5 October 2017 – Expansión
A beach area, a dive centre with a 15-metre deep pool, a rockodrome, and even a “mini-city for cars”. That is the innovative commercial proposal with which the Socimi Merlin Properties wants to recover the former Opción shopping centre.
Located in the Madrilenian town of Alcorcón, this establishment was one of 18 shopping centres that the real estate company acquired when it merged with Metrovacesa last year. Inaugurated in 2002, Opción was one of the shopping centres that fell victim to the economic and real estate crisis, which caused it to close its doors in 2009. Since then, Metrovacesa has considered reopening the property several times, but in the end, its new owner is going to finally re-launch the extinct centre.
Merlin’s project, known as X-Madrid, will include a different retail offer to the version typically provided by Spanish shopping centres. Spread over three floors, the ground floor will include several spaces dedicated to playing outdoor sports, such as beach volleyball and parkour (the sport of traversing environmental obstacles by running, climbing, or leaping rapidly and efficiently), a skateboard circuit, a rockodrome and a CrossFit centre.
In addition, X-Madrid will be home to Madrid’s first dive centre, with a 15-metre deep pool, which is deep enough to certify the most varied of licences, whereby avoiding the need for would-be participants to travel to the coast. In addition to the sports area, the ground floor will include a space dedicated to the world of cars, motorbikes and bicycles, as well as an ecological supermarket.
At street-level, the complex’s directors plan to open a fashion and restaurant area, including the now famous food trucks, an artificial beach and a large square (The Show Place), which will host events.
On the top floor, they are going to open a technological area, a chill out space and a cinema, as well as an area to practice extreme sports. By way of a nod to the original project, X-Madrid will also contain an area known as The Antimall, which will house a selection of tattoo shops, vintage clothing stores, as well as collectors’ items, design pieces and other items of interest.
“Nowadays, we need spaces focused on current consumers, who are looking for more technological, urban and ecological shopping and leisure experiences. X-Madrid has arisen with them in mind, and from the desire to offer something different and daring”, explains Luis Lázaro, Director of Shopping Centres at Merlin Properties. In total, the Socimi, led by Banco Santander, will invest €30 million in the project, which will include the comprehensive renovation of the building to create a retail space spanning more than 39,000 m2 of shopping area, as well as 2,100 parking spaces.
The remodelling work will begin shortly, with 70% of the retail space already reserved; the centre is expected to open in time for Christmas 2018.
With the X-Madrid project, Opción will be put on the list of centres that have been restored following their closure during the crisis, as happened with Avenida M-40 (Madrid), which has now been converted into a shopping outlet by the Venezuelan group Sambil.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake