Torre Sevilla Shopping Centre Opens its Doors

26 September 2018 – Eje Prime

Torre Sevilla has been completed, six years on. The shopping centre, promoted by CaixaBank, will open its doors to the public today, whereby culminating an urban development program that began to take shape in the 1990s. The complex alone, located in the centre of Sevilla, has involved an investment of €100 million, a third of the total amount spent on the macro-project.

Torre Sevilla is opening its doors at the height of the Retail Apocalypse and at a turbulent time for the sector in Sevilla: Palmas Altas announced last week that it has changed its name to Lagoh, whilst the Alcora shopping centre project has been cancelled.

The new complex in Sevilla is a mixed development that includes, as well as a shopping centre, an office building, a Eurostars hotel, CaixaForum Sevilla and Parque de Magallanes. The shopping centre, designed by the Argentinian architect César Pelli, comprises two large buildings with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 26,700 m2 and a constructed surface area of 43,000 m2.

The complex will open its doors with a 95% occupancy rate, and with Primark, Fnac and Ikea as the drivers. “People don’t go shopping anymore, they go for a walk, and formats such as hypermarkets are no longer the drivers”, explains Antonio Cayuela, President of BuildingCenter and sole administrator of Puerto Triana (the company that controls the complex).

In this sense, Cayuela emphasises the location of Torre Sevilla, in the heart of the city, and its integration with the office building and hotel, which ensures footfall “every day of the week”.

“Shopping centres are changing, just like retail: the trend is now returning to local businesses, with smaller but very accessible formats, close to the city”, says the executive. The property developer forecasts that the centre will receive around 8 million visitors per year.

Torre Sevilla’s offer includes, amongst others, the first stores from Ikea, Primark and Xiaomi in the city centre, as well as restaurants and services such as a gym and a catering facility – a cross between a supermarket and a restaurant – serving homemade food to take away.

“Hypermarkets are no longer the drivers”, says Cayuela. “We have ruled out cinemas, because they occupy a lot of space, because there are lots of them and because in the era of Netflix, they are no longer attractive”, he says.

“Omnichannel” corner to compete with the internet 

In this sense, Torre Sevilla is also planning to incorporate new concepts over the medium term to encourage omnichannel integration and attract footfall to the complex at a time when the online channel is gaining more and more traction.

In this sense, the company will launch a space called Omni Tech, which will integrate different omnichannel tools, such as click and collect. “We want to be a leader in the implementation of new ideas in terms of omnichannels; although I do not think that the online channel will ever completely substitute a physical purchase, it is important to have a good experience in person to attract people to stores”, says the executive.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Iria P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

A Blow to Sevilla’s Retail Sector: Plans for Alcora Shopping Centre Cancelled

21 September 2018 – Eje Prime

Sevilla has lost one of its major post-crisis commercial projects. In the end, the Alcora shopping centre, promoted by Grupo Tremon, is not going to open its doors, even though its construction was announced in 2014 with a planned investment of €167 million, according to reports from Europa Press.

The plots on which the shopping centre was going to be constructed, which have a combined surface area of 23,000 m2, are located next to the headquarters of Canal Sur TV in San Juan de Aznalfarache. The plan envisaged by Grupo Tremon involved a 3-storey building plus two levels of underground parking with capacity for 1,300 vehicles.

In 2014, the plenary of the Sevillan town hall approved a modification to the urban regulations so that the work for the construction of the complex, located on the Aljarafe cornice, could be undertaken. The views over the Guadalquivir and Sevilla were going to take centre stage in Alcora, which envisaged a large square with a lookout over the Sevillan capital.

Tough competition

Nevertheless, the collapse of this commercial project contrasts with the good times that the commercial sector is experiencing in Sevilla. The imminent opening of Torre Sevilla (the fifth tallest building in Spain after the iconic Cuatro Torres in Madrid) by CaixaBank, will be followed in the spring by the Lagoh shopping centre, Grupo Lar’s big gamble in the Sevillan retail sector.

This latter complex (initially called Palmas Altas) is going to become the largest commercial space in the city, with a surface area of more than 100,000 m2. The investment in this project by Lar España will amount to €250 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake