also behind La Roca and Las Rozas Villages in Spain. It is being developed by Georgian Outlets & Resort Group, led by Guram Tsanava and Sandro Kordzakhia, with The Outlet Resource Group (TORG) leading on development, leasing and future management. Opening in 2022, it will offer an unrivalled selection of international designer and mainstream brands mixed with a set of local Georgian designer labels, catering to both domestic shoppers and tourists. 50 per cent of customers are expected from the four neighbouring countries Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Turkey.
Despite all the challenges posted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Etele Plaza, Buda’s largest shopping and entertainment centre is getting close to completion. Hungary’s first smart plaza will open its doors this month and the Plaza will provide a safe and healthy environment with an outstanding range of products, unparalleled digital services and architectural solutions. The Etele Plaza is located in Buda, in the immediate vicinity of Etele Square, at the largest multimodal transport hub in Hungary, which can be reached by direct flights from the city centre in up to 10 minutes. The building has been designed with a smart approach right from the design phase to make shopping as enjoyable as possible. With hundreds of network devices connected to nearly 1,200 kilometers of cable, dozens of digital displays and more than 230 square meters of LED screens, an information desk, an automatic parking system and a robust IT infrastructure will ensure an unprecedented digital experience in Buda’s largest shopping centre.
Leading international fashion outlet developer, FASHION HOUSE Group officially opened the doors on its new €25M outlet centre in the east of Bucharest earlier this year. It is the Group’s second outlet centre in Romania’s capital. As the first new outlet centre to open in mainland Europe this year, FASHION HOUSE Pallady spans over 12,000sq m accommodating 62 stores, a children’s play area and restaurants. More than 100 new jobs have been created through the opening of the first phase whilst the second and final phase of the scheme will commence development next year. Visitors to Bucharest’s newest shopping destination can access everyday discounts of up to 70 per cent off some of the world’s leading fashion brands. These include Puma, Killtec, Tom Tailor, Lee Cooper, Triumph, Otter, Sizeer, Ecco, Colin’s, and U.S. Polo Assn. amongst many others in a wide variety for customers.
Local developer SDC Imobiliare, along with overseas investment funds, has launched what they claim to be the biggest real estate project in Romania. The Transilvania Smart City mixed-use, estimated to require an investment of €700M, would see the construction of 10,000 apartments, a shopping centre, schools, supermarkets, a hotel and an aparthotel, office space, parks, and conference rooms in Cluj-Napoca. Work on the project began last month. The entire project will be built on a plot of 35ha on a hill close to the Iulius Mall shopping centre. The project’s first stage will be developed on 3ha of land and will include 800 apartments, an aparthotel, nursery, shops, cafes, restaurants, a gym, a bank, a Lidl store and a park. The construction work for this first stage is expected to be completed in 18-24 months. The shopping centre, which will be developed in a later stage, will have an area of 100,000sq m.
After the launch of a new Hotel Transylvania attraction this spring, Europe’s largest indoor theme park, Dream Island in Moscow, is almost complete. The presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the park’s launch ceremony last February signalled the cultural importance of this privately backed, $1.5bn project. However, it traded for just 18 days before a Covid-19 enforced closure. The park reopened last July with limited capacity and now Dream Island’s operators are planning future expansions. Dream Island offers more than just a theme park. Beneath its seven glass domes, the 300,000sq m building also houses a large shopping mall, multiplex cinema, concert hall, restaurants and cafés. The split is roughly 50:50 between entertainment and retail. In addition, the wider 100ha site features an outdoor promenade with family recreation zones. A 4-star hotel, children’s yacht school, plus some more teen-friendly attractions are on the way in phase two.
Last year developer SES Spar European Shopping Centers opened the €150M ALEJA Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The scheme covers 32,000sq m of leasable area (GLA) and offers a mix of over 80 international, Slovenian, and local shops, restaurants, and service providers. The shopping centre is 100 per cent let and houses the most modern INTERSPAR hypermarket in Slovenia, as well as Drogerie Müller, fashion brands XYZ, H&M, Hervis, Reserved, Tommy Hilfiger, and Baby Center, McDonald’s, Big Bang, and Mass, to name a few. The Sport Vision brand is set to make its debut in Slovenia. ALEJA provides Ljubljana with a mixed-use location for shopping, gas-tronomy, leisure activities, and sports, featuring numerous innovations. The center boasts, among other things, “ALEJA SKY”, a 6,200sq m adventure and leisure zone on the roof of the center, which is comprised of green spaces, sports facilities for soccer, basketball, and volley-ball, two fitness courses, a park that includes paths, seating and recrea-tional areas, as well as a children’s playground. A pump track for cyclists, which includes two circuits in front of the building, completes the leisure activities offer.
It would be remiss of me to feature the UK and not mention the ground-breaking opening of the long-awaited St James Quarter scheme in Edinburgh, launched earlier this year, more information on this game-changing development can be found within ‘Focus On: UK & Ireland feature on pages 66-71.
Uniquely located within a renowned London Square addressing Oxford Street, Harley Street and Regent Street, the four-storey Cavendish Square subterranean development will be a world first wellbeing destination incorporating healthcare, retail and commercial space. The 280,000sq ft site, being developed by Reef Group has gained planning consent for all major use classes including medical, hotel, retail and office. Development of the scheme commences this year ready for tenant hand over during 2023. Offering floor plans of up to 80,000sq ft with a circumference of 320 metres, the development will offer unrivalled occupier flexibility accessed from one of three dedicated entrances all located within the square itself.
Opened earlier this year, Abu Dhabi’s new Sheikha Fatima Park includes a skate park, pet park, boulder climb attraction and much more. Abu Dhabi developers Imkan have transformed the park previously known as Khalidiya Ladies Park into Sheikha Fatima Park. The park, located on Abu Dhabi’s corniche, has an area of 46,000sq m that consists of different sports activities for all ages, retail stores, spaces for events, and even dining options. Split into three zones, it has a discovery zone, an adventure zone, and an experience zone. The discovery zone, designed for skating and strolling, can be an area where people can enjoy their favourite outdoor activities. The park’s adventure zone includes a skate park, pet park, splash pad area, toddler play zone, and an indoor boulder climb attraction. Lastly, the experience zone consists of the park’s sports activities, the ‘Crank’ gym, set to open at the end of July, and an area specifically for outdoor yoga. The experience zone also contains a nursery and an outdoor cinema.
Set to open its doors this month, the Mall of Oman by developer Majid Al Futtaim is set to transform the commercial landscape of Oman’s capital. The super-regional mall combines a selection of curated stores that bring the best in retail, leisure, entertainment and dining along with a variety of seamless services. It is also strategically located within Muscat’s centre, making it the focal point of the city. The new mall will be MAF’s fifth and largest shopping centre in the sultanate, with 140,000sq m of retail space. The retail and entertainment centre is expected to add 3,500 new jobs. It will feature over 350 retail outlets, including 55 dining options. Its entertainment offerings include Oman’s largest VOX Cinemas with 15 screens which includes the first Gold experience in the country, a 3D cinema, Kids and IMAX experiences too. The Mall of Oman will also include the largest indoor snow park in the sultanate spanning over 14,000sq m as well as the largest Magic Planet in the country.
A development designed to strengthen Kuwait’s position as a regional shopping, entertainment and conservative tourism destination. Located in Sabah Al Ahmed Sea City and spanning 116,000sq m. Al Khiran will incorporate a commercial and retail district including Kuwait’s first hybrid format, an outlet shopping precinct, a five-star resort, leisure facilities, Al Khiran Park and Kuwait’s largest marina, with capacity to more than 900 berths. The Al Khiran Hybrid Outlet Mall in Kuwait is set to meet heightened shopper expectations by offering a combination of high value and dynamic experiences when in opens in April 2022. The project area is spread over 350,000sq m, the total GLA of the upcoming outlet is 70,000sq m and it will be home to 300 retail stores. Al Khiran Hybrid Outlet Mall is being developed by the Tamdeen Group which has consistently delivered exceptional real estate including the award winning 360 Kuwait and Al Kout with a single-minded purpose; To Build Great Places.
Focus On – UK & Ireland: A Wealth of Opportunities
Like the rest of the world, the UK & Ireland is once again finding its feet as restrictions begin to ease from the coronavirus pandemic. While the country is by no means clear of the virus, retail real estate developments are once again getting back on track and in this article we take a look at a selection of recently opened schemes and some of these exciting ones in the pipeline.
One of the first live events to take place in the UK since the onset of the pandemic in the country back in March 2020, the Completely Retail Marketplace, London edition that also features the Revo Conference will take place at Old Billingsgate Market on 28 September and offer attendees the chance to reconnect and learn more about the current state of retail real estate in the UK.
Ahead of the event, we take the opportunity over the next few pages to highlight a wealth of incredible schemes from across the UK & Ireland as projects up and down the country look for innovative new tenants and attractions to draw the crowds back to their sites.
Launched back in June, St James Quarter in Edinburgh is truly one of the most ambitious and world-leading development to have been launched in the UK in recent times. St James Quarter is a new retail led, lifestyle district that fully integrates into and enhances Edinburgh’s City Centre providing an inspiring, attractive, and vibrant destination for locals and visitors to live, shop, eat, sleep and play. St James Quarter houses an enviable line up of restaurants, cafés, bars, shops, public spaces and leisure venues covering 1.7 million square feet. St James Quarter is set to become a welcoming cultural and lifestyle hub for art, culture and fashion that will complement the city’s world-renowned cultural offering and support its vibrant events calendar. Many brands are debuting in Scotland for the first time at St James Quarter: The Alchemist, & Other Stories, Stradivarius, Bershka, and Pull&Bear to name a few. With these new additions as well as classic favourites and unique destinations like the one-of-a-kind Bonnie & Wild Food Hall, St James Quarter reinforces Edinburgh’s position as Scotland’s cosmopolitan lifestyle capital.
Construction work on The Glass Works – Barnsley Council’s transformative town centre development scheme – is almost complete, with hoardings coming down this month to reveal the town’s new public square. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, construction has been able to safely continue and is set to be completed only a couple of months behind the pre-pandemic timeline. Following the lifting of key restrictions, all existing elements of The Glass Works – including Library @ The Lightbox, Barnsley Markets and Market Kitchen – have all reopened to the public. Falco Lounge, Coffee Boy, JD Sports and Deichmann are also welcoming shoppers and visitors once again. The full scheme will be launched in phases over the next four-to-six months. The first new openings, which will take place on 9 September, will see Next, TK Maxx and Sports Direct (with USC) unveil their brand-new Barnsley stores, with recent signing Flannels anticipated to open very soon.
Back in April McArthurGlen celebrated the opening of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands, its major new £160M fashion destination that is set to be the only stand-alone shopping centre to open in the UK this year. A significant moment for McArthurGlen, it marked the group’s first UK opening in over 20 years, as well as a return to the market where it introduced the concept of designer outlet retailing in Europe with Cheshire Oaks in 1995. Located just 30-minutes from Birmingham, the 285,000sq ft (when all phase are complete) outlet provides customers with one of the country’s finest open-air retail and leisure experiences, offering up to 80 iconic brands in its first phase with year-round savings of up to 60 per cent. Underlining the centre’s excellent fashion offer is a collection of sought-after international brand partners, including Coach, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Levi’s, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Reiss, Kurt Geiger, Gant, Radley and Joules.
Having signed a lease on a landmark sustainable café and restaurant in its new coastal park, Swansea Council has given the clearest indication yet that the vision behind its £1bn transformation of the city is one focused on creating opportunities for local businesses and residents. An integral part of the ambitious city-wide regeneration of Swansea by Swansea Council, Copr Bay will be a vibrant new neighbourhood for culture and leisure, ideally located between Swansea’s city centre and its spectacular beach. It will boast a world-class live performance arena and conference centre, a new hotel, over an acre of new landscaped gardens, homes, offices and neighbourhood restaurants. Phase one of the scheme is set to open later this year, before being closely followed by phase two and the ATG Arena. Copr Bay Phase Two could include additional homes, retail and offices, such as an office hub for public sector workers.
Being developed by VINCI Construction UK for Cheshire West & Cheshire Council, the new development is not a new shopping centre, it is a development of open streets, parades and plazas that will integrate seamlessly with the surrounding parts of Chester City Centre. Phase one of the development of the Chester Northgate site will deliver a new six-screen, 715-seat Picturehouse cinema along with a new home for Chester’s market. Alongside these will be a number of restaurants and cafés facing onto a new public square and also lining an arcade formed by the old library building. The development, due to open in summer 2022, will build on the success of Storyhouse and complement the existing businesses on Northgate Street. The old library frontage will be transformed into a new arcade and provide a stunning arched entrance into the development, which will also be accessible from Hunter Street and Princess Street.
Battersea Power Station by developers Battersea Power Station Development Company is at the heart of one of central London’s largest, most visionary and eagerly anticipated new developments, which will see this vast 42-acre (over eight million square feet) former industrial brownfield site become home to a community of homes, shops, bars, restaurants, cafes, offices and over 19 acres of public space. The £9bn project will see the creation of a vibrant, mixed-use development, a new neighbourhood and business quarter for London, serviced by a Zone 1 extension to the London Underground Northern Line and the restoration of the Grade II* listed Power Station. With Phase one already completed the first new residents were moving into the Grade II* listed Power Station from this spring and Electric Boulevard, later in the year. Once fully open to the public in 2022, Battersea Power Station will house more than 100 retail outlets, bars and restaurants, as well as unique events, leisure spaces and visitor attractions.
The Island Quarter is an exciting mixed-use development and it is unique, not just for Nottingham but for the Midlands and the UK. The 40-acre site will be totally transformed to bring new homes, grade-A office space, creative market, a lifestyle hotel, retail units, a ‘linear’ park and community space as well as student accommodation to the city. The development is a vital part of the regeneration of Nottingham’s Southside and we are working closely with Nottingham City Council to align with its vision for the city. Coming in autumn 2022 will be Phase 1A by developers Conygar and that will focus on regenerating the canal basin area on the south-east corner of the site. The basin will be landscaped out, with a new pavilion and food and beverage outlets created. Phase 1B following on from this original phase will comprise of a lifestyle hotel as well co-working space and additional food and beverage outlets.
Located on the edge of the Cotswolds and adjacent to junction 9 of the M5 and A46 trunk road, Cotswolds Designer Outlet is perfectly positioned as a new retail destination. Cotswolds Designer Outlet will provide the region with a brand-new outlet shopping experience with more than 90 shops on a gross lettable area of approximately 195,000sq ft, to be opened in two phases. With architecture inspired by the region, the premium outlet village will include a strong food and beverage offer and will be neighboured by a 81,800sq ft garden centre. The adjacent M&S Simply Food, Starbucks and Petrol Filling Station, together with the proposed 850 homes proposed to the south, completes the offering. This unique project will be developed by Robert Hitchins Ltd in partnership with market leading outlet operator Realm and phase one is scheduled to open 2023.
Another outlet set to open its doors in 2023 is that of Grantham Designer Outlet Village, which will be a state-of-the-art retail destination that is set to transform its visitor’s shopping and leisure experience. Set to be the UK’s only premium outlet with a visible frontage and it will have direct access from the UK’s third busiest highway, the A1. The outlet, where construction began earlier this year by developers Rioja Estates and Buckminster, will offer a uniquely stylish retail and leisure experience for shoppers and tourists alike. Phase one will consist of 89 units with an area of 193,680sq ft; whilst phase two will add a further 94,809sq ft and 48 units. A choice of dine-in or grab and go eateries, combined with an array of premium fashion and lifestyle brands along with landscaped areas for relaxation and children’s play, make Grantham Designer Outlet Village the ideal day out destination.
Having endured many setbacks because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Scotch Corner Designer Village is still going ahead and is now set to open its doors in 2023. It will include a unique combination of retail outlet stores, leisure for all ages, cafés and restaurants as well as the UK’s largest home and garden centre from Day 1. With its excellent accessibility, iconic location and local architecture, Scotch Corner Designer Village brings together a wide choice of leading brands at very attractive outlet prices. All set in 100 acres of healthy green space, it is on course to become a truly regional, national and international destination. Scotch Corner Designer Village is a development by Scotch Corner Richmond LLP and is the vision of property developer Simon Waterfield, and his long-standing colleague Peter Mullen, who founded Thomas Pink and made it the brand it is today.
With phased openings that began in 2019 and with further ones ongoing until 2024, the Heart of the City project in Sheffield represents an investment on £470M across seven hectares of land by developer Sheffield City Council in partnership with its Strategic Development Partner Queensberry. The scheme entails a significant redevelopment which features a celebration of heritage buildings alongside brand new, contemporary buildings. The new mixed-use project will bring a variety to each and every use. There will be 500,000sq ft set aside for workspace, be this HQ to studios and maker spaces, 250,000sq ft for flagship and boutique shops and street food to fine dining restaurants, 30,000sq ft of space is set aside for cultural space that could be used for gigs or galleries and finally there is social spaces on offer across an outside acreage of 8.09 acres along with 420 new homes also being established.
Developer London Resort Company Holdings is proposing to develop a world-class, sustainable, next-generation entertainment resort known as the ‘London Resort’, on the banks of the River Thames. Their vision is to create a world-class entertainment resort founded on sustainable and low carbon principles. They have always been committed to ensuring that the London Resort works for local communities as well as their visitors. The London Resort will be globally competitive and mark a step-change in leisure and entertainment provision in the UK. The first theme park ‘gate’ will open in 2024 and the second within five years (by 2029). Sustainability is at the core of their vision. They are exploring new and innovative ways of integrating sustainable and low-carbon principles into every area of design and operation of the London Resort. Their aim is to create one of the most sustainable theme park destinations in the world.
The Boulevard, one of Ireland’s most exciting retail and leisure destinations, is a 208,995sq ft scheme owned by Lotus Property. Since acquiring the scheme in 2016, Lotus Property and partners Tristan Capital have significantly developed The Boulevard and surrounding Outlet Park, creating sustained economic growth for the local area. Housing more than 50 globally recognised designer retail brands including Joules, Dune London, Molton Brown, Kurt Geiger, Nike, GUESS, Timberland, Jack Wills, an Omniplex cinema and strong F&B offering, The Boulevard is Northern Ireland’s only premier outlet shopping destination. Part of Outlet Park, The Boulevard’s roster of retail brands will soon be bolstered by the arrival of a 3,000sq m M&S Simply Food, a 4,518sq m The Range as well as a Park’N’Ride facility for the eagerly anticipated HBO Game of Thrones Studio Tour and visitor attraction. A world first, it is expected to bring more than 650,000 international tourists to The Boulevard per annum when it opens soon.
Focus on – Italy: Post-Pandemic Progress
Following a period unlike anything that has ever been seen, the MAPIC Italy event will make its long-awaited return on the 14-15 September in partnership with RLI at the Superstudio Maxi in Milan. Ahead of this event, one of the first to have a live element since the onset of the pandemic, RLI takes a look at the Italian market and highlights some of the major schemes in the country.
During the early stages of the pandemic last year, Italy was and continued to be one of the most affected countries, with the city of Milan being widely regarded as ‘ground zero’ for Covid-19 in Europe. Despite this, the country has shown incredible resilience and many development projects remain on track as it looks to rebuild and maintain its position as a retail real estate powerhouse.
Opened last year in Rome and owned by Parsec 6 SPA, with architectural and design works undertaken by 3C + t Capolei Cavalli Architetti Associati and Design International respectively, Maximo is a new shopping and leisure destination in Rome. It has been designed with a layout suited to the changing shopper and leisure of needs. It has a consistent offer in line with the competitive context and the consumer trends, a distinctive tenant mix, a prestigious architectural structure with great visual impact and a strong, recognisable identity. The project features over 65,000sq m of GLA distributed over three levels and 160 points of sale, including shops, restaurants and activities related to entertainment. Inside the Maximo, there are 38 restaurants with a path dedicated to street food, bars, cafés, wine bars, 17 craft businesses and the renowned Primark store which recently opened.
One such project is situated on Corso Buenos Aires, one of the longest shopping streets in Europe that is positioned right in the centre of Milan. Corso Buenos Aires 59 spans over 8,000sq m and will be an unparalleled retail destination when developers MARK in partnership with Kryalos launches the retail units by the end of this year. The large floor areas give big box retailers some of the most unique and rivalled spaces in Milan, whist the highly customisable retail units, with floor areas spanning from 1,100sq m to 1,700sq m, are defined by a contemporary, pristine and logical design.
The investor for the Milanord2 shopping centre in Cinisello Balsamo is Galleria Cinisello S.r.l., a joint venture between developers Gruppo LSGI Italia and Nhood. Milanord2 will be a dynamic and strategically well-located retail and leisure destination which will house 99,100sq m of retail stores and 19,000sq m of cinema and multimedia space and 9,100sq m of restaurants, cafés and bars. The 41,000sq m Sky Plaza will host free, open-air games and sports activities along with many cultural events. The centre, which is only 30 minutes from central Milan, will also include a children’s play area and a marketplace for fresh, local produce as part of the family-friendly offering. The aim of the project is to create a day-out experience for people of all backgrounds and generations in a unique new style of multi-use shopping environment, which will provide a community hub for the city and the wider region. The scheme is set to launch in 2022.
Merlata Bloom is a new concept of mall that celebrates sustainability and is situated within the extraordinary urban redevelopment project MIND, Milan Innovation District by developers Merlata Sviluppo, made up of Nhood, ImmobiliarEuropea and SalService. The scheme represents an investment of €330M, is due to open by the end of next year and will become the beating heart of the new district. The site will be a smart and innovative place that combines technology, sustainability, entertainment and services, everyday life and retail, and in 70,000sq m it encloses a unique mix of ingredients, from new brands to experimental stores: 150 spaces of innovative and experiential shopping, over 10,000sq m of entertainment and culture, 20,000sq m of urban farm, five F&B areas and a new format of fresh market with alleys and squares designed for bars and restaurants of all kinds.
TO Dream, the upcoming Urban District in Turin, which represents a new concept of an integrated commercial offer in an urban centrality, is also based on the pay-off “New Living Mood”, or new vital spaces at the service of the citizen. The opening scheduled for 2022 aims to make TO Dream a key attraction for the Piedmont Region. Being developed by Nhood, the Urban District will consist of 85,000sq m of retail, services, hospitality, entertainment and a 45,000sq m Open Mall including the best national and international fashion, lifestyle and food and beverage brands. Around 23,000sq will be dedicated to entertainment, hotel and gym, while 17,000sq m will play host to a large Retail Park. All of this will be surrounded by a vast green area of more than 45,000sq m where visitors can relax, have fun and partake in sport.
IGD’s development of Livorno’s Porta a Mare Officine Storiche will utilise and rejuvenate historic dockyard buildings in the city’s harbour area. The development has been designed as an extension of the city centre and will serve both local people and the many tourists who land at Livorno’s port. The concept of this project is the combination of recreational and sports activities with a classic commercial retail offer. The centre will provide a range of retail and F&B opportunities. It was important that the design of the scheme preserved the original space and restores the structure of the historic buildings. The designs envisage a covered urban square which overlooks the waterfront. The glazed frontage of the buildings reveals their structure while allowing large amounts of natural light to permeate the commercial areas while providing a high degree of thermal insulation. The 15,600sq m project will feature 30 stores, 11 F&B brands, a leisure area and fitness centre and be opened next year.